Summary: This is the 4th sermon in the Truth series dealing with religious lies Christians sometimes pick up in church
Truth Series #4
2 Cor. 12:9-10
CHCC – July 17, 2011
For the last three Sundays we’ve been talking about TRUTH. We’ve looked at lies we tend to believe – Self lies, Worldly lies, Marital lies … and today we’re going to look at Religious lies. The subject of TRUTH is important … because a lot of people believe there is no such thing as truth.
By definition: truth must be objective (true for all people), universal (true in all places), and constant (true for all times.) Most people find it more comfortable to believe that truth is relative – In other words, “I have my truth and you have yours. There is no ABSOLUTE truth.”
(By the way, it’s entertaining to ask these folks if it is ABSOLUTELY TRUE that there is no absolute truth.)
According to a survey done by Barna Research back in 1995 only about 25% of Americans said they believe in absolute moral truths.
What is more surprising, though, is to find this same attitude in the church. That same survey reported that out of adults who consider themselves to be “born again,” less than 45% said they believe in ABSOLUTE truth. And among teenagers the percentage was under 10%! (http://barnaresearchonline.com)
Satan’s most basic lie is that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS TRUTH.
1. There is no such thing as TRUTH
Tragically, this LIE is alive and well in American Churches today. This is amazing because it contradicts the very definition of what it means to be a Christian.
Believing in Jesus means believing that he is who He said He is.
In John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”
As Lee Strobel put it, “The clear implications of Jesus saying he’s the way, the truth, and the life are that, first, truth is absolute, and second, truth is knowable.” (Lee Strobel. "The Case for Faith." Zondervan, 2000. (quoting Ravi Zacharias)
As Christians we believe that there are absolute truths that govern life. These truths do not come from us, they are beyond us.
• That is, they are truths that cannot be changed by human decision.
• They are true whether anyone believes in them or not.
• They are true whether anyone agrees with them or not.
• They are true whether anyone likes them or not.
They are absolute truths because they come from an absolute God … and they are the foundation of life itself.
• If anyone tries to convince you that there is no such thing as TRUTH
• Remember that JESUS is the way, the truth and the life.
When Jesus stood before Pontius Pilate to be judged, Pilate asked him “What is truth?” Sadly, Pilate did not know that the living embodiment of truth stood before him on that day. Pilate was blind to truth when it stared him in the face.
When people today ask, “What is truth?” Christians have an answer. We say, first of all: Truth is a person. Jesus Christ is the revealed truth of God. God did not send the world abstract ideas, he sent us a person. Jesus did not say that he came just to TELL us about truth … He said, “I AM the truth.”
Now we’re going to switch gears and talk about another lie that’s common among Christians:
2. I’m not good enough to be used by God.
As Christians we know that we’ve been saved by grace. But too many Christians live with an ongoing case of unresolved shame and guilt. We compare ourselves with other Christians. And, let’s face it … most church-goers can look pretty good on Sunday morning. We come to church dressed up and cleaned up, with smiles on our faces.
So when we compare ourselves to others, we usually compare their flawless presentation to our own all-too-flawed reality.
The problem comes when we use our human failings as an excuse to keep us on the sidelines when it comes to serving God.
The TRUTH is that God would rather work with us, in us, and through us to take us as we are and form Christ in us.
2 Corinthians 4:7 explains God’s plan this way: We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
Do you see it? The glory is not in the vessel itself but the treasure within. The vessel is a receptacle to hold the treasure. Sure we’d all like to be flawless crystal vases … but the TRUTH is that God can use cracked pots in remarkable ways.
• One time he gave a voice to Balaam’s donkey to give instructions to the donkey’s erring master