Calvary Road Baptist Church

“GOD IS TRUE”

 

The London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689 begins with these words: “The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience . . . .

You recognize that everything cannot be proven, and that assumptions must be made. The sinner’s assumption is that the Word of God is not true, while the Christian assumes the Word of God to be accurate and reliable, and bases his life on this earth and his preparation for eternity on that premise. Thus, the opening statement in The London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689.

Consider, this morning, that which is called truth and that which is described as true. Since the meanings of words are best ascertained by usage, I will not attempt to define the words true and truth, but will instead show how they are used in the Bible.

We first see the word true in the book of Genesis, when the sons of Jacob who betrayed their younger brother Joseph and sold him into slavery are years later suspected of being spies and speak to defend themselves. Notice what they say. In Genesis 42.11, they say, “We are all one man’s sons; we are true men, thy servants are no spies.” In Genesis 42.31, we again read, “We are true men; we are no spies.” Four centuries later, after the children of Israel had followed Moses out of Egyptian bondage, father-in-law Jethro suggests that Moses appoint men to help him judge the people. Exodus 18.21 shows what kind of men would be desirable as judges: “Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.”

Apparently, then, whatever is meant by being true and by being men of truth, it was thought to be a good thing. Being true and being men of truth is therefore seen to be a virtue, an asset, and an admirable quality. Though such qualifications do not seem so important in politics these days, what I would give for political leaders who were true men and men of truth.

As well, Deuteronomy 13.14, 17.4, and 22.20 use the words truth and true in such a way as to establish fact, to show the certainty of an event that has occurred. Thus, the result of enquiring, searching, and asking diligently to ascertain the truth is shown in those verses to be commendable and noteworthy. Who would argue? We certainly do not swear in eye witnesses and experts in courts of law to elicit from them lies and falsehoods. Thus, truths as objective realities are good in comparison to errors and inaccuracies and deceptions.

You would expect to see something about God’s Word in Psalm 119, since this longest chapter in the Bible has scripture as its theme. In Psalm 119.30, scripture is described as “the way of truth.” Verse 43 uses the phrase “the word of truth” as its label for scripture. Verse 142 reads, “thy law is the truth.” Verse 151 reads, “thy commandments are truth.” Psalm 119.160 begins, “Thy word is true from the beginning.” Many different labels are assigned to the Word of God, with truth being an important feature throughout.

With God’s Word being true and truthful, it should not surprise you to find that God’s Son is both true and truthful. Matthew 22.16 and Mark 12.14: “Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth.” Mark 12.32: “Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he.” Jesus speaking, in Luke 4.25: “But I tell you of a truth.” Luke 9.27: “I tell you of a truth. Luke 12.44: “Of a truth I say unto you.” Luke 21.3: “Of a truth I say unto you.” In John’s gospel, the Son of God is variously described. John 1.9: “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” He is the true Light. John 1.14: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” He is full of truth. John 1.17: “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” In John 8.14, Jesus said, “my record is true.” In verse 16, He declared, “my judgment is true.” In verse 45, He said, “I tell you the truth.” In verse 46, He said, “I say the truth.” And then, He famously said in John 14.6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Standing before Him on that fateful day, the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate asked, “What is truth?” John 18.38, not knowing he was staring the embodiment of truth in the face. Thus, truth and that which is true seems virtuous, seems to be worthy of diligence to discover, is a characteristic of God’s Word, and is personified by Jesus Christ the Son of God, Who went so far as to describe Himself as the true vine, John 15.1, showing Himself to be the true source of life for the believer. During His high priestly intercessory prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion, the Lord Jesus Christ gave evidence of His estimation of God’s Word, when He prayed. John 17.17: “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 17.19: “And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” Thus, the true and truthful Jesus Christ bore witness to the truthfulness of God’s Word.

Can we find evidence related to the Holy Spirit’s truthfulness in the Bible? We certainly can. Here is a small portion of the total. In John 14.17, the Savior describes the Holy Spirit as “the Spirit of truth.” In John 15.26, He refers to Him as “the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father.” As well, listen to what the Apostle Paul writes about the Holy Spirit, in Ephesians 5.9: “(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth.)”

So, we know true is good. We know that truth is good. Men understandably want to present themselves to others as true men and truthful men. God shows His Word to be true and truthful. We are not surprised to see that His blessed Son, Jesus Christ speaks the truth and, in fact, is the truth. And, of course, the blessed Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth and produces the fruit of truthfulness in the lives of those He influences. We are now left with a consideration of God the Father. What can we say about God and this matter of true and truth? Does it matter? Is it important? Orthodox Christianity has always assumed the existence of truth. However, the existence of truth requires admitting the existence of error and falsehood. Thus, God and truth are profoundly important considerations, and they are bound together.

