"What Is Truth?"
It is a question that mankind asks but doesn't always want the answer. Truth requires action. If I know truth, either I am honest and act upon it or I live in denial, fooling only myself. Jesus gives the answer; the question is, "Will you accept it?"
What Is Truth?
A. It was the end of his earthly ministry. Jesus lived a life in such a way that while most people didn’t see him as God, many did see him as a strong religious teacher who knew how to upset the established religious leaders. It was now about to cost him his life. But he wouldn’t be the first person to die because of either the Jewish leaders or the Roman government. So what makes him different?
B. Jesus was sent to Pilate on trumped up charges. Pilate really didn’t want to deal with this issue and saw it more about religious difference than crimes against Rome. Yet there was one are that caused Pilate to reconsider. The Jewish leaders said that Jesus claimed to be king. Now we have a problem. You can’t have two kings. Yet, when Pilate asks Jesus about his kingship we hear Jesus say, “My kingdom is not of this world.” When pressed by Pilate, Jesus continues, “You say that I am a king. I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world – to bear witness to the truth.” That struck a nerve.
C. Truth. Pilate asks or states to himself, “What is truth?” It is the best question if asked sincerely and with the proper motive. It is the question of the seeker. It is the question that an honest person desires to know because such a person is driven by truth.
D. We live in a world of skepticism and it’s easy to understand why. Truth has left the realm of absolute and become subjective. But if you have truth and I have truth and our truths don’t match up what do have?
E. We undermine truth by saying, “I am my own thinker.” Great, but I would guess you have been wrong at least once. When we say, “No one is really wrong, and everyone is right in their own way and therefore we all just need to get along” such a statement teaches that the person who commits a crime against someone is not wrong but simply does not follow the ethics of the majority.
I. Truth Is A Person
A. So what is truth? I give you this to think about. If a higher being, one who exists outside of time/space creates this universe, the sun, moon and stars. If this higher power brings life to this earth would it stand to reason that such a being has greater wisdom and knowledge that that which was created? I believe in God. I believe in the God we read about in the pages of the Bible. While there is very good scientific evidence that supports a creator, and also that Bible is this creators voice to creation, that subject is not what I am wanting to share today.
B. Being here, I believe you have degree of faith, maybe even a great faith. I thank you for that faith. But the question, “What is truth?” was answer by Jesus before he ever stood before Pilate. Truth is not a concept – it’s a being.
C. That night, before Jesus was taken to Pilate, he met for what we call the Last Supper with his apostles. There Jesus says this: John 14:1-6. It is exclusive. Jesus makes at statement that many in our society refuse to accept. Jesus says that he ALONE is the way, the truth and the life. That he ALONE is the only way to God. All the world religion are false if Jesus is right. That is a bold statement to make. Yet, the apostles would come to accept that as fact and teach it even to the point of their own death. So why is so important to believe that truth is a person not a concept?
II. Truth is a Gift
A. Let me take you back in the Gospel of John to chapter 8. Jesus is talking to the crowds probably in Jerusalem. There Jesus says, (read John 8:12). He is questioned about such a statement. A few verses later we read these words (verses 23-24). That seems to bring the larger discussion to an end. Jesus then speaks to people who have believed in him, and to them he says this, (verses 31-32). At that even they begin to stop believing. That statement was so difficult to accept that they rejected it and Jesus. To the point that by the end of the chapter they are ready to stone Jesus for claiming to be God – the I AM.
B. I want to camp on one verse (vs 32). Look at those words again. Truth, truth that Jesus brings, the truth that Jesus alludes to with Pilate later, is that his truth will set us free. Sets us free from what? The answer is sin.
C. If you accept that there is a God. If you accept that Jesus is who he says he is and that only through him can we have eternal life, then we must also accept that the alternative is eternal damnation. I can only be set free if I have first been in bondage. If there is truth, then there is also lie. If there is life, then there is also death. If there is a right way to do something, then there is also a wrong way. God calls it sin.
D. God knew, from before the creation of the world that we would sin. Why did he create us? I can only guess based upon the Bible. He created us because he loved us even before human life came into existence. As a parent, I can understand to love someone who has not yet been born.
E. In that love for us God made a way for us to get out of the sinful mess we chose to put ourselves. Therefore he became flesh and lived among us a man – Jesus. Jesus was the very likeness of God, a fleshly understanding of God. An because of love he would pay the price for sin – death.
III. Truth Requires A Response
A. I have known people who want help with some difficulty they are facing. They want you fix it or them. They want you to be sympathetic, but they don’t want you present them with truth. They want their lives better, but they don’t want the work of change. They don’t want to admit and face that they are part of their own problem.
B. When you refuse to see truth, you are never wrong. It is always subjective and what you think is what you will believe and facts will be refuted by your own logic. An honest person, when face with truth, will accept that truth even if it requires of them a major change.
C. What about you? Would you let the pages of the Bible challenge your life? Would you let God determine sin and if you were living in sin? Would you worship God in spirit and truth or is there something else that you seek?
D. We all have a choice. We can either accept that Jesus is truth and through him alone can we find freedom from sin, or we can deny that concept and try it on our own. Maybe you are here today and struggle with what is truth. If we can help you in your spiritual journey, please let us sit down with you and study the Bible together.
A. When face with sin, people on day of Pentecost asked Peter and the apostles what they should do. He responded with these words (Acts 2:38). When a Ethiopian learned about Jesus from a disciple named Philip, he asked this question (Acts 8:36-38). Peter would tell us that baptism is not simply an act but a pledge (1 Pet. 3:21).
B. Many people have never taken that step of faith called baptism or did it without realizing the truth that it is our connection to the cross where Jesus frees us from the bondage of sin. If you are here today and need to be set free by Jesus, if you are willing to change your life and make Jesus the Lord of your life having him wash your sins away in the waters of baptism, then we invite you to come forward to me as we stand and sing.