What Does the Bible Say About Truth?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, July 2, 2018 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

Truth is an important topic in our culture today. Many people say it’s a subjective thing - what’s true for you may not be true for me. We’ve written on the topic of absolute or relative truth previously, here and here, so I encourage you to go check out those posts. Today, we’re going to focus on what the Bible says about truth.

Perhaps one of the most commonly known passages about truth is found in John 8:32: “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” If you look at the context of that passage, you’ll see that Jesus spoke that line right after saying, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples” (verse 31). The truth comes from Jesus’ teachings, and it will set us free when we are His disciples. Jesus and the Jews then have a discussion about sin and being Abraham’s descendants, and Jesus ends His discourse with this: “Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God” (verses 45-47). Jesus did not sin, so He never lied, so He always told the truth. But the truth wasn’t what those Jews wanted to hear, so they did not believe Him. Sound familiar, like anything in our culture today?

We know from a few chapters later in John that Jesus Himself is the truth. “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” (John 14:6). If we know Jesus, then we know the way to the Father, the truth about everything, and we can have life through Him. He is the truth. 1 John 5:20 says, “We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.”

A few chapters later, in Jesus’ message to His disciples, He shares that the Spirit we have received is the Spirit of truth. “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come” (John 16:13). The Holy Spirit helps us understand and comprehend what the truth is, because the Spirit is truth.

The belt of truth is part of the armor of God, in Ephesians 6:14. We are to have it buckled around our waist. You can read more about the belt of truth here.

Speaking truthfully is important for all believers, and it’s even part of the Ten Commandments. “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16). This is echoed many times in the book of Proverbs too. Proverbs 12:19 says, “Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.” Proverbs 12:22 says, “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.” Proverbs 19:5 says, “A false witness will not go unpunished, and whoever pours out lies will not go free.” Similarly, Psalm 15:1-3 says, “Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart; whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others.”

Proverbs 30:5 also tells us that God’s Word is true: “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” In John 17:17, when Jesus is praying to the Father for the disciples, He says, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” The message of Jesus is truth: “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation” (Ephesians 1:13).

There are many more passages about truth in the Bible; these are just scratching the surface. Why are there so many? I believe that’s partly because the Bible IS truth. The Bible is THE authority, the standard by which we measure whether all things are true or false. Naturally, to hold that place of authority, the Bible must speak about truth. Also, the Bible is the way that God has specifically revealed Himself to us. God is truth, so His Word is truth, and again should speak on what truth is.

What is truth in your life? Do you try and make your own “truth,” or are you holding to the truth of the Bible? I encourage you to find out more about what the Bible says about truth and what the Bible says the truth is.

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