Summary: The child of God who has a true Christian mindset checks everything he hears, reads and experiences to God’s Word. This message show how Biblical truth is the foundation of faith, hope and love.
Title: When Virtue Embraces Truth
One powerful truth in Psalms Chapter One is that the blessed man is the man who finds his “…delight in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:2) The Hebrew word for “law” (torah) in its application refers to any instructions flowing from the revelation of God as the basis for life and action. The child of God who has a true Christian mindset checks everything he hears, reads and experiences to God’s Word.
1 Timothy 4:15-16, "Be diligent in these matters: give yourselves wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers."
Introduction: One of the basic ideas of today’s philosophy of ecumenical evangelism is that love is more important than doctrine. I have had professing Christians tell me that “doctrine divides, whereas love unifies.” The Bible does say in what many refer to as the love chapter, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love…. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)
Interrogative Sentence: Just what is sound doctrine that saves a person's life and soul, and saves the lives of those who watch our lives?
Proposition: I would propose to you that when we examine 1 Corinthians 13 more carefully: we discover that “truth” is also mentioned in the chapter 13:6. “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” (1 Corinthians 13:6)
When one does a healthy exposition on 1 Corinthians 13, he finds that faith, hope and love are virtues while truth has a different status altogether. Truth is the frame of reference, the foundation or the atmosphere in which the virtues of Biblical faith, hope and love can exist. For without truth there is no genuine faith, hope and love. Biblical truth interprets, protects, and guides all Biblical virtues.
When Jesus stood before Pilate He said, “…for I came into the into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to Me." (John 18:37)
We cannot imagine life on this planet without water. Water is absolutely essential for life, as long as it stays within proper channels, within its canals and pipes. Christians cannot imagine life without Biblical truth.
Transitional Sentence: True love begins with love for God and it is determined by our desire to know His revelation for our lives. Christians who love God know the truths of Psalm 119, "Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are those who keep His statues and seek Him with all their hearts." (Psalm 119:1-2)
Somehow the cancer of traditionalism has blinded church attendees to think that just because they attend a local church, they will enjoy the virtues of faith, hope and love. Jesus said powerful words which illustrates the distinction between what many call love today and truth. "...Jesus said, 'If you hold to my teaching, you are really My disciples. Then he is the one who loves Me. He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love him and show Myself to him.'" (John 14:21; supportive verses are 1 Jn. 2:4; 3:24 and 1 Jn 1:6)
Christians who grasp the truth of loving the Lord are like the psalmist who wrote Psalm 119:24, "Your statues are my delight; they are my counselors..." Their prayer is, "Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me through your laws. I hold fast to your statues, O lord; do not let me be put to shame. I run in the path of your commands, for You have set me free." (Psalm 119: 29-32)
Transitional Sentence: Once the child of God has their heart set right in regard to where to find His truth, then they can enjoy the truth of Biblical faith. The Bible says, "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." (1 Corinthians 13:13)
"Faith" (πίστις pístis) means a firm persuasion, conviction and belief in the truth or reality. As it is used in 1 Corinthians 13, faith or persuasion is not the outcome of imagination, but based on facts from having Christian knowledge. (The Complete Word Study Dictionary of the New Testament)
There is a big difference between faith in ice and faith on the knowledge of how thick the ice is before walking out on it. You can look out and see that a surface of water is iced over, you can step on the ice because you have faith the ice will hold you up. That is unwise and hazardous. Real faith that is healthy and genuine is to gain knowledge of the thickness and density of the ice, determining its stability before venturing out on it.