by Richard Mansel, managing editor
In a postmodern world, language loses its purity and common words become polluted. Traditional definitions lose their meanings and popular usage takes precedence.
When people come to the Bible with these same philosophies, Scriptural terms lose their power and majesty. A diluted gospel is the result as God morphs into something man made and his teachings lose their potency (Galatians 1:8-9).
We can aspire to something better.
When we teach God’s Word, we must remember that God demands that we hold to absolute truth. Man, however, does not. George Barna reports, “One-third of all adults (34%) believe that moral truth is absolute and unaffected by circumstances.”/1
When we stop believing in absolute truth, then truth loses any substance and becomes like clay, molded to fit our whims and fancies. It satisfies our carnal lusts and provides a way for our will to supersede Scripture. God ostensibly becomes our servant, doing our bidding.
When we obliterate absolute truth, sin no longer has any meaning because everyone becomes perfect. “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6, NKJV)
God’s words to Israel are a reprimand, not a commendation. Yet, if it is true that no absolute truth exists, then God owes them an apology.
“Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). We are sanctified by truth (John 17:17). God and his church are the “pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free'” (John 8:31-32).
Abiding means to “remain in a place, to stay in the house, to continue in a matter or occupation.”/2
Truth is where God is. Christ does not exist outside of truth (Revelation 21:8; John 8:44). Accordingly, it must be our permanent residence. God’s people have no place outside of its borders.
We speak and live truth to the fullest, knowing that God’s Word is truth and must always be obeyed (John 14:15; Psalm 119:89).
“People of the world, though they often boast of their freedom to do as they please, are really the pitiable objects of the most advanced slavery being bound by their passions, desires and fleshly weaknesses from which they are helpless to escape.”/3
When we disrespect the truth of God’s Holy Word, we bring the wrath of God to our door and we are not prepared for the consequences (Hebrews 10:31).
We had better tread lightly when we handle God’s divine words! He will remember (Revelation 20:11-15).
2/ Gerhard Kittel, ed. The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 1967), 4:574-575.
3/ Guy N. Woods, A Commentary on the Gospel of John (Nashville: Gospel Advocate, 1984), 172.