The Nature of Truth

The Nature of Truth
March 13, 2022
Speaker:
Passage: John 18:37-38
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This morning we're going to talk about the nature of truth. Truth is not variable, unlike time apparently. In John 18, Jesus is standing before Pilate.

  • John 18:37-38

Jesus said, I come to bear witness of the truth, and everyone that is of the truth, heareth my voice. Pilate asks, What is Truth? Was he asking a rhetorical statement or truly wondering what truth is?

What is Truth?

I'm going to share the results of a survey done in 2002, twenty years ago. One survey was about absolute truth vs. subjective truth. They divided the those surveyed into two groups, those who were teenagers and those who were adults at that time. This being twenty years ago, means those teenagers are now in their thirties, the millenial generation.

Is Truth Absolute or Subjective?

Adults surveyed on the nature of truth:

  • 64% – “Truth is always relative to the person and their situation...”
  • 22% – “There are moral absolutes that are unchanging...”
  • 14% – “I have never really thought about...”

Teens surveyed on the nature of truth

  • 83% – “Truth is always relative to the person and their situation...”
  • 6% – “There are moral absolutes that are unchanging...”
  • 11% – “I have never really thought about...”

— Barna Research Group (Ventura, CA., Feb. 12, 2002)

Truth and Moral Decision Making

Adults surveyed on moral decision making

  • 31% – What feels right
  • 15% – What parents taught them
  • 13% – Biblical principles
  • 10% – Best personal outcome
  • 31% – Some other method

Teens surveyed on moral decision making

  • 38% – What feels right
  • 16% –Best personal outcome
  • 10% –The most people happy
  • 10% –Expectations of others
  • 10% – Values taught by parents
  •  9% – Some other method
  •  7% – Biblical principles

— Barna Research Group (Ventura, CA., Feb. 12, 2002)

"These figures were cited by George Barna, whose firm conducted the research, as a major reason underlying the data he released in a controversial recent public presentation about the moral views and behaviors of Christians. In that forum Barna noted that substantial numbers of Christians believe that activities such as abortion, [homosexuality], sexual fantasies, cohabitation, drunkenness and viewing pornography are morally acceptable."

This is from those claiming to be Christians.

“Without some firm and compelling basis for suggesting that such acts are inappropriate, people are left with philosophies such as ‘if it feels good, do it,’ ‘everyone else is doing it’ or ‘as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else, it’s permissible.’ In fact, the alarmingly fast decline of moral foundations among our young people has culminated in a one-word worldview: ‘whatever.’ The result is a mentality that esteems pluralism, relativism, tolerance, and diversity without critical reflection of the implications of particular views and actions.” — Americans Are Most Likely to Base Truth on Feelings, Barna February 12, 2002

Now remember, his results were published 20 years ago. This philosophy is the prevailing view of those who are now in their mid-thirties. We see this philosophy coming to fruition, the millenial generation holds the prevailing view in the country.

We fail to teach our children, and we are only one generation from apostacy. What is taught today is reflected in that second view of numbers reflects the post-modern  view of truth.

There was a time in American culture when truth was not subjective.

The Postmodern View of Truth

In his book Adrift, Postmodernism in the Church, Brother Phil Sanders, cites a source stating that 70% of Americans now believe there is no such thing as absolute truth. Such is the tragic legacy of the philosophical montage known as postmodernism.

Postmodernism is essentially a mid to late 20th century theory of knowledge which states that there is no real knowledge — at least not in the objective, external world that can be perceived by the human senses. As Friedrich Nietzsche, one of the founders of postmodernism, put it, “There are no facts, only interpretations.”

The idea that there is no such thing as objective truth, that truth is subjective based on a lot of different things. Postmodernism claims that truth subjective social construct. It states that all claims to truth attach meaning, value, and social constructs and are therefore subjective.

POSTMODERNISM:

  1. Truth is a subjective “social construct”
  2. There is no uniform or universal reality.
  3. There is no Truth, only rhetoric.

