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“What is truth?”
Pontius Pilate’s not the only one who asked that question. I’m sure we’ve all asked it from time to time. It’s certainly a very common question today. And the answers vary hugely.
Many answer, “Science is truth.” They say that the only truth there is is truth that science can prove. The only truth there is is truth that can be empirically verified – it can be seen, touched, heard – it can be demonstrated to be true by scientific experiments.
Others say, “There is no truth.” It doesn’t exist. We can have opinions, feelings, strong sentiments, but there are no such things as “truths.”
More commonly, people say, “It’s impossible to know what’s true.” They are not denying the existence of truth only the possibility of discovering it and knowing it for sure. It may be out there but who’s to say what’s true for sure?
“What’s true for you may not be true for me,” is another response. The idea is that we can all have our own truth, but we must not force it on to others or try to change other’s truths. Truth depends on the person, the place, the time, the situation.
“Everything is truth!” Sounds so ridiculous, but it’s an increasingly popular view. You can have 100 philosophies or 100 religions all saying completely different and contradictory things, and yet these people will say that it’s all true! These are just different roads to the ultimate truth. We certainly mustn’t ever say that something is false!
Or what about “My lie is truth.” OK, no one ever actually says that. But if you think of all the false religions and cults in the world, that’s effectively what their advocates are saying. They are holding on to a lie and yet they are proclaiming, “This is the truth.”
So what is truth? The Bible is the truth. Or, as the Westminster Shorter Catechism 2 says:
The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him.
What does this answer tell us about the Bible?
First, it tells us that this is Divine Truth
“THE WORD OF GOD which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments… “God has the Truth and He’s made it known in the Bible.
Second, it is Directive Truth.
“The Word of God…is the only rule to DIRECT US.” This is not advice. God’s saying “This is truth. Believe it. Follow it.”
Third it is Delightful Truth
It “directs us how we may GLORIFY AND ENJOY HIM.” There’s delight for God there (we glorify Him), and there’s delight for us too (we enjoy Him).
Fourth, it is Dependable Truth
The next Catechism answer, number 3, states: “The Scriptures principally teach what man is to BELIEVE concerning God…” We are to believe what God has revealed. We are to trust it, depend upon it, lean our whole lives upon it.
And fifth, it is Demanding Truth
“…and what DUTY God requires of man.” The Bible is very practical. It’s not just about what we are to believe but also about what we are to do. God expects us to respond to His Word with faith and obedience.