Sunday, September 20, 2009

What is Truth?

"Godly living centers not on what we avoid, but on whom we embrace. Anytime we talk more about dos and don'ts than about Jesus, something's wrong. The Christian life is far more than sin management. Behavior modification that's not empowered by God's heart-changing grace is self-righteous, as repugnant to God as the worst sins people gossip about. Children who grow up with graceless truth are repelled by self-righteousness and attracted to the world's slickly marketed grace-substitutes. The world's low standards, its disregard for truth, are not grace. The illusory freedom, however, feels like grace to someone who's been pounded by graceless truth - beaten over the head with a piece of guardrail...

But properly understood, biblical truths are guardrails that protect us from plunging off the cliff. A smart traveler doesn't curse the guardrails ...

He looks over the cliff, sees demolished autos below, and is grateful for guardrails. The guardrails of truth are there not to punish, but to protect us. Jesus prayed, "Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth" (John 17:17). Truth is more than mere facts. It's not just something we act upon. It acts upon us. We cannot change the truth, but the truth can change us. It sanctifies (sets us apart) from the falsehoods woven into our sin nature and championed by the world.

God has written His truth on human hearts (Romans 2:15). Shame and twinges of conscience come from recognizing that truth has been violated. When people hear truth spoken graciously, many are drawn to it because of the moral vacuum they feel. Hearts long for truth - even hearts that reject it. We are to walk in the truth (3 John 1:2), love the truth, and believe the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:10,12).

All truth has a center of gravity: Jesus Christ, who declared, "I am the way and the truth and the life" (John 14:6). He didn't say He would show the truth or teach the truth or model the truth. He is the truth. Truth personified. He's the source of truth, and the reference point for evaluating all truth-claims...

All of us have a theology. The only question is whether it's true or false. Much teaching today is popularity-driven, not truth-driven. "The time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their ears want to hear" (2 Timothy 4:3).

Some pastors and television preachers are well paid to play fast and loose with truth. But Charles Spurgeon said, "Christ's people must have bold, unflinching lion-like hearts, loving Christ first, and His truth next, and Christ and His truth beyond all the world."

We should take our cues from the Berean Christians, who "received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day" to determine whether what they were being taught was true (Acts 17:11)."

Taken from The Grace and Truth Paradox by Randy Alcorn


  1. Thanks, Louise, for taking the time to print this. I will be looking for this book to read now.
    (((hugs))) teresa

  2. "Truth written on the heart"...I love that! Nowadays, it is so easy to compromise those truths...TV, books, and movies that some choose to open themselves to. Shocks me sometimes...