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Searching For Truth

by Ron Bartanen

Where can you find truth these days? A popular view is that there is no absolute truth—the individual is left to define his own truth, with the result that your truth may not be my truth. Nowhere is this attitude more apparent than in the divided state of our nominally Christian society.  Confusion reigns, but few are concerned.  Is there hope for the few who have a desire for truth?

Some would let others determine truth for them.  They may look to their church or preacher with confidence that therein is the reservoir for truth.  After all, the preacher or church-hierarchy has been schooled in such matters.  The danger of this was addressed by Jesus in His day when he viewed the sects within Judaism, divided by their opinions and traditions, each claiming to be the possessor of truth.  He charged: “You have made God’s law null and void” out of respect for their traditions, quoting God’s message through the prophet Isaiah, “”This people pays me lip-service, but their heart is far from me; their worship of me is in vain, for they teach as doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:6-9, NEB).  May we never allow ourselves to trust any man or group of men to define truth.  He who would control your thinking would control your life.

Still others would pridefully see themselves as fully knowledgeable of truth.  To trust in oneself is no more commendable than trusting in others. Paul warned, “Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.  And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know” (1 Corinthians 8:1b-2).  In the words of one of our hymns, “The arm of flesh will fail you; ye dare not trust your own.”

If absolute truth is not to be determined by preachers, churches or one’s own opinions, where is it to be found? The answer is that truth is found in divinely-inspired Scripture, for “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).  Truth never contradicts truth.  Acts 17:11 describes the actions of the Bereans as noble for not only listening to Paul preach the gospel, but also that they “searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”   Did some test the gospel by consulting their rabbi? Or by comparing it with their own opinions? If some did, they received no commendation of being noble.  The searcher for truth, as the Bereans,  tests all things by the word of God.  Jesus, in prayer to the Father in behalf of His disciples, prayed, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17).

The ultimate benefit of truth is that it points us to Jesus, who said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.  No man cometh to the Father but by me” (John 14:6).  We would urge all to heed the words of Jesus: “Search the scriptures: for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39).  God has not left us to search our own hearts and minds for truth, nor the fickle minds of mere men, but to open our hearts to Bible-truth, and to the Son of God, the ultimate Truth.

 

     Ronald Bartanen is the preacher at the Arthur (IL) Church of Christ




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I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

John 16:33