As for God the Father as true, God the Father and truth, allow me to read a number of passages: Exodus 34.6: “And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.” Deuteronomy 32.4: “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” How about truth in service to God and truth from God to His servants? First Samuel 12.24: “Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.” Second Samuel 2.6: “And now the LORD shew kindness and truth unto you: and I also will requite you this kindness, because ye have done this thing.” Psalm 19.9: “The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.” Psalm 25.10: “All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.” Psalm 31.5: “Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.”

Now for the New Testament. John 3.33: “He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.” John 4.23-24: “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” John 7.28: “Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not.” Romans 3.4: “God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.” Second Corinthians 1.18: “But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay.” Titus 1.2: “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.” Therefore, based upon the testimony of God’s Word, the Bible, it is a good thing to be true and truthful, the truth is valuable enough to be diligently sought after, the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God is not only true but is the embodiment of truth, the Holy Spirit of God is true and is the Spirit of truth, and God the Father is not only true but deals truthfully with His servants and insists that they serve Him on the basis of truth.

Is it important to note that the Old and New Testaments, the sacred scriptures of Biblical Christianity, contain the only so-called ethical system known to man that assumes the existence of absolute truth and everywhere advances the notion that truth is crucial in man’s dealings with men and in man’s dealings with God? Such cannot be claimed by Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, or any other religion that is based upon a moral relativism in which their god brags about his deception. Therefore, it most certainly is important. Unless you are a complete reprobate, you buy into the notion that it is beneficial to you for people to be truthful with you, and that it is good for you to reciprocate and be truthful with them. The idea of a completely savage race of liars is abhorrent to you, and you would never want to be married to a liar or to raise your children to be liars.

What, then, of the atheists? They make a great show of being moral and seemingly upright, but on what basis? For what reason do atheists espouse an ethical system that values truth and truthfulness, unless it is to convince people to embrace their views? They certainly do not advocate the idea of absolute truth. They are just so many more of that large group of you who claim to value truth, who advocate honesty in your dealings with your fellow man, without actually being consistent in your thinking.

You find yourself dealing with a dilemma this morning. Let me rehearse it to you:

 

 First, TRUTH IS

 

You know that truth exists as an absolute, even while denying it. Let me give you an illustration: You would never deny that two plus two equals four, or that four times four equals sixteen. Thus, you live in a universe in which truth exists as an absolute, and you would never be so foolish as to deny the fact that two plus two always equals four. That, my friend, is but one example of truth. The question, of course, is where does truth come from? How does it originate? It certainly does not originate with Buddhism, Hinduism, or any of the other eastern religions, which have never acknowledged the existence of absolute truth, but everywhere advance moral relativism. Even atheism, which denies absolute truth, cannot get around two plus two equaling four.

Since I discount the religion of atheism (a religion of non-religion), there are only two religions on the face of the earth that claim to be universal, that claim to be needful and necessary for every man, Christianity and Islam. Yet Christianity came first, and Islam has never satisfactorily refuted the Christian claim to be the only true universal religion. Additionally, since the Quran shows the god of Islam boasting about his deception of men, there is no valid claim in Islam of Allah being true and always truthful. Thus, by a process of elimination, we are left with Christianity as the world’s only universal religion centered around the truthful and the absolutely true.

Truth is, but where does truth come from? It comes from God, who is the First Cause.

 

Next, GOD IS

 

There is God and there is truth, with God being true and with God being truthful. Therefore, when God speaks, He speaks the truth, as we have seen in some of the many verses in God’s Word that speak to this matter. Not only does God speak the truth, He cannot do otherwise, since Titus 1.2 declares that God cannot lie. You will admit that truth is good and that truthfulness is a virtue. You want to be dealt with by one who is truthful, and certainly do not want anyone lying to you, whether it be God, your spouse, or your children. The question, then, is what your response to the truth is, what your response to the truth should be.

This brings me to the declarations in God’s Word about one named Satan. He is also referred to as Lucifer, and is variously described as that old serpent and as the devil.

 

Third, THE DEVIL IS

 

We know the devil is because God who is true, Jesus who is true, and the Bible which is true, establish the existence of this wicked creature. He is the one who took the form of a serpent in the Garden of Eden and is responsible for introducing sin into the human realm by tempting Eve. Speaking to His enemies, Jesus said, in John 8.44, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” If God is the author of truth, the devil is the author of lies, of deception, and of untruth. Remember that we granted that if there is truth then there must be lies, the opposite of truth. If truth is good then lies are bad, and if He who authors truth and advances truth is good then the one who authors lies and advances lies is evil.

