What is truth?

By Johnny O. Trail — There was once a man who decided that he wanted to lose weight. To that end, he weighed himself on his bathroom scale and determined that he weighed 250 pounds. For the entire next week, he exercised and tried to cut back on what he ate. At the end of the week, he got on the scale and determined that he weighed 260 pounds. He was so angry at what the bathroom scale told him that he took the scale into the garage, got a sledge hammer and beat it to smithereens.

The next day he determined that there had to be something wrong with the scale. So he drives to Wal-Mart and purchases a brand new one. He returned home, made sure that it was properly calibrated, and stepped on to ascertain his weight. The scale revealed that he weighed 262 pounds. It was not what he expected, but he accepted that as a good starting point for his newly renewed attempt at weight loss. For the next week he exercised and watched his food intake (to some extent). Continue reading “What is truth?”

Light from beginning to end

The Bible begins with the creation of light by a word from God, Genesis 1.3. It ends with a mention of the light of God, tying it with the privilege of his people reigning forever: “Night will be no more, and they will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, because the Lord God will shine on them, and they will reign forever and ever” Revelation 22.5.

Light is important as a Bible theme because:

1. God is light, 1 John 1.5

Light comes into being as a result of God’s power. The creation started with light. God spoke and it existed. Its creation before the heavenly bodies speaks to its nature as emanating from God. We speak, rightly so, of the moon not having its own light but only reflecting the light of the sun. Similarly, no heavenly body — sun or stars — has, in one true sense, any light of its own. God put them there. He caused them to exist and to shine. He is the only real source of light. Continue reading “Light from beginning to end”

Jesus: the truly qualified teacher

Jesus was expected to travel to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Tabernacles.

It was fall in Palestine, about the 15th of Tishri (October 12 on our calendar), and the harvest of wheat and olive oil was complete. It was a time of plenty and thanksgiving for God’s blessings.

The Feast of Tabernacles commemorated the wilderness wandering of the Jews at the end of the year.

Although Jesus would go to the feast, he continued walking in Galilee. He knew the Jews were seeking an opportunity to kill him. Jesus’ brothers came to him and warned him to stay away from Jerusalem. Continue reading “Jesus: the truly qualified teacher”

Eternal truth

Truth is taking a terrible beating.

Politicians have carved truth into two camps. One camp is that the things they say are always the truth, and the other is that their fellows across the aisle always lie.

The religious world is also suffering a crisis of confidence. Many of the things religious bodies have taught are becoming known as doctrines of men instead of teachings from God.

It seems that everywhere one looks, someone is trying to obfuscate or suppress the truth for their purposes.

Jesus knew all about these things. Jesus knew a few more things about the truth. Continue reading “Eternal truth”

God’s law

God sent his law to the patriarchs and to the Jews not to demonstrate a minimum acceptable requirement, but to help them remain holy. The law was given as the way to live before God.

Mankind promptly made a mess of God’s law. An example of how the Jews of Jesus’ day were so pitiful with their idea of the law is the definition of the word, “neighbor,” in Luke chapter 10. Continue reading “God’s law”

Walking in truth

When John wrote his second letter he was concerned with truth as well as with love. And when you think about it, these two go hand in hand: truth and love. In a world where “truth” seems to be defined as whatever a person wants it to be, it is refreshing to read about something definite and concrete called “truth” – and it is based in God’s word.

“The elder, To the lady chosen by God and to her children, whom I love in the truth—and not I only, but also all who know the truth— because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever…” (2 John 1-2 NIV). Continue reading “Walking in truth”

A world of blindness

There is something wrong in the world. Have you noticed it?

The world is afflicted with blindness.

It isn’t that people can’t use their eyes; instead, people don’t want to use their eyes.

The Jews witnessed the powerful miracles of Jesus and yet they were mysteriously afflicted with blindness. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world,” (John 8:12). The Jews couldn’t see it. Jesus said, “For if you do not believe that I am he, you will die in your sins,” (John 8:24b). The Jews continued to grope in the dark. Jesus said, “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). And the Jews, still blind, told Jesus they had never been enslaved. Continue reading “A world of blindness”

The truth about truth

“This is the absolute truth,” someone says, “there is no absolute truth.”

By the way, look at the above statement and see if you can discern the in-built contradiction.

It is well to acknowledge the fact that truth is a very rare commodity in our day or any day. Watch the news on television and observe how very different the world looks to an outlet that is liberal or conservative. Observe a couple who have recently broken up: If you listen to her account of events and his, you might wonder if they were talking about the same thing. Continue reading “The truth about truth”

Why we can’t ignore attempts against the truth

Error surrounds us. From the first, since the days of Jesus, false teaching has spread its wings. How should we react to it? There are extremes. One can see nothing but an enemy. Another ignores it, wanting to emphasize only the positive.

While we follow the truth in love, we must also maintain balance by warning and exposing error. Here’s why. Continue reading “Why we can’t ignore attempts against the truth”

He came for a reason

Why did Jesus come into the world? There are ten statements Jesus makes explaining why he was here. Five of them are in the gospel written by the apostle John.

Jesus said he had come in his father’s name (John 5:43). This means he came by his father’s authority. If a policeman knocks on someone’s door and shouts, “Open in the name of the law,” he means the door must open by the authority of the law.  Jesus talked a great deal about authority because it was important for people to know who was behind his teaching. Continue reading “He came for a reason”