Responsibilities of the Church Day 3 – Seeking to Follow Truth
“Then Pilate said to him, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.’ Pilate said to him, ‘What is truth?’” (John 18:37-38, ESV)
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” (3 John 1:4, ESV)
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15, ESV)
“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17, ESV)
In our study of responsibilities of the church, today we’re going to discuss one of the most important things a church is called to do: seek and follow truth. We live in a world in which truth has become relative, even among Christians. People don’t trust the news, what they hear on the radio, what they see on TV, what shows up on their social media platform feeds—and probably for good reason. There are incentives to lie, to spread deceit, to put a spin on world events, and to twist reality in a way that makes people think one way or another.
In a study conducted by Barna Research, thousands of Americans were asked if they believe that there are moral absolutes that are unchanging or that moral truth is relative to the circumstances. Of those who responded to the study, 64% of adults and 83% of teenagers said that truth is always relative to the person and their situation. Even among Christian adults, only 32% of respondents said that they believe in moral absolutes, and only 15% of non-Christian adults said the same. In short, our world is asking the same question Pontius Pilate found himself asking nearly 2,000 years ago, “What is truth?”
As Christians, it is essential that we know what truth is and that we live out that truth in our lives. This is not our version of truth nor a variation of it, but the truth found in God’s Word. We serve a God who is not only the source of truth but also the originator of it. Jesus speaks of Himself in John 14:6 when He says, “I am the truth.” The teachings in His Word provide us with truth that we are to believe, follow, uphold, and defend.
Even Satan understands the importance of truth. In Genesis 3, his first recorded words to Eve were, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” From the beginning, truth has been under attack from the wicked one, and in our postmodern world, what truth is seems to grow cloudier and cloudier with each passing day. Thankfully, we can turn to Scripture for the source of truth that never changes with the seasons.
To effectively seek to follow truth, we must be willing to search His Word for it. We must be willing to spend time reading our Bibles, prayerfully consider its teachings, study it in our personal time, attend Bible conferences and Bible studies, and do whatever we can to learn the truth found in God’s Word. It is not enough to just know the truth; we must live it out as well. We should attend a church that follows the teachings found in the New Testament and seek to display its truths in our local communities as well. This can be done by having a regular remembrance meeting (the Lord’s Supper), preaching the gospel, having a Bible study, doing community outreach efforts, volunteering, etc. The truth of Scripture must be upheld and defended or else we will have nothing to stand on. Truth should be defended accurately, articulately, not in a militant manner, but with the conviction and grace found in the Spirit of God.
It would be my prayer that we all would have a greater desire to know the truth found in Scripture and that we would seek to live it out more and more each day, both as a local church and in our personal lives. By standing for truth in a world that is beaten and blown around by the winds of change and heretical teaching, we can be a beacon in a dark world and draw people closer to Christ.