“The truth redeems. The truth preserves. The truth makes us free. The truth makes us holy.” R.C. Sproul

What is truth?

“what is truth?” (John 18:38), that's the question that Pilate summarily dismissed Jesus Christ with. That's also the attitude of the majority of people in our post-modern world. Philosophers throughout the ages have spent a great deal of time trying to answer this question: what is truth?

Truth is “defined as that which conforms with fact or reality. It is genuineness, veracity, or actuality. In a word, truth is reality. It is how things actually are. Theologically, truth is that which is consistent with the mind, will, character, glory, and being of God. Truth is the self-disclosure of God Himself. It is what it is because God declares it so and made it so. All truth must be defined in terms of God, whose very nature is truth.”[1]

Is truth objective of subjective?

Is truth truth for everyone (objective) or does it vary from person to person (subjective)? Relativism is the view that there can be no absolute truth, what is truth for me is only truth for me and I can never make any absolute claim on anything. This view is widely accepted in our post-modern world.

The problem with this view, however, is that it also claims to be an absolute truth and hence disproves itself; if Relativism is true then it makes an absolute claim, which goes against itself. Truth is objective and not subjective. We must not strive to make ourselves truths that suit us, we must strive to know the truth and conform to it.

Truth incarnate

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

Jesus Christ claimed to be not only the source of truth (John 1:14) but Truth itself (John 14:6). There is no truth outside of Christ. He did not claim to be a truth, but the truth. He also claimed to be the only way to the Father; Jesus is not one of many ways to God, He is the only way. All others ways that claim to lead to God are lies.

Slaves of truth

“and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”” (John 8:32)

Jesus Christ, as truth incarnate sets us free when we come to a knowledge of Him. We are all born slaves to sin and in bondage to it. When Christ saves us, He sets us free from being slaves to sin (John 8:36) to become slaves of Him (Rom. 6:18). Jesus Christ is Lord, and we are His slaves. Only Christ and the gospel (which testifies of Him) sets us free and “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36).

Contend for truth

“We live in a culture that has lowered the tolerance for phony gentleness. 'Let's just agree to disagree.' The refusal to fight for truth has done much damage. Let's agree to argue until one of us refutes the others and we come to the correct conclusion.” Phil Johnson

As Christians we are called to contend for the truth. We are to fight for the faith when it is being attacked (Jude 3). Because, says R.C. Sproul, “Truth is too important to kill in the streets for the sake of peace.” The apostle Paul didn't compromise the truth of God, he debated with Jews and philosophers of his day daily.

“We can have peace, but it is a servile and carnal peace where truth is slain in the streets.” R.C. Sproul

Conclusion

“Truth is that which is consistent with the mind, will, character, glory, and being of God.” Truth is objective. Jesus is the source of truth and also truth incarnate. We are to fight for truth.

Soli Deo Gloria


[1] http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/what-is-truth/