This week we had the opportunity to once again appreciate the powerful impact that the Holy Spirit has upon our minds. A top legal aid to the President of the United States made a statement that highlighted the allusive nature of truth in this world. Rudy Giuliani during an interview stated that “truth isn’t truth.” That statement sounds a lot like the question Pilate asked when confronted with the Jewish crowd wanting Christ killed – “What is truth?” One side says this and the other side says that. So which is true? The human mind struggles to know what is true.
We live in an age where philosophical thought has brought us to the place that truth is relative. For example, a prominent proponent of postmodern thought, Friedrich Nietzsche, proclaimed that God is dead. Meaning that we can no longer be sure of anything. Morality is a lie, truth is fiction (Postmodernity, David Lyon, p. 12). In this light, Giuliani’s comment does not seem so outrageous.
Is the human mind capable of knowing truth? We know that God is not in the picture for mankind now. We look forward to a time when He will be. But for now, the influence of Satan dominates man’s thinking. The god of this world is identified by Christ as, “…not standing in truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44). John went on to record that “…the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19). Particularly in philosophy where man uses his mind to reason about knowledge, truth and the meaning of life, he is using a flawed mindset. The human mind under this influence can’t know the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality and the reason for life.
The point for us is that the human mind can know truth. But the mind requires an additional assist to do so. Truth does not originate within the mind of man. Truth is revealed from and by God.
The Hebrew word translated as truth, emeth, firmly relates the origin of truth to God. When God revealed Himself to Moses He proclaimed Himself as, “…abounding in goodness and truth…” (Exodus 34:6). Moses further described God as, “…a God of truth and without injustice …” (Deuteronomy 32:4). King David simply referred to God as, “…O Lord God of truth” (Psalm 31:5).
The Apostle John informs us that the Word was with God and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us. In His fleshly form He was “…full of grace and truth” (John 1:1,14). Grace and truth came into the human realm by Christ as He declared the Father to mankind. Truth became available to man through the Holy Spirit which was made available after the sacrifice of Christ. “…I am the way, the truth and life…” (John 14:6). God is truth and Christ as the Word in the flesh revealed the truth of God to the world. As Jesus pointed out, if they had known Him they would have known the Father also. Before His death Christ promised that the Holy Spirit would be given – “…the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father …” (John 15:26). “When the Spirit of truth has come it will guide you into all truth…” (John 16:13).
Through a personal relationship with God, which involves repentance and baptism, a person receives God’s Spirit and the mind begins to perceive truth. Thus is fulfilled the promise of grace and truth that came through Jesus Christ.
God reveals Himself through the written word, the Bible. The Holy Spirit opens our minds to the truth it contains. As Peter wrote, “Since you have purified your souls in obeying truth through the Spirit …” (1 Peter 1:22). Truth ultimately is an aspect of Who and what God is. He reveals Himself to us through the power of His Spirit.
It is our responsibility to use God’s Spirit to seek truth. It is not a natural component of our minds. Christ asked the Father to sanctify those whom He calls out of the world. “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:17). King David prayed for truth in the inward parts.
God’s word is truth. Truth is truth when it comes from this revealed source. In Psalm 119 David made three clear statements regarding truth. “And Your law is truth … all your commandments are truth … The entirety of Your word is truth …” (Psalm 119:142, 151, 160). The law is to be written in our minds and hearts — in the inward parts. As we continuously read and study God’s word and grow in spiritual obedience to God’s law, we will grow in the knowledge of the truth. “For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
In this world it can be argued that truth isn’t always truth. Thankfully God has mercifully allowed us to have access to truth. With God, truth is always truth. Let us be very thankful that we can know it and strive to grow in it.