What is Truth?

 Please read before you jump to comments and accuse me of being a heretic ;-) 

John tells us in 1 John 4:1 "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God..." 

And later in 4:6 he says,

"We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us..."

I laughed out loud at that! What a convenient thing to say! 

In this era of so many shouting for the spotlight and claiming to be of God and operating in His Truth...doesn't it sometimes seem like EVERYONE is saying, "We're from God...if you listen to us you know God too! And everyone else is wrong!  Everyone else is lying!"

Many believers are left looking around and wondering who's "right".  All the back and forth causes disunity, and the enemy LOVES that because it results in a whole bunch of Christians who are doubtful, apprehensive, and fearful.  It's pretty tough to step out when it seems that the ground under your feet might shift any moment. 

This quest for TRUTH (God's Truth with a capital "T") is what ultimately brought me to the feet of Jesus, so this is a topic near to my heart.  

I knew there was a God, but I didn't know how to find the True Him.  I heard from Catholics, Mormons, atheists, Lutherans, Jehovah's Witnesses, Evangelicals....everyone willing to talk with me in person, and about 100 more online. Everyone claimed to to have the corner on Truth, but they all disagreed.  That's a long story for another day...but let's just agree that Truth matters. (read the basics of my salvation here)

Especially when it comes to the eternal soul-saving things of God, Truth is crucial.

So how do we know WHO TO BELIEVE?

I have great news for you: Truth is not dependent on you or how you're feeling.  God's Truth is all about HIM, not you.  At first it might feel uncomfortable that you don't get to define "your truth"...but if you try to live in that way of thinking for too long, you'll realize:

a) it's exhausting to try and be your own god and

b) since you're human, you change.  Therefore "your truth" will change.  How TRUE can it be if it changes every time you're moody, hungry, grumpy, sleep deprived, or have your feeling hurt? 

The even BETTER news?  Truth leaves clues!  

The clues that God leaves might not be the types of clues you might see on CSI...He's not leaving a trail of footprints, fingerprints, or DNA.  But He leaves clues none the less.

TEST what's going on in your church, friends. Look for the clues.  If it's operating in Truth, then you can rest assured that you can step forward in faith to exercise your spiritual gifts.  The ground under your feet will hold.

Let's look at a few clues to look for - things you'll be able to see, feel, hear, and experience when you're in a church that's actually operating in the Truth of God and who He is:

1.  Fruit.  There should be basic core teaching about the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5).  "Fruit" is basically a way of saying "evidence".  A church that doesn't teach on the fruit and doesn't hold it's members to an expectation of their lives being transformed and fruit being evident...well, they might be shying away from that teaching out of fear or a lack of understanding about how the Holy Spirit operates.  

2.  Look for a generous, action-backed love.  "You'll know you by your love", right? (John 13:35)  But not just love TALK...the love WALK is where it's at.  "Let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth" (1 John 3:17).  Fellow believers are FAMILY.  They are all of one BODY.  Does the left hand not care if the right foot has an infection and needs special care?  Of course it does!   Love within the body of Christ should evident in the way we pray with/for one another, serve one another, support one another...it should be a VERB.

3.  Look for Freedom.  Ahh, sweet freedom!  "Who the Son sets free is free indeed" (John 8:36) and "the Truth will set you free" (also John 8).  Free people are joyful people!  If people in your church are walking around crushed by shame and condemnation, and held in bondage with no hope of getting free...there's a problem.  A church operating in the Truth of God will have the tools to help their people get truly and fully FREE.  Thank you, Jesus!

4. Gifts of the Spirit are being used for the benefit of the body.  1 Corinthians 12 gives a good list of the gifts that the Holy Spirit gives believers.  The purpose of the gifts are primarily to "edify" (build up/encourage/strengthen) the body (Ephesians 4).  Now, there is some foolish talk about the gifts only being made available to the early church...but I can testify with full confidence that that's a false teaching.  

5. The ministry of the Holy Spirit should look like the ministry of Jesus. God - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit - is ONE.  And God does not change.  In other words, the same types of things that God did in the Old Testament and Biblical New Testament, He is still doing right NOW.  
     a) The message should be the same as Jesus's: "Repent, the Kingdom of God is at hand" (Matthew 3:2)
     b) The works of the devil should be destroyed (1 John 3:8)

     What does it look like for the works of the devil to be destroyed?  It means that people are saved by the forgiveness of their sins.  It means that broken bodies are healed.  It means that tormented people are delivered.  This is another area where the misinformed/misguided teach that all these things stopped with the death of the initial apostles.  But I assure you - I've seen the demonized set free.  I've seen sick and injured bodies made whole.  And I've seen the worst of the worst (namely, me!) saved by the blood and transformed from glory to glory into new creations.  Get your hopes back up, my friend ;-) 


It's true - do not believe everyone who proclaims "truth!"  And I was only joking about believing the spirits that I tell you to ;-)  You don't need anyone to tell you...God Himself has told you!  He shares His heart, His identity, His purposes...it's all written plainly in black and white.  He leaves clues - you CAN KNOW when you're in Truth (or not).  

Don't settle for less than the fullness - the life abundant and beautiful church family - that God has planned for you.  Seek after God and His TRUTH with all you have!

Anonymous –   – (4/18/2024 07:31:00 AM)  

Well said and beautiful!!

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