A Devotion for 25 February 2021 in the Year of our Lord, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? 34 Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? 35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? 36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. 37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. 38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.” (John 18:32-38; all scripture quoted is form the King James Version)
Let us agree from the outset that TRUTH is Immutable. Social mores, seasons, opinions, styles and ages change with time, but truth stands ever unchanged regardless any external factors. The walls of the fortress and her gates may lie in rubble, but above the ruin stands truth victorious always. One of the salient failures of modern philosophy and political discourse is the belief that truth can be negotiable and subject to amendment in order to fit the needs of the day. Emotion has been substituted for truth in education and religion. God forbid that we continue on this abysmal trail of error and delusion!
In our introductory text, we see that Pontius Pilate, the Roman Procurator, was faith with the very Personification of Truth but asked the rhetorical question, “What is truth?” He did not recognize, like many moderns of our day, the Truth when it looked him in the eye. He waited not even for a response revealing his lack of interest in actually knowing the answer. It may be that Pilate did not believe that truth actually existed. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Ancient Landmark – the Word which created all that is. (see John 1:1-5) That Word is Truth as well. It is the Truth that sanctifies the believer – not the corrupting emendation of that Truth by men with their new Bible versions that obscure the Divinity of Christ and, at the same time, the Truth. “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” (John 17:17-19)
There is one Lord, one Savior, one Redeemer. There is one Father and One Holy spirit – not many. There is one Truth and one Truth only – not many. The Truth is not altered by our false conceptions of it. “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.” (John 14:6-7)
Truth transcends the physical laws of the Universe and is spiritual in nature and effect. “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 4:23-24) There are many who worship God in ways that are pleasing to man but repugnant to God. There are churches that are strong on Truth but weak on the Spirit of Love. Others are very full of the emotions which they call Spirit, but gravely lacking in Truth. This is man-centered worship of entertainment and preaching devoid of the condemnation of sin. But Christ has called us to the worship of Him in BOTH Spirit and in Truth.
There are three aspects of the Nature of Truth that I will address – though its nature exceeds my mere writing.
TRUTH – Its Source: God is the source of All Truth. He has preserved His Truth in Holy Scripture for our learning and living. There are truths that God has yet to reveal, but all that is needful for our knowing in found in His Holy Word. “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:19-21) The untold mysteries of the Universe are ruled by the very natural laws of truth dispensed by God. “ . . . . in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” Matt 18:16 (KJV) WE have two prominent witnesses in the Law and Prophets of the Old Testament as well as in the New Testament. In fact, it was Elisha and Moses who were seen with Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration – the one, Moses, representing the Law; and the other, Elisha, the prophets. There were seen two witnesses of the Truth in the very presence of the Truth personified. (three witnesses). Then at the Baptism of our Lord were three divine witnesses – the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, God the Father (in the Voice from Heaven), and God the Holy spirit in the Dove that descended upon Him. His Word is TRUTH!
THE ESSENCE OF TRUTH: The Word of God is Immutable and unalienable from His righteous Will. It is pure and without blemish just as its physical presentation in Christ. “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” (Psalms 12:6-7) Man’s words are as dross, but the Word of God is pure and refined as shining silver to the Refiner who sits over the refining pot until He sees His own image reflected therein. These Words of the Lord are not to be tampered with by pseudo-modern-day translators. No church can claim to be Reformed that use a different Scriptural text than that which was available to the Reformers – the Received Text. Article VI of the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England provides: “All the Books of the New Testament, as they are commonly received, we do receive, and account them Canonical.” The deletion of entire verses as well as the change in fundamental terms taken from the spurious NuText (Vaticanus and Sinaiticus) being published for profit and ideological reasons today have no place in Reformed theology or the greater Christian Church. “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. 6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” (Proverbs 30:5-6) Either god has preserved His Word as He has promised, or He has not done so and we have no Bible!
EFFECT OF TRUTH: There can be no freedom apart from Truth. Our present-day political predicament will bear this out. “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) As descendants of Adam, we were all held captive to sin; but in His predestinated purpose, the believers were called from death to life in Christ by the inward working of the Holy Spirit to draw us near by faith. “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.” (1 Corinthians 15:45-47)
Those Elect who have an inheritance in Christ enjoy a freedom which exceeds all that is known by carnal man. Just as the political and religious freedoms we enjoy today were purchased at the cost of blood, so was our eternal freedom purchased at the cost of the blood of the only Begotten son of god – Jesus Christ. Freedom cannot be maintained without that cost of blood. “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)” (Ephesians 4:8-10) Christ paid all our sin-debt by His sacrifice, burial, and resurrection. But he did more – He descended into Hell and broke its bars for us.
In the end, Truth is our most valuable possession. Truth is the wholeness of God’s Word and is more precious than any other possession we can claim. Examine your heart and see if any falsehoods in faith, worship or living may be entrenched there. If we have received Christ in our hearts as its Sovereign, He shall purge every dross and makes those hearts whiter than snow.