Jesus states that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6).
Through the backdrop of the conversation between Jesus and Pilate, governor of the Roman province of Judea presiding over the trial of Jesus before His crucifixion, I want to define what truth is, which will provide the topic for the next discussion on how to apply truth to our particular circumstances.
During Pilate’s interrogation of Jesus as recorded in the book of John, chapter 18, verses 28-38, Pilate asked Jesus if He was a King of the Jews? Pilate wanted to know if he was going to have deal with a threat to Rome’s authority.
Jesus responded with an explanation that His kingdom was not of this world. The word kingdom in this text means royalty, that is, to rule. Jesus is saying his authority to rule is not like the earthly kingdom of the Romans, but is given from the heavenly realm.
Pilate, after hearing Jesus explain His kingdom asked again, “So you are a king?’ Because Jesus was the promised Messiah of Israel to save them from their sins (Matthew 1:21), and would rule over everything on earth for eternity, He answered He was a king and a witness to the truth, and that “everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” The answer Jesus gave showed Pilate that He was not a rebel leading an insurrection against Rome, but that He was the king of the kingdom of truth.
Satisfied that Jesus did not pose a threat to Rome, and without waiting for a response, Pilate responded with another question, “What is truth?”
Thayer’s Greek Lexicon defines truth as what is true in any matter under consideration.
Truth is a person, the person of Jesus Christ.
Just what does it mean that Jesus Christ is the truth? Since the Bible, the written Word of God, is given to us by inspiration of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17) through the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 2:10), I’ll let the Bible answer that question.
This particular discussion provides the foundation about why it’s the Biblical mindset in which we need to base our thoughts, words, and actions.
The limited amount of scripture I highlight is nowhere near the totality of what God has to say on the subject.
While the Apostle John was exiled on the island of Patmos, Jesus Christ appeared to John and instructed him to write what he saw in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia (Revelation 1:11-12). What John saw is the content of the book of Revelation.
Each of the seven churches received a letter that identified Jesus Christ as the author of the letter with a description of who Jesus Christ is and His character qualities. Letters to the following churches speak to our topic.
To the church at Smyrna Jesus describes Himself as the First and the Last (Revelation 2:8); Jesus also stated this to John in Revelation 1:8 that He is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last. Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Jesus’ statement tells us He is outside of time, He has always been and will always be, and He is the authority in our physical world.
To the church at Philadelphia, Jesus describes Himself as holy, He who is true (Revelation 3:7).
To the church at Laodicea, Jesus describes Himself as the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: Amen (meaning trustworthy), the Faithful (meaning can be relied on) and True (meaning that His very being, and the corresponding idea signified by His name, are real and true, genuine) Witness (witness of God’s guidance), the Beginning of the creation of God (meaning Jesus Christ is the source of creation) (Revelation 3:14, Colossians 1:16-17).
Revelation 19:11-16 records that Jesus Christ is called Faithful and True, The Word of God (meaning Jesus is the spoken word of God), and having the name KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS (meaning sovereign of all kings, and supreme in authority; master over all).
The Apostle Paul tells us it pleased God that all the divine fullness of God should dwell in Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:19). We understand Jesus Christ, as the Creator, is the authority.
We understand that Jesus Christ is true and genuine, that His is trustworthy and can be relied upon. So just how does one take the truth of God’s word and apply it to a particular situation? In our next discussion I will show you how starting with foundational truths of God’s Word will inform your decision making in accordance to God’s will for you.
Mankind’s Problem, God’s Solution
Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public life estimates that 85 percent of the world’s population of 7,968,316,300, has a belief system that pertains to God or a god that deals with how to relate to God or their god and the afterlife; this may be true of you. Why is this?
Because as God (Elohim; supreme authority) tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has set eternity in our hearts, meaning every person has an eternal perspective or awareness, that provides hope of an eternity free from the issues of this life. A person’s belief system guides them in how to obtain the hope of eternal life. In order to end up at the right destination, you need to start in the right place.