Let me draw a preliminary conclusion at this point: If absolute truth exists then anyone or anything that denies the existence of absolute truth is erroneous. Such denials of the existence of absolute truth are lies, are they not. We then ask who is the father of lies? The devil. Therefore, we can safely and logically conclude, any religion or belief system which denies absolute truth (which is all of them except Christianity remember) is based upon lies, and the devil is the father of lies.

Notice what happened when God’s truth was denied.

 

Fourth, THE FALL OCCURRED

 

God is true, God’s Word is true, God cannot lie, yet the devil fathered lying and tempted Eve to disobey God, who then tempted her husband who also disobeyed God. When Adam ate the forbidden fruit he repudiated God’s truthfulness. He rejected the certain consequences God truthfully promised for disobedience. In other words, Adam rejected God’s truth and embraced the devil’s lies.

From that day to this the devil has busily worked to string together a system of lies to deny the truthfulness of God and the certain consequences for sins that await Adam’s descendants. The devil has also busily worked to string together a system of lies to deny the truthfulness of God concerning His glorious gospel and the salvation from sin’s consequences that God offers through His Son Jesus Christ.

 

My Final Point: JESUS SAVES

 

Remember that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. He speaks truth and He is the truth. He is the unique Savior of sinful men’s souls, and if you do not embrace this One who suffered and bled and died on Calvary’s cross an atonement for your sins you will perish. The fact of the matter is that you are condemned already, because you have not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Consider what the Apostle Paul and James wrote: Ephesians 1.13: “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.” The word of truth is the Bible. James 1.18: “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” Again, the word of truth is the Bible.

Now consider what Jesus said: Luke 19.10: “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Here we see our Lord’s truthful declaration of His mission. Everything He did was for the result of saving the lost. That is you, my friend. You are hopelessly lost. Are you one of those given by the Father to Jesus? Are you one of those who is a sheep who hears His voice and follows Him, to whom He gives eternal life? The way you will find out is by your response to Christ’s words in Matthew 11.28: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” I say this because of what my truthful Savior said in John 10.27-28: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”

 

God is true. God cannot lie. His Word is true, His Son is true, and His Spirit is true. Furthermore, the truth will set you free. Therefore, in light of the fact that you were born into this world on the opposite side of the truth, you are in need of a great miracle.

It is absolutely true that when you die you will enter eternity. It is also absolutely true that if you die without experiencing the new birth, which happens when a sinner comes to Jesus and is saved, the eternity you experience will be the fearful torment of endless punishment in the lake of fire. God, Who is true, has told us this in His Word, by His prophets and by His Son. What is also absolutely true is that God saves to the uttermost anyone who comes to Him by Jesus Christ. There is a Savior Who shed His blood for your sins and His name is Jesus. He is not only true, but He is also truth, the truth, and will save any sinner who comes to Him. Do you not believe this? Will you not respond to this? Will you ignore this? Before you finally make up your mind, consider these verses from God’s Word: First John 1.10: “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” So, you have a sin issue that must be dealt with. That is undeniable.

First John 2.22: “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” Thus, if you admit that you are a sinner but deny that you need Jesus Christ you are identified by God’s Word as a liar. Strong words from the Apostle John. First John 5.10: “he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.” God says you need Jesus. God’s Word says you need Jesus. God’s Spirit says you need Jesus. God’s Son says you need Jesus. But you do not think you need Jesus? You have so much as accused God of lying by not believing Him. I think it is not wise to accuse the true God of being like the lying devil. So you see, you face a profound dilemma as an unsaved person. No matter how benign you think your attitude toward the gospel is, so long as you are not a Christian you oppose the concept of absolute truth, you stand against the God who is the Author of truth, you deny the Savior who is the way, the truth, and the life, you grieve the Spirit of truth who seeks to persuade you to embrace the truth, and you face a certain doom for the stance you take. Revelation 21.8 is most explicit in this regard: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Yet you as an unsaved person are both an unbeliever and found by God to be a liar for your refusal to embrace the Savior, First John 5.10.

Please give serious thought to these things we have dealt with. God is true. God is truth. What He says is true, and in Him is no deceit or falsehood. What that means is that you, standing as you are opposed to the truth, and to God, are doomed unless you turn from your rebellion and come to Jesus Christ, whom to know is life eternal.



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