The Biblical View of Truth

The Bible states objectively that there is truth. God is truth.

  • True (alethes) - “unconcealed, manifest... actual, true to fact…” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Bible Words)
  • Truth (aletheia)  - “Objectively, signifying 'the reality lying at the basis of an appearance; the manifested, veritable essence of a matter’” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Bible Words)
  • Truth (aletheia) - “Subjectively, 'Truthfulness,' 'Truth,' not merely verbal, but sincerity and integrity of character.”  (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Bible Words)

There are a number of places in the Bible that discuss truth.

  • Deuteronomy 32:4

God is a God of truth. Jesus is truth.

  • John 14:6
  • John 1:14
  • John 8:45

God is a God of truth. Jesus is truth is full of truth and spoke the truth.

The Spirit spoke the truth and revealed it to the apostles.

  • John 16:13

The Word of God, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit is Truth.

  • John 17:17

The judgements of God are truth.

  • Romans 2:2

This is the bibilcal view of truth, God is truth, Christ is truth, the Spirit is Truth, the Word of God is truth.

The Nature of Truth

Is truth absolute? Can we know the truth?

Jesus affirms that truth is absolute and can be known.

  • John 8:32
  • John 17:17

This means that the Bible is truth and absolute. And, truth can be known.

All truth in religion comes from God and must be known.

  • 2 Timothy 2:15

To know the truth of God we must know His Word. His Word is truth and we have to put forth effort into knowing it and studying it.

Truth is to be obeyed.

  • Galatians 3:1

Truth and Man

Man’s Doctrine is a Rejection of Truth

  • Mark 7:7-9

Truth and Salvation

  • Jeremiah 10:23

It is not in man's ability to direct his own path.

The only way to salvation is through Jesus Christ.

  • John 14:6
  • John 10:28

If we walk in truth, and follow truth, we have the promise of salvation.

Truth and Obligation

Jesus says there is an obligation regarding truth.

  • John 8:31-32

The word, if, indicates that there is an obligation. If you continue in His word, you will know His Word, know the truth, and be made free.

With truth there is an obligation, to live it and abide by it.

  • John 15:10

Truth and Opinion

Many people believe that they can look to creeds and human opinions to follow the Bible. But, this is man's opinion. Thus, it is not following truth.

  • Romans 1:16

Only the narrow gate leads to life.

  • Matthew 7:13-14
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:21

We're to test all things to determine if something is opinion, or from God's Word.

  • Acts 17:11

They wanted to knwo if Paul was preaching truth or opinion. When compared to the Word of God, they saw that Paul was preaching truth.

The Word of God is not based upon opinion. Truth is objective.

Truth and Sincerity

Sincerity of heart might not be based upon the truth of God. Think of Paul, he acted in good sincerity of heart, thinking he was doing so toward God. Yet, he was wrong.

  • Acts 23:1
  • Acts 22:16

Paul, a man who was confronted by Jesus, he saw him with his own eyes. Yet, he was told to arise and be baptized. He still needed to become a Christian.

Many today claim to be Christians, but can they prove by the Bible that they've obeyed the will of God.

Those who reject the truth of God will not inherit the kingdom of God.

  • John 12:48
  • Matthew 25:46

Truth and You

God tells us that He would have that all men be saved and to come to knowledge of truth.

  • 1 Timothy 2:4

There are those who hinder the truth in unrighteousness.

  • Romans 1:18

God's desired is for truth to be known. Yet, Satan works for the truth to be hindered.

Repentance in view of the judgement.

  • Acts 17:30-31

We mus repent.

We msut be baptized as Paul was, being washed of our sins, and rising to walk ...

  • Acts 22:16

That's the truth of the gospel. Have you obeyed the truth of the gospel? Have you obeyed it? Have you put on Christ in baptism? If you are a Christian who has not been faithful you are called to repent.

If we can assist you in coming to know the truth please contact us.

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