[Good Questions] What is Truth? Part 2
85 Views

Rev. James Hung

In the article I wrote last time, I shared three characteristics of truth with you. First, the truth is fact. Second, truth is trustworthy. Third, truth is correct. Besides these, truth has the following characteristics as well:

Truth is enduring

It is common sense that one plus one equals two. Is it a truth? Yes. Why? Because truth has the characteristic of being unchanging. One plus one equals two never changes. The Lord Jesus said He is the Truth. Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” After knowing Jesus, people would also testify that He is the Truth. He remarked, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (Matthew 24:35). What Jesus said then is still valid today. It never changes. Thousands and thousands of people continue to praise His words. He came into the world to fulfill salvation, to become the ram of atonement. He was crucified for the world’s sins and rose from the dead on the third day to show with power that He was God. He said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)

He is still the Savior of the world today. Thousands and thousands of people have been saved and delivered from the power of sin and death by Him. Jesus preached that He was from above and proclaimed in many of His statements that He was God. He was God even before the creation of the world. When He came to the world, He showed Himself to be God by the miraculous signs He performed. Although He was crucified, He rose from the dead. It showed that He was the risen God who had overcome death. There are so many religious founders in the world, yet none dare to claim himself to be the truth. Instead, they are still seeking the truth. They may give good teachings, but they are not the truth. They are mere human, one who will die one day.

When Jesus was put on trial, Pilate questioned Him and said, “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” (John 18:37) He came to tell the world that He upholds all things by His power, He is Lord and King. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, the Magi from the east went to Jerusalem to search for Him and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:2)          These wise men testified that Jesus was King. Not only was He the king of the Jews, but also the King of the world.  Today,  tens of thousands of people worship Him as King,  as Lord. He reigns in man’s life and leads the pilgrimage of those who belong to Him. The Bible states that one day, the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, and He will return to reign and judge the world. He is the King of kings, the Lord of lords.

Truth is consistent

When Jesus was on trial, one of the officials struck him. He responded, “If I said something wrong, “ Jesus replied, “ testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?” (John 18:23) Jesus is the Truth, what He said and did, from the beginning to the end, were right and consistent, were “Yes” in Him. The Jews had accused Him, “The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any. Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree. Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him:” (Mark 14:55:57).” Yet even then their testimony did  not agree.” (Mark 14:59).  People wanted to condemn Him but did not find any evidence. Even Pilate testified three times that he saw no fault in him. Therefore, Jesus is the trustworthy Truth.

Truth is consistent: if He were not a perfect man but sinned as mere man did, He would not be able to save even himself. If He were not God but only a perfect man, He would only be able to save himself, but not to save the world because man has limitations. With the Bible, we know that Jesus is a perfect man and He is entirely God. The Bible reminds and comforts us, “Therefore since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16)

Truth is practical and verifiable.

Another characteristic of truth is it’s being practical and verifiable. If not, it is only a false teaching, an empty talk. To put into practice is one meaningful way to test the truth. Take Marx as an example; his philosophy sounds ideal and worth admiration. He believed that “after socialism, communism will be born, with the mode of production from each according to his ability, according to his needs, and become a society without classes, borders, currency, and private property rights.” (Wikipedia) However, was what he said the truth? No, because it is not practical, not verifiable. It is only an ideology. The result is that, whether it’s Eastern Europe or the former Soviet Union, people suffered poverty. Is there any country that can put his ideology into practice? No.

The Jews wanted to kill Jesus because Jesus regarded himself as equal to God. They also questioned whether His teaching was from God. Jesus argued, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me. If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will discover whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?” (John 7:16-19)

The Lord Jesus came to fulfill the Laws, saying, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” (Matthew 5:17-18) Jesus has fulfilled the Laws. He has fulfilled all the prophecies in the Old  Testament. Therefore, His claim to be the Truth can be verified.

All those who trust in the Lord can practice and test the truth.

History tells us that Christians of the early church had undergone all kinds of trials. The Bible says, “Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated—the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.” (Hebrews 11:36-38) But they did not forsake their faith in Christ Jesus, that He is the true God, and they practiced and verified His love and righteousness. God’s power and salvation have impacted the lives of millions and millions of people. For instance, when the Puritans immigrated to the Americas, they faced a lot of suffering. Some died of hunger, illnesses, wars, etc. Yet, with the Biblical truths and the teachings of Jesus, they finally built a prosperous United States of America. A country which acts justly loves mercy, respects human rights, and gives its people true freedom. Unfortunately, due to people forsaking the one True God and not obeying Jesus’ truth, many problems and sins have emerged in the USA nowadays, like sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS, drugs, abortions, etc.

Dear friends, the Lord Jesus is the Truth. He said,  “Whoever has my commands and obeys them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them”. (John 14:21) “…Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. ” (John 14:23-24)

Are you willing to find the Truth? Quickly confess and repent, receive the Savior, and follow Christ. Jesus says, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” (Matthew 4:17)


Writer: Rev. James Hung, former Director-General of VCCSTM; present Director-General (duty) of IFSTM

 

Rev. James Hung “[Good Questions] What is Truth? Part 2” TORSTM Truth Monthly, October, 2023.
https://www.torontostm.com/en/2023/10/11/good-questions-what-is-truth-part-2/

洪順強牧師

洪順強牧師

▪︎前溫哥華短宣中心總幹事
▪︎現國際短宣使團 (義務) 總幹事