Archives for posts with tag: truth

“The elder to the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in truth; and not only I, but also all who know the truth, for the sake of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever:” (2 John 1:1–2 NAS95)

John’s letters are saturated with the word “truth.”  He uses the word 20 times in his three letters and in 2 John alone he uses it 5 times. John appears to use the word “truth” as a summary for the gospel, and indeed for Jesus himself since all truth is foundational to him.  The Complete Word Study Bible defines truth this way:

“In the NT especially, divine truth or the faith and practice of the true gospel is called “truth” either as being true in itself and derived from the true God, or as declaring the existence and will of the one true God, in opposition to the worship of false idols. Hence divine truth, gospel truth, as opposed to heathen and Jewish fables.”

John wrote, then, for the sake of the truth. He wasn’t building a community of followers who were committed to him, or to his knowledge, or to his reputation, he wanted those to whom he was writing to be as saturated in the truth as he was, to know the truth, to love the truth, to define their lives by the truth, and to hold fast to the truth because the truth was everything.

We believe and we teach and we live that Jesus himself is the truth, and because the gospel proclaims him and points to him.  You shall know the truth, says Jesus in John 8.32, and the truth shall set you free. John absorbed this teaching, he believed it, he taught it to others.  We ought to follow John’s example.



What can the righteous accomplish
When truth’s pillars are destroyed and law and order collapse?
Yet the Eternal One is never shaken–
He is still found in his temple of holiness
Reigning as Lord and King over all.
He is closely watching everything that happens.
And with a glance, his eyes examine every heart.
For his heavenly rule will prevail over all. Psalms 11:3-4 (Passion Translation)

There is something chilling in these verses and something hopeful.

  • Chilling – David makes the correct observation that when truth’s pillars are destroyed and law and order collapse then there is not much that the righteous can do.  There are times when evil runs amok and never more so than when truth is stifled and every man does what is right in his own eyes.  I think we are seeing the beginning of this today.  Society cannot long survive without truth.
  • Hopeful – David reminds us that, even in a time when truth’s pillars are destroyed we can have hope because the Eternal One is never shaken. God is not moved, nor worried, nor anxious when men reject truth.  This is no more threatening to him than an ant threatens an elephant.  David knows that God’s heavenly rule will prevail over all.

The upshot for we who take in David’s words?  In a time when truth is denied and denigrated, when evil seems to have the upper hand more and more, when mankind seems to become ever more blind by the minute; God still reigns.  He is still in control. He will still accomplish his ends and ultimately all will be well.

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

This verse [which is really a partial sentence] gets my vote for the most theologically abused, taken-out-of-context-and-misapplied verse in all of the Scriptures.  I heard it once uttered by a political figure who had been released from jail after abusing the power of his office, and it has been used by other nefarious figures who have seen in it a handy excuse for their misdeeds.

Had they bothered to read the whole sentence, they wouldn’t have so hastily misused this verse:

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”” (John 8:31–32, ESV)

The prerequisite for knowing the truth is to “abide in my word.”  This is conveniently left out by those who would like to hijack it as a personal defense against their own misdeeds, or as a political support for whatever particular agenda [be it right or left] that they happen to hold.

The key here is abiding in the word of Jesus, which means planting roots and sticking as if we were branches that were grafted in with Jesus as the root of the branch.  For the truth to set us free, we must know Jesus’ words and love Jesus’ words and follow Jesus’ words and obey Jesus’ words.  Indeed, the truth is that Jesus himself is the truth by which men are set free, as Jesus points out in short order:

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36, ESV)

If you want to be free, whether you are a politician who has abused your office, or just a run-of-the-mill sinner who has been enslaved by your own appetites and desires, then go to the place of freedom: the feet of Jesus. There you can truly say, “I have known the truth and he has set me free.”


Ps 43-3David [we presume] understands the things that will lead him to God’s “holy mountain,” the place in which God dwells:

  1. Light – The word used here seems to be a metaphor for understanding, knowledge, and perhaps even direction.  Without light we can only stumble around and lose our way because we are creatures of light.  David depends upon the Lord to show him the way to his holy dwelling, to that place at which David will enjoy warm, continuous fellowship with his God.  In essence David says, “I am helpless, lead me to yourself.”
  2. Truth – The essential content of the message of God’s nature, indeed God’s essential nature itself.  The word can also mean faithfulness, so it can be thought of as “truth/faithfulness.”  In the same way that David is helpless without light, he is helpless without truth/faithfulness.  He depends upon God’s character as much as he depends upon God’s sustaining direction.  Both are necessary to join God in fellowship, and that is the supreme goal of David’s life.  He understood that nothing else mattered in comparison.

May our God lead us by light and truth/faithfulness into ever deeper relationship with Himself.



“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, you really are My disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”” (John 8:31–32 HCSB)

“You will know the truth and the truth will set you free is one of the most abused and taken out of context passages in all of the Scriptures.  Mayor Marion Barry of Washington, D.C. took to quoting it when he was released from prison for drug related charges.  I have tracked some of the abuse of this verse here.

This is the truth of the truth setting us free.  The truth WILL set you free IF you know the truth.  You WILL know the truth IF you continue or abide in Jesus’ word. Everything in this hinges upon abiding or continuing or remaining in Jesus’ word.  In other words feeding upon it and growing from it.

Freedom cannot be separated from abiding in Christ’s word.

““‘I tell you, that to everyone who has, more will be given; and from the one who does not have, even what he does have will be taken away. But bring here these enemies of mine, who did not want me to rule over them, and slaughter them in my presence.’””
(Luke 19:26–27 HCSB)

No one can ever accuse our Lord of being interested in political correctness.  He is content to speak the truth and if the truth hurts, well, it must hurt before it heals.  The fact of the matter is that, rebellious as we are, we generally are not inclined to yield to Christ until faced irrevocably with the grim facts of the matter.  Those who “did not want me to rule over them” are given over to the consequences of their decision.

Here’s the thing:  we don’t want consequences.  We want to be rebellious, be sinful, run from the Lord instead of to the Lord, yet we also do not want the consequences of our choices.  Indeed, we call God to account for holding us to the consequences of our choices!  Amazing.

Tyndale Commentary: T. W. Manson has possibly the best comment on this: ‘We may be horrified by the fierceness of the conclusion; but beneath the grim imagery is an equally grim fact, the fact that the coming of Jesus to the world puts every man to the test, compels every man to a decision. And that decision is no light matter. It is a matter of life and death.

This is a grim truth.  It is a necessary truth.

  1 Thessalonians 2:2-3 (HCSB)

On the contrary, after we had previously suffered, and we were treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, we were emboldened by our God to speak the gospel of God to you in spite of great opposition. For our exhortation didn’t come from error or impurity or an intent to deceive.

     Paul speaks quite boldly here and we cannot escape the import of his words.  “Our exhortation didn’t come from error or impurity.”  This is quite a claim to make, but one that he backs up again and again by pointing out that he is an apostle, that he has seen, The risen Lord, that his gospel was approved by the pillars of the church.  Paul is not preaching and teaching error, but the truth of the gospel.
     Expositors Bible Commentary:  First to be corrected was the claim that his appeal arose from “error” or self-delusion. Planes (“error”) at times has an active sense of “deceit,” a meaning indistinguishable in the present verse from dolo (“trying to trick you”). Here, however, it should be assigned its passive meaning of “error” as usual in the NT. Paul’s message agreed perfectly with truth.
     We would do well to emulate Paul as we teach and preach and communicate the gospel.  Accurate theology is important.