Summary: A look at what has happened to Truth in our society.
a. Brief Recap
Last week we began a series on the question of Truth, on why Truth matters. We looked at the shift in the way people think and in what people believe. That shift has gone from believing in an Absolute, unchanging set of morals and Truths, to the new belief that Truth exists inside the mind and heart of the individual. We talked about relativism and the problems that come with the shifting ideas of truth and trying to make it into a working belief system.
The idea of Truth today is a very important topic, an important issue for Christians to be aware of because it effects all of our lives and the lives of those we come into contact with.
God created us with a longing for Truth, a longing to know why we were created and what our place is in the overall scheme of things. Ideally, man is to turn to God to satisfy that curiosity about Truth. However, in increasing numbers, man is turning to man to answer the basic questions of Truth and morality and we’re definitely seeing the negative effects of that in today’s world.
Soccer Cleat Illustration – on the soccer field they were fine but take them into the shower and the problems began.
It’s the same way with man’s search for truth. God gave us that longing for understanding and purpose. We are made to seek the truth and when we find it on the foundation of God’s Word, where it belongs, we are able to stand and move and live our lives to the fullest because we are on the right surface. However, if our search for truth has us standing on anything else, things get slippery and standing our ground becomes nearly impossible.
Jesus talks about belief in the Truth in John 8:42-47
Jesus had just begun a talk with the crowds about His identity. He told them that He was the Light of the world. Well, surprise, surprise, the Pharisees didn’t like that and attacked Jesus saying that He was always testifying on His own behalf so He must be lying. Jesus rebukes them and gives us some insight into the nature of Truth in the process.
JN 8:42 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God."
Jesus says there is no middle ground, either you believe God or you have bought the lie of Satan. There is no such thing as neutrality. Everything good and right and True is bound up in the person of Christ and anything that is against that belongs to Satan, the opposite of the one true God.
Jesus talks about what is true and to underscore his points, he draws attention to Satan and the fact that He is a liar and always has been. In order to impress upon them what truth was, He thought they needed to know what Truth wasn’t and who the source of falsehood was. We need to look at things this same way, in order to get a completely accurate idea of the source of Truth (which we’ll be doing next week) we need to look as well to the Source of lies, that is Satan. We need to have an understanding of Satan, his character, motives, and how he carries out his plan. When we do this, Truth becomes more clear because we can more accurately pick out the lies.
This morning I want to look at three things that we need to recognize about Satan to gain a better handle on the one Jesus calls the Father of Lies.
II. Recognize the Reality
First thing that needs to be addressed when dealing with Satan and looking at the theology and reality of who he is, is to state up front that he is! That he exists and that our struggles are against a definable and defeatable enemy.