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John #47 What Is Truth

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That you may Believe and Have Life – #47

John 18:28-40

Well we continue our walk with Christ as told to us by the Apostle John.

Jesus has gone through the garden

He has prayed for unity among his disciples

He has been betrayed by a follower

Abandoned by nearly all

Denied by one of his closest friends

And now he is on trial simply for being who he is

He first goes before the High Priest for trial, but the Jews know that they cannot put him to death, which is what they want, so they send him to the Roman Governor Pilate.

Let’s pick up right where we let off

READ 18:28-40

Napoleon’s Impossible Story

Napoleon often told this story: Once, while visiting a province he came on an old soldier with one arm severed, dressed in full uniform. On his uniform a proud fighter displayed the coveted Legion of Honor. “Where did you lose your arm?” Napoleon asked. “At Austerlitz, sire,” came the soldier’s brisk reply.

“And for that you received the Legion of Honor?”

“Yes, sire. It is but a small token to pay for the decoration.”

You must be,” the emperor said, “the kind of man who regrets he did not lose both arms for his country.”

“What then would have been my reward?” asked the one-armed man.

“Then,” Napoleon replied, “I would have awarded you a double Legion of Honor.” With that the proud, old fighter drew his sword and immediately cut off his other arm.

This story was circulated for years. One day someone asked, “How?”

Often we accept without question what people tell us, never stopping to think things through or even doubt the wisdom of the world.

—C. E. Hembree[1]

Truth …

The whole of Human History since the Fall has been a struggle for whether or not God IS True Truth

Satan said “didn’t God say” … and he called into question the veracity of God

Since then man has created their own gods denying the truth that there is only ONE GOD

The basis for the Big Bang Theory and Evolution is that there is no God and / or his Word is not True

What is Truth?

That’s the question that determines our decisions and course of life

Jesus said that if we continue in his Word then we will know the truth and the truth will make us free …

But do we really want truth?

Josh Billings said “as scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand”

Georges Braque said “truth exists, only falsehood has to be invented”

I went on the web and typed in Pilates question, “what is truth?”

I searched the internet and read some things on truth that made my head spin.  You know I’m just a preacher you know.  I am just a regular guy. 

But what passes for Truth today seems to go against the definition of the word.

Even Webster’s definition goes farther away from truth as the definitions grow

Webster’s says Truth is

1) fidelity, constancy, sincerity in action

2) the state of being the case: FACT; the body of real things, events, facts: ACTUALITY; transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality; a judgment, proposition, or idea that is true or accepted as true (no we’re getting in trouble)

3) the property of being in accord with fact or reality; fidelity to an original or to a standard

Reading about truth I found that there is correspondent truth and coherent truth … according to philosophers. 

Coherent truth says that things are true if they line up to a series of propositions or beliefs.

For instance, most that believe in CERTAIN   ABOUT CREATION come from the proposition that there is NO GOD, so there must be another explanation for creation of this universe and the formation of all things and the source of life.  So, everything must conform to that belief system.  Everything that is TRUE in this system must be proved and understood.  In this system there can be multiple things that are true and things that are false.  Which leads to a series of conclusions that can be shifting like the sands in the desert with the winds of change

Correspondent Truth on the other hand states that there are FACTS, there are REALITIES, and TRUTH must come in line with those realities for it to be truth.  Correspondent truth also recognizes that there Transcendent Truth that cannot always be explained or even proven. And within Correspondent Truth, there is a recognition of “Truth bearers” …

Well … I like that … because we are finding here today that we have a Truth bearer in Jesus Christ

What is Truth?

IN a WORD –

JESUS … he does not simply CONTAIN Truth … he IS Truth

He does not just EXPLAIN Truth … he IS Truth

If you have seen, experienced, or studied Jesus, you have seen, experienced and studied Truth

And So, there are some things we need to know about Jesus that will help us understand Truth

Jesus Christ

The sad thing is that Jesus Christ, Truth personified was in front of Pilate

Pilate was asking the right question, “what is truth?”

