Truth, what is it? Can it be found? Are there Objective Truths?

Truth, what is it? Can it be found? Are there Objective Truths?

Let’s begin answering this three-part question by defining truth. Truth is an assertion that can be proven through measurement. It is true, for example, that a cup can hold tea. We can prove the assertion by pouring tea into a cup and noting that it stays in the cup. Truth can also be an assertion or belief that cannot be falsified or one that is supported by a preponderance of evidence. Though no one living has seen or talked with Julius Caeser, we accept as true that he lived, ruled and was murdered because we have copies of writings of people who lived at the time of Caeser. In the same way, we know about Jesus of Nazareth because of the written and oral testimony of his contemporaries.

Finding truth can be a bit more complex especially as it relates to the great questions about life and death, why we can think and feel and love and communicate, and why the world is as it is. We’re going to present several ways that you can begin to understand some of the greatest truths in the universe. Let’s begin with nature.

God uses creation to reveal two basic truths: 1) that there is a God; and 2)that He is all powerful. In his letter to the church in Rome, Paul, an apostle of Jesus, wrote: “since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Romans 1:19-20). He’s saying that there any observer of nature can plainly see that only God–a brilliant designer and all-powerful builder could have created it. PauI also explained that some people chose not to accept this basic truth and will “[change] the truth of God into a lie.” Romans 1:18, 26. And for that, there will be harsh consequences.

Of course, the primary way to find God’s truth is by reading the Bible. However, God is a concealer as we learn from conveyor of wisdom who penned these words more than 2500 years ago: “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.” (Prov. 25:2) Why would he do that?  Typically, the truth is concealed from those persons who don’t want to listen to the truth and have hardened their hearts against it. For example, parables were used by Jesus, the Christ (Messiah or Anointed One) for the purpose of concealing truth and preventing understanding. (Matt. 13:13-15.) So, the best way to find truth is to allow the Holy Spirit to teach it to you.

The Holy Spirit will “guide” you into all truth. (John 15:26, 16:13 “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father even the Spirit of truth …When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.” His guidance is not only as to Biblical truth, but to all truth. If  something is true, he will reveal it to you as being true. If something is false, he will show you that it is not true. Quietly listening to this Holy Spirit, who dwells within those who are God’s children, often brings to mind the very truths for which we are searching.

Are there objective truths? Yes. Objective truth is factual. It matches up with reality. For example, the Bible explains the location of God’s temple at the time of Christ, to be in Jerusalem. That is factual. The law of gravity is objective Truth. It is not dependent on subjective opinion. There can only be one objective truth. It can’t be “your truth” vs. “my truth.” Subjective truth, on the other hand, is rooted in the opinions of each individual and therefore may not be truth at all.

For a believer who wants to know God’s truth, he or she should start with the Bible. The Bible is a collection of 66 documents or books written through the divine inspiration of God over the course of 1500 years and preserved and translated in most of the world’s languages. Asking the Holy Spirit to open up one’s spiritual eyes, a believer will discover that Bible contains wisdom for living and an understanding of the promise of eternal life with God once he or she experiences physical death.

A believer will discover that Biblical truth is best revealed when he or she:

1.) Is spiritually healthy with no unconfessed sin;

2.) Has, to the best of his or her ability, put aside evil practices, 1Peter 2:1-2; Eph. 4:31; and Col.3:8-9; 3.)

3.) Reads with a desire to do so in order to grow up spiritually, 1Tim. 2:1; the Bible is the believer’s spiritual food: bread (Matt. 4:4), apples (Prov. 25:11), honey (Ps.19:10), meat (Heb. 5:12) and milk (1Pet. 2:2) .

4.) Prays for understanding, Ps. 119:18, 34;

5.) Trusts God to give understanding, Prov. 22:17-21 “ … written to thee … that I might make known the certainty of the Words of truth.”

6.) Believes what is read, Ps.119:160;

7.) Approaches the Word with humility; 

8.) Does not try to change what is read; For example, don’t add words to the scripture, don’t leave out words, and stay in the context;

9.) Meditates on it, think on it, day and night, Ps. 1:2, Ps. 119:15; 10.) Study it, 2Tim. 2:15; and 11.) Find from the Word itself how to understand it;

a. By comparing spiritual ideas, 1Cor. 2:12-13;

b. By dividing the Word into separate parts for further understanding, 2Tim. 2:15;

c. By determining who is speaking; for example, in the Psalms we see David speaking for himself and then David switches to speaking for the Lord, Ps. 18:20, 22-25; and

d. By studying similitudes (similarities, likeness, resemblance), Hosea 12:10; by studying contrasts (differences), Amos 3:3 .

