Your Word IS Truth
Sanctify them by your truth, your word is truth.
— John 17:17
This is one of the first Bible verses I can remember memorizing. For a dyslexic (which, by the way, is a terribly hard word for dyslexics to figure out how to spell) teenager it was relatively easy, and thankfully 17 years (+/- a few) later I still remember it. It came to the forefront of my mind the other day when I was confronted [again] with the reality that our current culture seems to consider it our pass-time to question the veracity of truth.
It is interesting to me that within hours of this prayer Jesus was asked of Pontius Pilate “What is truth?” (John 18:38). Western culture seems enamored with this question, thus I am thankful that Jesus, in His prayer, presents us with His standard for truth.
Truth is that which conforms with fact or reality. Therefore, the Word of God is that which agrees with what is real and right. Jesus, of course, is the Word became flesh (John 1:14) and He refers to Himself as “the truth” in John 14. He—both who He is and what He said/taught—is the truth which sanctifies.
I recognize that for many of our readers this is essentially “preaching to the choir,” but I bring it up as I am more and more convinced that in an environment such as ours, that questions truth at every turn, it is increasingly important for us to clearly articulate the truth revealed by God in His Word (i.e. in Jesus and in Scripture, which is God breathed). Whether people agree with Jesus or not—that the Word is truth—is another issue entirely. But their belief, or lack there of, does not diminish the veracity of who Jesus is, what Jesus said, or His ability cleanse and consecrate by His Word.
With this in mind I’ve been considering recently some of that which is exposed as error by the truth of God’s Word. Our culture esteems abortion is the hight of a woman’s freedom of choice; the Word reveals life to be a sacred creation of God. Many hold as true the proposition that man is inherently good; the Word exposes the deep-seated depravity of the human heart. I often meet people in and out of the church who question the existence of evil; the Word identifies evil and the source of it. I regularly challenge the false premise, held by many in the church, that contact with sinners will somehow make one unholy or unclean; the Word reveals that it is not what goes into a man that defiles.
As a result of the fall, our minds and hearts exude foolishness and error. The transforming power of God’s Word in renewing our minds is only evident if we actually allow ourselves to be washed by the water of it.
Father, cleanse and consecrate us by the truth of Your Word.
By The way – Thank you to those of you that take the time daily to check-in with us at CrossConnection. This week we celebrated our 1st birthday, and we are greatly blessed by what we’ve seen God do this last year.
Simple, but important post, Miles. Too often, those of us (old-timers) who were grounded in the Word early on, take it for granted. At a study/discussion last night, someone asked who’s ever read the Bible cover to cover. I am amazed at how uncommon this is nowadays. Years ago, maybe many years ago, the question would have been who hasn’t!
It’s still my plumb line because it reveals who Jesus/God is (Jn 5:39).
BTW, down here in Dixie land we spell that word… dix-lek-sec (Dixie and the SEC [Go Gators!] are sacred here to us’all, and we do better with “fonetic” spelling anyway 😉
I like that fonetik spelling!
I wonder sometimes if the paradigm we use for teaching the Scriptures within a Calvary, or other Word centered churches, intimidates people when they approach the Bible. If people never see simple Bible reading modeled for them they may fail to recognize that they can, and should, simply read the Bible cover to cover. Jumping back and forth from scripture to scripture, making correlations and connections to hammer home a point is important for systematic theology, but it can make the Bible somewhat unapproachable by the average churchgoer who likely feels that they cannot do what they’ve seen modeled.
Just a thought…
I’ve noticed that too Miles, with both the youth group and the chaplains in Sudan. When I cross-reference too much (or at least make it a point that I’m cross-referencing) their heads start spinning. Actually some of the chaplains mentioned they were thankful I didn’t cross-reference them to death because it really confused them.
I realized the cross-referencing and correlations were more helpful to my study/interpretation/application of the passage than it was for them to know where I was getting it from (although I was ready to give that if needed).
Just a thought on a thought…
Great point George. I like the way that Paul and the author of the book of Hebrews cross-reference in the New Testament…
I could go on, but I think you get the point. We can conversationally refer to verses without specifically addressing them. In fact if you read (or even listen to) messages from the likes of Martin Lloyd-Jones, or John Wesley and others… they do it constantly.
Yeah, I like the idea of public reading (didn’t Paul say something about that to Timothy? ;-)) & also storying for narratives, like we talked about before.
We’re actually doing an STS storying workshop here at the church in a month!
Miles, that’s great! I really do see biblical storying being a vital approach to reaching a younger generation, as well as the phenomenal impact it has in non-western nations & cultures.
It lends itself well to both a natural flow of exposition and discussion.
btw, glad to see the subscription process got worked out.
I don’t cross reference my peas and carrots.i just eat them.
Man shall not live by bread alone……
People always want to know why they keep stumbling……it’s because they are starving to death.they become too weak to pick up their spiritual feet.
EAT. His Word is our NECESSARY meat. Ask, seek, knock.
Ps: I speak from experience.
Great post Miles, may God grant us to boldly proclaim His Word of truth in love at each and every opportunity He affords us. I so appreciate the courage you often exercise in preaching and teaching God’s Holy Script. May He bless you and ever use you for His greater glory.
Totally off topic, but were you able to spell dyslexic, or did you use spell checker? For the record, I had to use spell checker when I just typed it! 🙂 Good word bro.
I had to use the spell check! It’s terrible!
Good message, Miles. Congratulations on the first anniversary of the blog.
Thanks Nancy. Really a blessing to see how many people have been taking time to look at what we’re doing here!
Thanks for this, Miles. If the church tanks on the issue of truth – it’s all over. Even the statement, “The truth is that homosexuality is not a sin,” still presupposes that there is truth. Once the presupposition of truth is lost – all is lost.
I always love a conversation when questioning a matter someone says “…well, to be honest I would have to say…” What? were they going to lie to me? 🙂
Happy 1 year anniversary! May the Truth be with you
Congats on one year anniversary! And what a blessing to have all these resources and variety of info at our fingertips!
Re: Truth post
“Truth is that which conforms to fact or reality.” That’s an accurate Webster’s definition, but I think in His Kingdom, fact or reality is that which conforms to Truth. I know it’s a nitpick, but since Jesus is truth, and in Him all things were made or consist-including facts and realities-then it’s really a Spirit vs. flesh thing, facts and reality being of man’s world, and Truth being, well, Him!