But he didn’t stay to get the answer.  Instead he went out to speak in front of the crowd … He could have known truth, but instead he gave in to the wishes of the World

Give us Barabbas” … and so he gave up Truth … for the Crowd

Jesus said,

What is Jesus?  He is …

1. … is Other Worldly

  A. My Kingdom is not of this World

   1. if it were my servants would fight / prevent

    2. you see the world’s reality and God’s reality are not always the same thing

    3. Pilate / Caiaphas believed that they had captured Jesus, that they held his fate in their hands

    4. But Jesus was showing them that their perspective was flawed they had a set of beliefs / propositions but they weren’t based on all the facts so they were FALSE

    5. If we don’t put Jesus into the mix we come to flawed conclusions. 

    6. My Kingdom is not OF or based on this world, so our TRUTH cannot be solely on worldly understanding

    7. It also means that what we think is important is not always important to God.

Colossians 3:2 (NIV)
2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

    8. If you are basing your truth, your reality, your decisions, solely on things of this world, you will come to a faulty finish, a faulty conclusion

    9.  I have talked to many people that say, “look I’m going to take care of myself, and when this life is over, I go back to the dust and that’s the end of all things”

   10. But you may not be able to stick Heaven and Hell in a test tube or under a microscope but They are real, my friends … they are more real than we can even imagine

   11. When you base your reality on a presupposition that this world is all that there is, you don’t know Truth and you build your life around faulty  reality, and thus all you do becomes a lie

Our TRUTH must be Other worldly to come to the right conclusions in life

Jesus is Other Worldly …

But also

He is …

2. … The King of this world

  A. I AM a King

    1. I HAVE a Kingdom and I AM the King

    2. Jesus Christ LEFT his Kingdom and came to this world, went to the trouble of emptying himself of his rights and privileges was born in this world for the express purpose of revealing to a confused world that THIS WORLD is NOT all that there is

    3. Jesus said “you are RIGHT” – Truth begins when we understand that Jesus IS the King

    4. a King – basileus /bas-il-yooce/ leader of a people, prince, commander, lord of the land, king

    5. you will NOT understand truth until you base it on the FACT that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, Leader of the People of God, Commander of the Armies of God, LORD of this Land … and that MEANS

  B. He is Ruler

    1. If he is KING / Ruler … then HE makes the Rules

    2. HE defines Truth … Jesus said “if you CONTINUE IN MY WORD … you will KNOW Truth and the Truth will make you Free”

    3. without Jesus Christ you are bound in a series of false conclusions, lies and errors in judgment. 

    4. Until you begin to KNOW his Truth through the Word of God and WALK in his truth you will not know the Freedom that comes from Jesus Christ

    5. The greatest bondage in this world is being bound to false reality

    6. Jesus Christ is Other Worldly and so our truth must be based on a God who said to Isaiah

Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

    7. Now we know this verse, but we need to put it in context to get all of what the Lord is saying to us … Let’s read the whole passage

Isaiah 55:6-13 (NIV)
6 Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. 12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. 13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed.”

    8. People we need to order our lives around the Truth of the King, while there is still an opportunity.  In my reading about Truth Bearers in Corresponding Truth, It differentiates between Primary and Secondary Truth bearers … Secondary Truth bearers base their truth on primary Truth … Well Folks I am a secondary Truth bearer basing my life on Jesus Christ and proclaiming to you that if you want a pine tree instead a thornbush … if you want to live in such a way that joy abounds you need to forsake YOUR truth and embrace Christ for he Is Truth …

His Truth is NOT of this World … Look into the Sky and see the Stars, the moon, the planets, the sun, even as close as the clouds … so high are his ways, his truth above ours

His Truth is other worldly

He is the King so He makes the rules

He does not ASK us how to run the universe so we cannot tell him what is Truth …

And He is, therefore …

3. … The True Truth

All other truth must line up with him.

We have to stop going by our own perceptions of truth …

  A. He is Our Plumbline

    1. a plumbline is an ancient simple way to test whether a wall or fence is true

    2. Amos 7:7-8

Amos 7:7-8 (NIV)
7 This is what he showed me: The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb, with a plumb line in his hand. 8 And the Lord asked me, “What do you see, Amos?” “A plumb line,” I replied. Then the Lord said, “Look, I am setting a plumb line among my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.