Its estimated that 385,000 people are born each day. As I am writing this 36,944,900 people have died so far this year, and up to this point 53,440 people have died today. The truth is that each of them were born separated from God, which is each of us were. My purpose for writing this is to explain mankind’s problem of being separated from God by our sin, and how God provided the solution to that problem, so you and I can live with Him for eternity.
Let’s go back to the beginning to see where we are today and how we got here.
Mankind was made in the image (sinlessness) and likeness (intellect, emotions, will) of God, and given dominion or rule over creation (Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15). The man, Adam, was commanded by God that from any tree of the Garden he could freely eat, but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he shall not eat from, for in that day he ate from it, he would surely die.
Genesis 3:1-7 describes how Satan, previously known by the name Lucifer, the created angel, the anointed cherub, who wanted to be like God, and was removed from heaven. Because of this Satan hates God, hated mankind, and hates you and I. Satan didn’t want mankind to live with God forever (something he will never do) or to worship God forever (receiving worship as God being something he will never receive), so he deceived the first two humans, Adam and Eve, to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
This is where mankind’s problem begins. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command, sin and death entered the world. Death in this sense is not just physical death, but spiritual death, meaning separation from God for eternity.
Not only that, but when Adam and Eve sinned, they turned the dominion or rule of this world or kingdom to put it another way, to Satan. That is why Satan is called the god of this world in 2 Corinthians 4:4; which is also why Satan could temp Jesus with giving Him the kingdoms of the world and their glory (Matthew 4:8-10). It gets even worse. Colossians 1:13 tells us each of us are born into this world separated from God into the power of darkness or into the domain of Satan.
Our problem is that sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2), and as sin entered the world through one man (Adam) all of us have sinned (Romans 3:23, 5:12). The payment for our sin is death (Romans 6:23), and our sin will be judged (Hebrews 9:27). What does eternity look like for those who die still separated by God by their sin? This person will be thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15) a place Jesus describes as a place of outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:12) which awaits those who do not put their faith in Him.
The good news is God provided a solution to our problem!
God loved us in such a way that He gave His only Son Jesus so that you and I can live with Him for eternity (John 3:16). Jesus gave His life to bring us to God (1 Peter 3:18). Jesus who lived a sinless life in this world offered His life for you and me (Hebrews 7:27), as the only acceptable sacrifice to pay our penalty of sin (1 John 2:2).
You might be asking along with the other 85 percent of the world’s population, how do I get the eternal life God has made a way for me to have? The truth is you don’t have to do anything, it has been done for you by Jesus Christ. When Jesus died on the cross, God accepted His sacrifice as the payment for sins of the whole world. The truth is your sins are forgiven, however, being dead in your sins your still separated from God (Ephesians 4:2). What you need is life. Here’s the solution to that.
John 1:12 tells us “but as many as received Him (Jesus) to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name. Simply believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that He paid the penalty for your sins, and put your faith in Jesus that the work He did for your salvation and eternal life is the way to eternity with God; that’s the definition of faith.
Salvation is by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ. It is a gift, it’s free. We don’t deserve it (that’s why it grace), and we cannot earn it (Ephesians 2:8-9); that is why it is free), but you have take the gift; the believe and receive of John 1:12. Let’s say I purchase a seat for you at your favorite event, whatever that might be, as a gift for you, best seat in the house. On the day of the event you have the best seat to watch the event, but you don’t get into the event to watch until you go to the ticket window and receive your ticket to get into the event. You have to take receipt of the gift. Eternal life is the gift you have to receive (Romans 6:23).
Jesus tells us in John 5:24 that if we hear His word, and believe in God who sent Him, which is believing that Jesus is the Son of God, we have eternal life, and have passed from death into life?
Our identity then is in Jesus Christ, so spiritually we sit together with Him in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6). A Christian is a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20) and in Jesus Christ is holy and without fault in God’s eyes (Ephesians 1:4), with the ability to live the abundant life Jesus offers us (John 10:10).
As I am writing this, another 14,450 have died. Where will they spend eternity?
Where do you stand? Are you dead in your sins facing eternity separated from God or do you have life? God loves you and made a way for you to spend eternity with Him. Believe in Jesus, and what He did on the cross for you and receive eternal life today.