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Next Step – Day 17

Next Steps

 A 30-DAY GUIDE FOR NEW BELIEVERS
by JOHN D. BECKETT

DAY 17             TRUTH: THE KEY TO FREEDOM

Why does truth matter?If we were given the opportunity to sit down with the Apostle Paul over a good cup of coffee, and if we were to ask him what energized him to press on, here’s what I believe he would tell us: “I do what I do, and endure what I endure because ‘God, our Savior … desires all men (every person on earth) to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth'” (1 Timothy 2:3,4).

We might then ask Paul to comment on the question that has haunted men and women through the ages: “What is truth?” This great scholar and thinker would say, “Here is the essence of truth: ‘There is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus'” (v.5).

Dare we challenge Paul at this point? “Can you really reduce the concept of truth to that one phrase?” “Yes,” he would reply, “This is bedrock. Get this and the rest will follow. There aren’t multiple gods. There is One, and He is a God Who can be known. There aren’t multiple ways to the one true God. In fact, Jesus Himself, without a hint of arrogance said, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me'” (John 14:6). Ultimately, here is what Paul is telling us: Truth is not just a set of beliefs, as in other religions or philosophies. Truth is a Person. We encounter the truth as we encounter Christ.

I believe we must contend for the truth. Here’s why:

  • Truth brings stability. Absent truth, the world is unhinged, leaving only chaos. Isaiah said, “Truth is fallen in the street” (Isaiah 59:14). This happens when we run from the truth, rather than embrace it.
  • Truth is freedom. Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Truth matters supremely because, in the end, without truth there is no freedom. (For example, consider how repressive regimes that deny their people basic freedoms must prop themselves up by distortions and lies.)
  • Truth can be learned, actually imparted. Jesus, looking to the day the Holy Spirit would come in power, said, “When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). Isn’t it reassuring to know that the Holy Spirit is with you on the path of life as your guide to all truth?
  • Truth is the surest way to avoid deception. Deception is your number one future danger. Jesus said, “Take heed that no one deceives you. False christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:4, 24). Paul said the days ahead would be marked by the “working of Satan, with all power, signs and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish because they did not receive the love of the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:9,10). As a friend of mine says, “The only safeguard against deception is a passionate love for the truth.”

Does this battle for the truth impact your world? If you are a high school student, you know lying and cheating are an art form, and that truth doesn’t seem to matter. If you’re on a college or university campus, you know the very idea of objective truth — that truth can be known — is scoffed at. If you’re in business, you know truth is too often compromised. How evident this was at Enron, where many of the “best and brightest” in leadership shunned truth in their daily work.

Truth matters. You’re not for sale, and truth, for you, is not for sale. In fact, truth could even be worth dying for!

Key Scripture                Buy the truth and do not sell it (Proverbs 23:23).

Key Thought                 
“Living in truth is the secret of living free” (Os Guinness, at a Veritas Forum at Stanford University). The truth sets me free.

Copyright © 2006 by John D. Beckett

 He is my truth
The truth will set you/me free!

 I Am Free (Newsboys)

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One Response

  1. Great points! I remember growing up in a trinitarian church and being soooo confused about what that meant and who I was supposed to pray to. If only the church had encouraged Bible reading, it would have been clear to me that it didn’t make sense because it just wasn’t true!

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