I had a conversation a few day ago with a gentlemen about GOD and the Bible. He saw me reading the Bible in a public place as I sat waiting for my wife and he asked me about what I was reading. Toward the end of our discussion he stated that he had come to the conclusion that “No one religion is right, because we are all God’s children.” I found it an interesting statement considering that he said that he regularly reads the four gospels.
My response to him was polite, but definite. “According to the GOD’s word, there is only one GOD and only one way to him: Jesus Christ. While it is true that we are created by the Lord, we are not all considered his children. In fact the Bible says:
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13 (ESV)
GOD has given us an objective truth in the scriptures. They are not suggestions or opinions, but God-given principles and commands that he expects to be followed. Truth is real and it comes directly from GOD.
GOD’s word is truth and it:
…is sanctifying: “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:17 (ESV)
…Purifies: “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,” 1 Peter 1:22 (ESV)
…is part of a Christian’s armor: “Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,” Ephesians 6:14 (ESV)
…is a statue that stands forever. “24 for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, 25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.” [1Pe 1:24-25 ESV]
What is the churches relation to the truth?
First of all it is the means by which we come to GOD. Jesus is the truth and his gospel was given to reconcile us to him. 2 Tim 3:15 says that the scriptures are able to make us “wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” Jesus even calls himself both the Truth and the Way in John 14:6.
In 1 Timothy 3:15 Paul calls the Church “a pillar and buttress of the truth.” This architectural metaphor is important, and means that GOD’s people are to uphold the truth, especially the truth of the Gospel.
How is truth attacked?
One can see three tactics used by Satan in his attack on the truth by looking at Genesis 3:1-6. These include doubt, denial, & deception.
In Gen 3:1 Satan tries to introduce confusion or doubt. He says to Eve, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” He knew exactly what had been said, and he was there to tempt both Adam and Eve into rebelling against GOD. Eve initially does well and clarifies what GOD had actually said to them. This is a common way that the world attacks the truth of GOD’s word. A confused mind is a disabled mind. Don’t be fooled by things that “sound right” but are actually misinterpretations. Christian’s must make every effort to understand what the word ACTUALLY says.
The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him. (Pro 18:17 ESV)
“You will not surely die.” Genesis 3:4 (ESV)
Denial is an aid to doubt in the attack on truth. In Genesis 3:4 Satan is calling GOD a liar. Those who do not believe the word of GOD will often employ this tactic. We must remember, however, that the word of the Lord is both true and eternal, despite what the world thinks. (John 17:17; 1Peter 1:24-25)
In Genesis 3:5-6 we see the art of deception at hand. Satan is trying to convince Eve that eating the fruit of the tree is not only a good thing, but that it will make her like GOD. Repeated attacks on the truth and an ineffectual and almost non-existent defense of the truth on the part of Adam and Eve results in the fall of mankind:
How should we combat the attack on truth in our lives.
Recall: Know and meditate on the word of GOD.
There is no substitute for knowing and understanding the word of GOD.
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Joshua 1:8 (ESV)
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Psalms 119:9-11 (ESV)
Reproof with scripture: defend attacks on scripture with scripture.
In Mat 4:1-11: Jesus is in the desert fasting and praying and Satan comes to tempt him. Three times Satan attacks Jesus by twisting the scriptures to say what ever he wants. We see a pattern similar to the one used in the fall, only now he is using scripture.
- Mat 4:3 “If you are the Son of God turn these stones to bread…” Doubt
- Mat 4:6 “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,…” Doubt and Deception
- Mat 4:9 All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me. [Satan] Deception
Satan attacked the very identity of GOD the Son by trying to plant doubt and stir up pride and greed through use of deception. Each time Christ met the challenge with the word of GOD. Each time Satan attacked Jesus answered the same way: “It is written.” Leave out your opinion; let God argue his own case, use the scriptures. Give the proper context so that the scriptures cannot be twisted or perverted.
In Genesis 3:2-4 Eve initially gets it write when Satan tries to tempt her by attacking the truth. She know just what GOD said and correct Satan. Adam and eve should have taken that as a win and left at that point. What good did it do for them to stay and listen to a snake that was actively twisting GOD’s word in an attempt to temp them? What resulted was the fall of mankind and separation from GOD. When presented with an attack on GOD’s word, correct it, but don’t feel like you have to stick around. Remember what joseph did when he was tempted?
5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked; whoever guards his soul will keep far from them. Proverbs 22:5
You must be saved if you are to understand GOD’s word.
Recall, Reproof with scripture and Retreat are good tactics to use if the truth is under attack, but you simply won’t know the truth or understand it until you accept Christ as savior.
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14 (ESV)