Summary: We as Christians have the truth found in the person of Jesus Christ. What is the problem in communicating that truth? Many people in our culture and world today don't even know the question to ask so that we can give the answer in Jesus.
Intro: As the new year approaches we need more than ever to know who we are and what we are supposed to be about. We know in the great commandment we are told to Love God with every fiber of our being, and love each other with every fiber of our being. We also know in the Great Commission we are called to make disciples. That means we are to reach out and to touch and teach people to follow Jesus in fulfilling the commandment and commission.
What is one of the greatest roadblocks to us following Jesus and fulfilling our purpose? Post modern relativistic thinking. Jesus Himself told us in John 8:32 “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” Modern thinking said “You claim to reality or truth is no greater than mine.” Post modern thinking says “You can’t even claim there is universal reality or truth”
What does this type of thinking lead to? There is no actual reality everything is relational to something else. There is no universal or absolute reality. The result is universal morals which means no authority for deciding if something is right or wrong. This is a very subjective whatever feels good way of thinking and living. This if taken to its logical conclusion leads leads to devastating effects on society as a whole and individuals. This postmodern way of thinking says all values, beliefs, lifestyles, as equally valid.
If we allow this to become our mindset, our lifestyle, and our value system we will have no purpose or meaning for our lives.
What is the alternative to the postmodern mind set? Truth! The laws of gravity, mathematics and the world reveal to us that there is truth and it is universal. Read Romans 1:18-20
The creation reveals the creator! It amazes me that so many people that are finite, no matter how smart we are as humans we are still limited, continue to say that absolutely there is not God. God is infinite so how could a non infinite mind prove that someone infinite doesn’t exist?
The creation reveals universal truth.
Read Romans 2:14-15
“They show the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them.”
Our conscience convinces us there is something wrong with suffering, starvation, rape, pain, and evil, and it makes us aware that love, generosity, compassion, and peace are positive things for which we should strive. This is universally true in all cultures in all times
Our conscience reveals universal truth
Jesus Christ reveals universal truth
I. Jesus exclusive claims about Himself
Jesus never told us that we would be set free by love. It is because of God’s love we are set free. Remember what John said in 8:32 “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.”
In John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the father except by me.”
We will answer Pilates answer in the negative first
In defining truth, it is first helpful to note what truth is not:
• Truth is not simply whatever works. This is the philosophy of pragmatism – an ends-vs.-means-type approach. In reality, lies can appear to “work,” but they are still lies and not the truth.
• Truth is not simply what is coherent or understandable. A group of people can get together and form a conspiracy based on a set of falsehoods where they all agree to tell the same false story, but it does not make their presentation true. (In fact if you look at the trials of Jesus and what happened after His resurrection you find the lies and deceit of the Jews trying to cover up the truth.)
• Truth is not what makes people feel good. Unfortunately, bad news can be true. (Truth can bring conviction, grief over pain caused.)
• Truth is not what the majority says is true. Fifty-one percent of a group can reach a wrong conclusion.
• Truth is not what is comprehensive. A lengthy, detailed presentation can still result in a false conclusion.
• Truth is not defined by what is intended. Good intentions can still be wrong.
• Truth is not how we know; truth is what we know.
• Truth is not simply what is believed. A lie believed is still a lie.
• Truth is not what is publicly proved. A truth can be privately known (for example, the location of buried treasure).
The Greek word for “truth” is aletheia, which literally means to “un-hide” or “hiding nothing.” It conveys the thought that truth is always there, always open and available for all to see, with nothing being hidden or obscured. The Hebrew word for “truth” is emeth, which means “firmness,” “constancy” and “duration.” Such a definition implies an everlasting substance and something that can be relied upon.