I once heard someone say, “It doesn’t really matter what you believe as long as you are passionate and sincere.” While I admire sincerity and passion, you can be sincerely and passionately wrong. Truth is what matters. John 8:32 says the truth will set us free. What is truth? Is it relative or a matter of opinion? Let’s apply that to other matters aside from theology. What if a doctor told you, “I know you have cancer and we are passionate and sincere about this medicine.” You ask, “Does it work?” The doctor replies, “No”, but at least we were sincere. You can be as sincere and passionate as possible about entering Disney World without paying for admission but the truth is you need to purchase a ticket. What if someone passionately and sincerely believes stealing, raping, or killing are justifiable? Does this make their belief true? Things are not true because you believe them or untrue because you disbelieve them. They are true because they just that – truth. Having faith in a lie will leave you disappointed and potentially damaged. Just because you have faith you will jump off a bridge and fly doesn’t mean you will. In fact, don’t try it. You’ll be gravely disappointed.
As a Christian you must walk in faith and live a lifestyle of love. But faith and love must be grounded in truth. Scripture warns us of false teachers (1 Timothy 6:3), false doctrine (Ephesians 4:14), speaking falsehood (Psalm 52:3) , and lies directly from the devil himself (John 8:44). Jesus is truth (John 14:6). Jesus said the Word of God is truth (John 17:17). In comparison of how God embodies truth, Romans 3:4 says, “Let God be true and every man a liar”. Not every man is a liar but God is always true. So how do you know the truth? How do you know if a pastor is preaching truth or your Sunday School teacher is not teaching false doctrine? You have to know the Scripture and trust the Holy Spirit to reveal its meaning and purpose to you. The Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth (John 16:13).
I Corinthians 2:10 says, “For to us God revealed them through the Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.” If we are following the Spirit, we will know the truth. God’s Word is truth and can be trusted. Some live only by science and reason and say, “If I can’t see, touch, taste, hear, smell, or test it then it must not be real or true.” Others live by popular opinion as if truth morphs over time. Others simply operate by feelings – after all, how can anyone argue with how you feel? Truth is your feelings will lie to you. Even a combination of all three of these methods do not fully ensure or discover truth. Now, these things aren’t necessarily opposed to truth either. Truth comes from God. His love and truth protects us (Psalm 40:11). We must say, “Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth” (Psalm 86:11). God’s word is truth (John 17:17) the other 200+ scriptures about truth must be our compass for absolute truth. Some say whatever you believe is true but Scripture says think on whatever is true (Philippians 4:8). Truth protects (Psalm 40:11) and sets free (John 8:32). His word (John 17:17) and His Spirit (John 16:13) are the two resources for gaining truth. Truth, however evasive and relative this world claims it to be, can be found in Jesus. He came in truth (John 1:14), is truth (John 8:32) and will set you free (John 8:36).
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.