Friday, November 16, 2007

Bible Promises: Truth

(From the Bible Promises series)

Truth is non-negotiableTruth is fluid... truth is unknowable... man cannot possess any kind of absolute truth... what's true for you may not be true for me, truth is this, truth is that.

There is a lot of talk about truth these days, and ironically enough, not a lot of Biblical wisdom to go with it. One of the more doctrinally divisive and theologically damaging trends to come along in a very long time, the "emerging church" movement, which is emerged in a lot of postmodern philosphies and ideas of fallen men, is in a large part, responsible for the blurring of the truth and the doubts & clouded thinking of many evangelicals, when it comes to grasping truth. Thankfully, there are at least some dedicated brothers in Christ that you're probably all familiar with, who desire nothing more than to know the truth, live the truth, defend the truth and are convinced it's their duty (and joy) to share that same truth.

Pastor John MacArthur has answered back to this battle against truth with his book, The Truth War. The description of the book reads this way:

"Right now, Truth is under attack, and much is at stake. In a postmodern culture, Christians are caught in the crossfire of alternative Christian histories, emerging faulty texts, and a cultural push to eliminate absolute Truth altogether. As a result, many churches and Christians have been deceived. Worse still, they propagate the deception that poses itself as Truth! In The Truth War, John MacArthur reclaims the unwavering certainty of God's Truth and anchors Christians in the eternal, immovable promises found in His Word." (source)

There will be a gathering of evangelical bloggers at next year's Together for the Gospel conference called the Band of Bloggers. Men's names you all recognize that will be present to speak for that event will be Tim Challies, Justin Taylor, Thabiti Anyabwile and Mark Lauterbach. Their ever-timely theme this year: The Gospel Trust. From their website:

"The second Band of Bloggers fellowship is slated to take place in 2008, again in concert with the Together for the Gospel Conference. This year’s theme, “The Gospel Trust,” focuses on what it means to be entrusted as servants of God and stewards of His glorious gospel. During the period of time leading up to the 2008 Band of Bloggers fellowship, we will endeavor to fuel a greater passion for the gospel of the glory of Christ through resources, articles, and media (including podcasts)."

The reaction to the attack on the truth, currently taking place among particular evangelical leaders, pastors, bloggers and speakers is unmistakably urgent.

I chose to name my own book Guarding the Trust, for no other reason than I am convinced it is in fact every Christian's duty to do so. Whether man or woman, boy or girl, once we have been spiritually awakened to the truth, it is our duty and should be our joy and our passion to be able to not only defend the truth but to declare the truth at every opportunity that He provides us. Before we can ever do that however, we have to know the truth, and be so familiar with it, that it literally becomes a part of us. I believe that for women especially, to be grounded in truth, is so critical a measure to counteract our natural inclination to be led away by emotion or experiential reasoning. I realize that is for many of us, a lot easier said, than done.

So we have a parakatatheke to guard. That's the Greek word, but I haven't a clue how to properly pronounce it. I know that what it means is an item placed in your care for you to treasure and protect - something you are expected to faithfully keep. As a mother, its impossible for me not to immediately think of how a precious newborn baby fits that description very well. In the context of the gospel and sound Biblical doctrine however, it means we're to also hold to it firmly and deliver it to others.

STAND FIRM/HOLD FASTLast Christmas a friend sent me this little silicone wrist band that I wear every day. It's a wee bit too big so it sort of dangles more than it should, which makes it a little more noticable. It says STAND FIRM/HOLD FAST on the one side. On the reverse it says the same thing in Greek (which I also can't pronounce). It is a reminder to me to do that very thing, each and every day. Moment by moment, hour by hour... because there is never a shortage of opportunities for me to get sidetracked by the moment or by circumstances, and veer off the straight and narrow path. It's also a great little conversation starter and has in fact prompted several questions from different folks.

I cannot encourage anyone strongly enough, to study the Scriptures and lay hold of truth. I hope these selected verses stir you up to do that very thing:

• [God] Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (1Timothy 2:4)

• Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:31-32)

• Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)

• Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth (1Cor. 13:6)

• For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. (2Cor. 13:8)

• But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth (2Thes. 2:13)

• And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. (1John 3:19)

• Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:6-16)