What Is Truth?

by David Padfield

In the eighteenth chapter of John, Christ stood before Pontius Pilate to answer charges of insurrection. Pilate, the governor of Judea, asked Christ if he was the King of the Jews. Christ answered by saying His kingdom was not of this world. Pilate then asked if He was a King. Jesus responded in John 18:37 by saying, "You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I came into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice." Pilate, provoked by this response, replied, "What is truth?" (John 18:38). Then Pilate, thinking his last question was unanswerable, departed from the presence of Christ.

More than 1900 years after the question was first asked, many people have not found the answer. We would like to suggest a few.

God's Word Is Truth

A few hours before His death Christ prayed to His Father. In John 17:17 He said, "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth." The sole source of religious truth is the word of God. Religious truth will never find its source in the creeds, catechisms and church manuals written by men.

Truth Is Valuable

Proverbs 23:23 says, "Buy the truth and sell it not." The value of religious truth can be seen in John 8:32, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." All men are held in bondage to sin until they are set free by the gospel.

Truth Is Narrow

In mathematics there can only be one correct answer to any given problem. The same is true in religion. Sincerity alone is not enough (Matthew 7:2123). Many people teach that it doesn't matter what you believe as long as you are sincere. The fallacy of this idea can be shown by the following statement: If it does not make any difference what you believe about Christ, then it can not make any difference if you believe in Christ. If it does not make any difference what you believe about how men are saved, then it can not make any difference if you believe anything about salvation. Will anyone deny it? The same could be said of the church and of God Himself!

Truth Is Binding

When a religiously honest man sees that he is mistaken, he ceases to be one of two things: either he ceases to be honest or he ceases to be mistaken. He cannot remain in error and retain his honesty. Many religious people have remarked, "Well, I don't believe everything my church teaches." If the church of which you are a member is in error, then you are obligated to either change that church or get out. Truth can have no fellowship with error. We must not give aid to any false teacher (2 John 9-11).

Truth Will Judge

In the resurrection day, you will not be judged by what your mother believed, what your father taught you or by what everyone else was doing at the time. You will be judged by the words of Christ (John 12:48). What you know about the truth and your reaction to it will determine what He will say to you on that final day. If we can be of assistance to you in your search for the truth, please contact us. If you do have a Bible, we would be happy to provide you with one.