 God’s Truths are factual and match up with reality. Creation is one of the greatest truths of the Bible. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis1 and Romans 1:20) In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. In this case the Word refers to Jesus (John 1:1). Finally, Jesus said, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life no one comes to the Father but by me.” Have you put your faith and trust in Jesus? If not, why not? He is the only way to eternal life and His Word is Truth, God’s Truth. Today is the day of decision .

What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit?

What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit?

Unlike the fruits of the spirit such as love, joy, peace, gentleness, and goodness, which are compact, and point to examples of Christian character to be emulated, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are specialized, foundational skills that God in his infinite wisdom gifts to select children of God for whom he has a special calling. An example would be prophecy.

Guidance on these gifts and how they are given is found in first Corinthians 12:4-11.

There are a diversity of gifts. The manifestation of the Spirit given to each one for the profit or benefit of all: for one there is the word of wisdom… to another the word of knowledge… to another the gifts of healings… the working of miracles. In addition to these, there are the gifts of compassion, helps, administration, hospitality, teaching and even speaking in tongues for a few. One and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing each one individually as He wills.

Finally, the purpose of spiritual gifts is to build up the church as Christ’s body on earth. So, spiritual gifts are actually given for the common good of the church. To thrive, the church needs many attributes just like the human body requires many attributes to function effectively. God in his infinite wisdom gives different people special spiritual gifts at certain times so that the church can complete its mission before Jesus returns.

Jesus is coming back for his church. Are you ready? Do you know Him? Jesus is the only way to heaven and eternal life. If you’d like to learn more about becoming a Christ-follower, check out my May 5th post: How does One become a Christian. I also encourage you to consider these passages of scripture:

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

1 John 5:11-12

Image by Jackson David from Pixabay
How does One Become a Christian?

How does One Become a Christian?

Maybe you’ve gone to church when you were younger, but never took that step to become a Christian. Maybe you’ve been living your life your own way and not taking into account what it takes to live life differently, one with meaning and purpose. Man looks on the outside but it’s really our hearts and our character that God is concerned about.

Becoming a Christian requires a decision. In the Bible we read:

“if you confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart that He was raised from the dead, you will be saved.”
Romans 10:8-11

Jesus waits patiently for our decision and our heart to be open to receive Him and His love. God responds to genuine humility and sincere acknowledgment that one is a sinner in need of a Savior and seeks God’s forgiveness and acceptance. God is loving and merciful and does not want anyone to be lost.

If becoming a Christian is the desire of your heart, I encourage you to talk to God and voice this simple prayer. You can do this aloud or silently because God hears your heart speaking as well as your mouth. In your own words, admit you are sinner in need of a Savior. Then ask God to help you turn away from your old way of living and thinking. (This is called repentence.) Invite God into your life and promise to follow Him for the rest of your days.

When you pray this sincerely, God, in the form of the Holy Spirit will enter your your mind and heart bringing peace, forgiveness of your sins, and assurance of eternal life with God after you physically die.
When you seek God’s forgiveness for your sin and acknowledge Jesus as your savior, you become a child of God. In effect, you become ‘born again’, a new creation in Christ and enter into a personal relationship with Him. The old life will have passed away and a new life will begin. Will everything in this life suddenly become perfect? No. But how you see and react to your circumstances and the people around you will change for the better.

Giving your life to Jesus is the most important decision you can ever make. Eternity hangs in the balance; heaven or hell. Today is the day of decision.

 

How do we know that the Bible is the inspired Word of God?

How do we know that the Bible is the inspired Word of God?

The human authors who wrote the Bible did not do so by an act
of their own will or natural inspiration. Rather, the Holy Spirit
exerted supernatural influence upon these writers as stated in
2 Peter 1:21, “Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by
the Holy Spirit.” Therefore, the Holy Spirit is the author of the
Bible.

The Bible is timeless and true, containing no inaccuracies with
regard to history or factual science. Although written by 40
men over a period of 1500 years, it flows harmoniously and seamlessly
void of any inconsistencies or contradictions. As King David
said, “the Spirit of the Lord spoke by me and His word was on
my tongue.” (2 Samuel 23:2). All the words of the Bible are
“God breathed” and therefore, the Bible is infallible, prophetic,
completely free from error and absolutely trustworthy.