    3. Is it important for the wall to be plumb?  “Oh come on, it doesn’t really matter if it’s a few degrees off does it?” Maybe not if you are building a dog house

    4. the further you get away from “just a little off” the worse it becomes

He is the true plumb line

  B. He is The Cornerstone

    1. A cornerstone is that stone in the primary corner of the foundation by which all the rest of the building is lined.  It must be perfect, it must be true or the building will not stand. 

Isaiah 28:16 (NIV)
16 So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.

    2. He is PRECIOUS and if we see him as precious and line up the building of our lives with the Truth that is Jesus Christ, our lives while stand.  But if not we are in danger and will fall

Matthew 7 says the wise man builds his house on a rock so that when the winds and rain comes his house stands;  but the foolish man builds on sand, rejects the foundation and his life falls under the stress of the storms. 

    3. there’s a greater danger.  Because he IS a cornerstone by which to build your life, but Psalm 118 and 1 Peter 2 says that the stone was rejected by SOME builders … and then instead of the first stone, cornerstone, it becomes the last stone, a capstone.  A stone that causes men to stumble and to fall … worse yet a stone that crushes instead of builds according to Daniel 2:34 says the stone is a crushing stone

    4. Isaiah 8:13,14 says he can either be a sanctuary to run to or a stone of stumbling and falling if we reject him

  C. He is North by which we set our compass … He is The Star by which we Navigate at Night

    1. A compass is a beautiful thing, but if you are standing next to a magnet, you will get a false reading and you will go in the wrong direction and end up lost

    2. you know some people have a compass but are reading it wrong.  My compass has an N on the needle to let me know which way is North.  But if I don’t know which end is north and if I can’t see the sun, I might end up in the wrong direction

    3. If I’m flying a plane and I pull up on the stick I will go up … right?  Unless I am flying upside down …

    4. We need to take our eyes off the stars of this world … Take our eyes off the horizon for the future we have planned … We need to step away from the strong draw of the desires of this world

    5. and let the longing of our hearts draw us toward Christ

    6.  We need to fix our eyes on Jesus

Hebrews 12:2-6 (NIV)
2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”

    7. When Jesus Christ tries to redirect us, he is not trying to ruin your parade or cramp your style he is trying to set you on the right path, turn you away from destruction, lead you in the way of Righteousness

It is his Kindness that Leads us to Repentance

    8. When he calls us to repent that is not a negative, it is a positive, he is saying “come this way, this is the best way” 

    9. The problem is that we do not know the right way and we even confuse ourselves

Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV)
9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

   10.  So there is a prayer we should pray

Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV)
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

   11. He is the one who leads us in the way that we should go …

Conclusion

You know what though, for MOST of us, it is NOT that we don’t know that Jesus is the way to go

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

We KNOW that … but we choose our OWN way, anyway …

Here’s the thing … If you know that Jesus is Truth …

if you see the cornerstone and still lay the foundation crooked …

if you see the plumbline and know what straight is and build your house off plumb …

if you look at the compass and know where north is and still go the wrong direction, if you can see the stars but still don’t sail to home and safe harbor …

then your whole life, no matter how pretty is a lie.

Jesus is Truth

God is true let every other man be a liar

You can argue with it

You can fight against it

You can struggle for your rights

You can claim you have the truth

But one day, you will stand before God and give account for a life in line with the truth or a lie

Line up

Live by

Walk according to

Truth

What is Truth?

Jesus IS True Truth

He is the King of Truth

His truth is from another World

Pilate missed his chance that day … He was face to face with Jesus and walked out and asked the crowd what they thought

What will you do today?

You have heard his Word,  you have come face to face with Jesus

What will you do?

He is working in your heart for obedience in your daily lives, your finances, your choices, you speech, your ethics …

what will you do? 

Will you embrace the truth and thus find freedom and life,

or will you walk away and ask the crowd?


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[1]Tan, P. L. (1996, c1979). Encyclopedia of 7700 illustrations : A treasury of illustrations, anecdotes, facts and quotations for pastors, teachers and Christian workers. Garland TX: Bible Communications.

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