"Truth" is a tricky subject that post-modernism has tirelessly redefined. So how does the professing Christian respond to the endless Biblical passages regarding "truth"? The truth is a topic the New/Old Testament writers as well as the Early Church Fathers were not shy of speaking about. Irenaeus was a Greek Church Father and apologist, born around 115 AD. He was from Smyrna, along with Polycarp (AD 69-155), who was a student of the apostle John. In c. 180, Irenaeus wrote in his book Against Heresies, "A sound mind . . . that is devoted to piety and love of truth will eagerly meditate upon those things that God has placed within the power of mankind and has subjected to our knowledge. . . . Such a mind will advance in the knowledge of those things . . . by means of daily study. I am referring to those things that fall under our observation and are clearly and unambiguously set forth in the sacred Scriptures in clear terms."
Many of the Early Church Fathers wrote of the truth. Origen (a pupil of Clement of Alexandria) wrote in his Commentary on John in c. 228, "One . . . should take his stand against historical fictions and oppose them with the true and lofty evangelical message in which the agreement of the doctrines found in both the so-called Old Testament and in the so-called New appears so clearly and completely."
What's clear is that the truth was not a discussion of debate in the Early Church, nor was it unclear or difficult to understand. Rather, it was "clear" and "unambiguous." Today, there are so many hot topics, controversial in matter and opinion. Arguments between two people can only ever occur when there are two people that believe two opposing things to be true. And there are so many arguments, but very few people seeking the truth. Perhaps there are many opinions without enough objectivity. If something is true, it must by nature be true regardless of opinion.
"All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal." Psalm 119:160
"Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth." John 17:17
"Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6 HCSB
"So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, you really are My disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32 HCSB
"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15 HCSB
"Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another." Ephesians 4:25 ESV
"Little children, we must not love with word or speech, but with truth and action." 1 John 3:18 HCSB
"For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." John 1:17
"If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us." 1 John 1:8 HCSB
There are so many passages about truth in the Bible that will be encouraging to read and reflect on: Daniel 10:21, Ephesians 1:13-14, James 1:18, Job 34:12, Psalm 25:5, Psalm 43:3, Psalm 86:11, Matthew 22:16, John 1:14, Psalm 15:1-2, Zechariah 8:16, and countless more. It was so frequent that the faith of the disciples in the Early Church was radical and life changing because of the truth they saw in the scriptures.
When we examine the complete, undying devotion to the truth by the disciples in Hebrews 11, for example, we see that their faith and trust in what they were convinced was true led them to action. "By faith" those in Hebrews 11 did so many amazing things. Their faith was in what they believed to be absolute truth. The faith of disciples increases exponentially when the truth is on the forefront of their minds. "So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ" (Romans 10:17).
How does the professing Christian respond to passages regarding the truth? What about the disciples in Hebrews 11 who died for holding to the truth? What about the seven brothers in 2 Maccabees 7 (Apocrypha) that were beaten senselessly, scalped, stretched to pieces, and burned alive? They were faced with denying the truth or being slaughtered, and they chose the latter because of how deeply and adamantly they believed the truth. There are endless stories of people dying for what they regarded as the complete, absolute, objective truth. I often wonder if the truth I believe in is something I'm willing to die for.
What is the truth? The truth must be consistent universally, otherwise we tread on truth relativism, which says that multiple truths can exist while not agreeing with each other. This cannot be so. Read the entire Bible, then read it again, and again, and again, and again. The truth in the Word is so clear and so plainly written. It is beautifully constructed and universally prevalent. It teaches the Godly to be more Godly, and it shows the unrighteous the path to righteousness. It distinguishes between truth and falsehood, and most importantly introduces the reader to the Creator of all things, who is a God full of grace, truth, and love. If what we profess is objective truth, then the only proper response is sharing it with everyone we can, without shame.
I ask myself everyday, "If what I believe is true, then do my actions reflect that?" Often times, my actions don't reflect that. It's then that I have to ask, "What do I really believe?"