So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
Winston Churchill said, “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.” That may be a common response to truth, but it places those who respond thusly on the road to tragedy and destruction. There is no way to love and follow God without loving and following truth. The two cannot be separated.
God is truth in all His essences. To know God is to love truth and righteousness. Those who enter a relationship with God through Christ Jesus commit themselves to a life of truth. Yet many believers struggle with the truth because our sinfulness often blinds us to God’s truth.
Truth is more than facts. Facts can easily be distorted and are often subjective. It has no emotion or concern for the wellbeing of others. Facts can be cold, harsh, and destructive. But the truth seeks to bring light where there is darkness, wisdom where there is foolishness, and righteousness where there is wickedness. The truth is liberating and seeks to be transformative. It reminds us of our godly nature and challenges us not to succumb to our sinful nature.
In today’s text, Jesus teaches His disciples about the source of truth. Consequently, Jesus invites all who believe in Him to discover God’s truth as revealed in His word. Christians believe wholeheartedly that the Bible contains the word of God. We read and study it to discover God’s divine mysteries and learn the precepts that can help us to live truthfully. Thus, we read in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Almighty God wants us to worship Him in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24). To do so, however, we need God’s Holy Spirit of truth to guide our thoughts, circumcise our hearts and sanctify our souls so we can become instruments of God’s truth. We also need to saturate our minds with God’s word so we can be free from the deceptions of the evil one.
The truth sets free those whose minds are conformed to the word of God, and whose hearts are transformed by the Holy Spirit of truth. Those who abide in the word of Christ can be tempted but they will yet be inspired by the Holy Spirit to differentiate between truth and deception. The Holy Spirit of truth makes known to all authentic disciples of Jesus what the truth is and its application for godly living.
During this season of political campaigning, the American public is inundated with political ads from candidates touting their political records and backgrounds while discrediting their opponents. While most of those ads are untruthful, they are yet impactful because many people are not able to determine truth from dishonesty. Unfortunately, many politicians are elected to public office because of their ability to promote lies and deception consistently and boisterously. My prayer is for God to give voters the wisdom to discern truth from lies when they go vote.
Questions for Personal Reflection
How would you define “truth?”
How can the truth set you free?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, please help me to abide in the message of truth that Jesus taught His disciple. When I am tempted to tell lies and be deceptive, please give me the courage to be an instrument of righteousness and tell the truth in love.