As stated in 2 Timothy 3:10, the Bible is profitable for doctrine,
reproof, correction and for instruction in righteousness. God’s
word has special power as written in Hebrews 4:12, “For the
word of God is living and powerful, sharper that any two edge
sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit.” The
Bible is the God inspired operations manual for life and it is
Best Investigated Before Leaving Earth!

What does it mean to have God’s Spirit in you?

What does it mean to have God’s Spirit in you?

Great question and the answer can be very lengthy, so let’s start. We all are one in body, soul and spirit. However, when we place all our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit comes into and indwells us. Mark 1:1-8 (and many other Bible passages.)
   What’s known as the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is part of that mystery of the Trinity, God the Father, God the Son Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit, and yes, the Holy Spirit is NOT an ‘IT’ but a being who has all the attributes of a personality. Once this commitment to Jesus Christ is made, many changes occur as a result of the Holy Spirit indwelling us. The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin and calls us to repentance. Previously, sinning did not bother us and often we were not even aware of our thoughts and actions that alienated us from God. The Holy Spirit enables us to be free from our slavery to sin.
   The Holy Spirit through His Word, the Bible, and speaking directly to our minds gives us inner peace and contentment in now knowing for certainty where we will be when this life on earth ends. The Holy Spirit will change our desires and what we think is important. Previously, perhaps earthly gains, fame or money were our objectives. Now it is to grow closer to our Savior every day of the rest of our lives. God’s Spirit will reveal His plan for your life as a Christian, giving it real meaning and purpose.
    Friends will change because our interests and priorities will differ from theirs. The Holy Spirit will guide you to seek fellowship with fellow believers who will help each other grow in the knowledge of His Word. Love for one’s children and family and our ‘neighbors’ will become stronger when we personally experience the love of God in Jesus.
   The Holy Spirit will additionally open our eyes and hearts to the needs of others that includes their physical and daily needs but also and more importantly their need to say ‘yes’ to Jesus and experience this new life too. There are many more benefits to elaborate on but suffice it to say, having God’s Spirit in you is the greatest thing that can ever happen to you.(Gal. 5:22-23)
   We pray that you may experience this indescribable new life TODAY.  Just invite Jesus in. He is waiting at the ‘door’ of your heart.  Open it wide and His Spirit will come in and reside with you forever.

Photo copyright: keeweeboy / 123RF Stock Photo

I’m afraid of the virus, is that normal?

I’m afraid of the virus, is that normal?

Yes. Fear is part of the fallen human condition. When we are confronted with something that may alter our future, we become fearful. With the 24-hour news cycle reminding us of ever-increasing numbers of cases of COVID-19, blasting out stories of deaths and body bags, and reminding us of our dire financial straits, fear is inevitable. As the disease enters our communities and we hear of a friend or neighbor that has taken ill or died, we wonder if “I’m next.”

We’re also asking how this event will change the lives of our loved ones. And we’re probably wondering why God has let this happen. Contemplating these questions leads to anxiety and fear.

Fortunately, God knows us better than we know ourselves and wants us to turn our focus from our personal situation and our inward focus to an upward focus on Him and an outward focus on others.

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

The Bible has a lot to say about fear. We read of great men of God who became fearful. And, we saw how God turned fear into Joy. When David was being pursued by men who wanted to kill him, he cried out to God. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you,” he wrote in Psalm 56:3. From the many Psalms David wrote we see a man who was regularly afraid but knew that God was there for him, no matter the outcome.

The apostle Paul encountered many life-threatening situations and shared what he discovered with others. In his letter to the Church in the Greek City of Philippi he wrote: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Paul knew that we all fear, but he wanted people to understand that fear did not have to control us. He reminded his disciple, Timothy: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

In 1 John 4:18, Jesus’ disciple, John, reminded readers “that perfect love drives out fear.” Here for what is translated as “perfect” John used the Greek word, teleios, a word that means complete, finished or fully grown. He is reminding Christians that when we refocus on God’s love, a love so great that He was willing to sacrifice his own son, that we might know peace in this life and a fear-free eternity with him. It’s a journey, not a destination.

As you meditate on scripture, sing songs of joy and hope, and seek ways to help those around you who are fearful and suffering, you will find your fears receding into God’s love. In a 100-year-old gospel hymn, we are reminded that “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through; My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.” COVID-19 is part of this world, not the next. It may make you sick. It may result in your financial ruin, and it might even cause your death. But don’t let fear paralyze you. Don’t be afraid to tell others of your fears and even seek professional help if necessary. But right now, stop and direct your thoughts to God. Tell him your fears, ask for his help and listen quietly for the Holy Spirit to begin guiding your thoughts.    

Image by Med Ahabchane from Pixabay