Truth is Still Truth, Even if You Don't Believe it.
It's the whole title for this blog. I've been saying it for years. I didn't really think I was that original but having just read Phil Johnson's Charles Spurgeon post on Pyromaniacs titled Hard Words for Postmodern Ears I just had to share this paragraph.
I hold, that to believe wrongly is equally as great a sin in the sight of heaven as to act wrongly. Error is a crime before God, and though there is liberty of conscience, so far as man and man are concerned, there is no liberty of conscience with God. You are not free to believe truth, or to believe error just as you like. You are bound to believe what God says is truth, and on your soul's peril be it, that you believe two things that are contrary, or confound the positive and the negative, where faith is the evidence of justification, and unbelief the seal of a sinner's doom.
I don't claim to hold the monopoly on truth, but I do claim an allegiance to it. If in the process of study, reflection, prayer and as broad as possible exposure to God's word I discover that I have believed a lie; I make it my pattern to jettison that evil thing from my person as fast as possible and to embrace the truth revealed by God. It is a hard task to be certain, but a worthy one. Correcting deep held – but wrong- beliefs takes wisdom – as God sees wisdom – not as men see it. Humility is key. Fear of God is necessary.
I am convinced that we do not fear God; largely because we do not know Him. Oh but we have volumes of theology surrounding our desks, but do we believe their theology? Do we recognized that our God is a consuming fire? Do we honestly think that God will, as some kind of doting grandfather, merely wink and smile when we embrace lies and reject truth because we are comfortable in the former and unwilling to embrace the latter? He is a Holy God and He has revealed Himself to us in His word.
Let us then turn to that word with diligence to study and to know it. That we might comprehend that it is all of Christ and knowing Christ, that we might live! "Sanctify them in the truth" Jesus prayed, "your word is truth!" (John 17:17)
2 Corinthians 13:5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you– unless indeed you fail the test?
God forbid that, while proclaiming to know truth, we fail the test! Truth matters. It matters to God, it better matter to us. Pursue the truth relentlessly. But do not forget that mere knowledge of the truth is not the final goal. Christ demands that we obey the truth. Satan knows truth; the demons know truth, and they shudder because of it. Therefore even the unholy must react to truth; either with vitriol or repentance or some deceptive move away from it.
If the unholy react to truth, how can we do less? Let our reaction to truth be one of embracing, embodying and expanding.
Embrace The Truth
Embrace the truth by making it your own. This demands rejecting lies and actively moving the truth into a position of power in your life. If the batteries in some electronic device have no charge will you not replace them with some which are functional? How much more then do we need to reject error and embrace truth. Error will not fuel holy actions but truth will. Once you embrace truth it must by design begin to effect your life. This is where truth is embodied.
Embody The truth
Embodying the truth demands knowing it. We cannot obey a law, save by accident without first knowing it. But the Christian life is no mere accident of obedience. A faith-life demands a transformation of our minds. This is the doctrine espoused by Paul when he says "…Be transformed by the renewing of your mind…" (Romans 12:1-2). God knows that what happens in the head eventually happens in the heart. Make no mistake, embodying the truth does not mean that we wrap ourselves up with rules and restrictions which have perhaps the sound of wisdom but which are in truth too weak to bring about a lasting transformation.
Resolve if you will to live a better life, to speak more fitting words or to restrain yourself from unrighteousness. But without transformation of mind which migrates to the heart you will utterly fail the test and your rules will not deliver they will instead condemn. But if you will Embrace the truth and humble yourself under God's mighty hand you will begin to live out the truth. It is there that you will begin to "work out your salvation" knowing full well that it is God who works and wills within you. (Phil 2:12-13).
It is only after we have learned, and embraced the truth; only after we have begun to embody it that we become fit to expand it.
Expand The Truth
Our task as Christians, no matter our calling is the same. It is not limited to pastors or evangelists. It is not the sole domain of Missionaries. Our task – the blessed burden of every Christian – is to expand the truth of God by giving it away. All around us, at my very next door neighbor's house there are men and women – even children – loved by God and in need of living truth. As we carry the truth to those who neither know it or live it we become obedient to the truth. For Christ himself has said, "go… making disciples…" (Matthew 28:19-ff).
Let us today then fall to our knees in humble repentance. Let us call out for God's merciful Holy Spirit to instruct us and to train us in his word. Let us call Him to his promise that his word not leave us empty and without result (Isaiah 55:11) but that God will instead grace us with repentance from error; strength to embrace the truth, and passion to live it out. And then let us ask him together to enable us to faithfully and without fear, broadcast his truth to every man, woman and child.