Summary: The Truth is so imporant we should be willing to pay any price to obtain it and refuse to sell it for any price.
BUY THE TRUTH
TEXT: Proverbs: 23:17-23.
There are several great principles in our text. However, this morning, we wish to emphasize only two of them. The two principles are, “
BUY THE TRUTH AND SELL IT NOT” (Proverbs 23:3). This is such an important principle that you will hear the proverb restated many times this morning. Hopefully you will hear it restated enough that you will never forget it.
The first principle is clearly stated, “Buy the truth.” We must be prepared to pay a fair price for anything really worthwhile. We learn what a thing is worth to people by what they are willing to pay for it. Consider the salaries of some of today’s top athletes and executives. They seem outrageous to us, but, in many cases, the simple truth is that they are being paid that much money because that is what they are worth to the fans or shareholder.
Truth is often quite expensive! Solomon says buy it; don’ t worry about the cost pay whatever it cost. Jesus’ refusal to deny his messiah-ship before the Sanhedrin cost him the pain of the cross. John’s refusal to deny the Gospel cost the aged Apostle exile on on barren craggy Patmos. Jesus warned his apostles that the truth would come to them at the cost of the baptism of suffering and the cup of sorrow (Mk. 10:28). It is clear, from the lives of the Apostles that all but Judas considered the truth of God worth the cost.
We see how much the truth is worth to God in the text. He says buy it. It doesn’t matter what it cost you, just buy it!
The second great truth we learn from the text is, “Sell it not.” Again we can learn something of the value of an object by what men are willing to sell it for. Had Jesus sold the truth in the Sanhedrin he could have escaped the cross, but at what cost to us?
We often have opportunities to sell the truth. A High School Student that isn’t suspected of vandalism can, perhaps, sell the truth and lie his way out of it. He has sold the truth for whatever the penalty of his misdeed would have been.
Dad is picked up for rolling through a stop sign. While his children look on from the back seat, he lies his way out of it. He has sold the truth for the cost of a ticket and the respect of his children.
A salesman forgets an important appointment and lies to the client. He has sold his soul for a, “mess of pottage.” – the truth was worth less to him than the value of the client’s business. God says the truth is worth so much we should buy it (regardless of the cost) and refuse to sell it (regardless of what Satan offers us for it).
So we learn from the text that truth is invaluable. It’s the same in the secular world. A doctor cannot treat an illness until he knows the truth about the illness. The court cannot deliver justice if the witness does not tell the truth. Marriage problems will build without any solution in sight if we refuse to admit the truth. Shakespeare said, "Above all to thine own self be true, and it must follow as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.
In the New Testament there are at least two different areas in which we must buy the truth and sell it not. The first is THE truth. Just as there is a difference between THE faith and faith (Rom. 1: 5,8 Jude 3) there is a difference between truth and THE truth. THE truth is THE Faith. It is the truth of God as revealed in the New Testament (John 17:17; 8:31-32-33). So we see that we cannot be Jesus’ disciples unless we accept the truth of his word (2 Thessalonians. 2:10-12).
Where does this untruthfulness begin? It begins with Satan "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44). Where does it lead? Away from God. In transgressing and lying against the LORD, And departing from our God, Speaking oppression and revolt, Conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood” (Isaiah 59:13).
Where does falsehood end? It ends with Satan in his eternal habitation. "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).
What is the way to eternity? Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.