Updated: Nov 22, 2018
With honesty and integrity fading away while opinions and emotions rise up to take precedence, we find ourselves living in an age where truth is seen as not only objectionable, but also irrelevant. Yet with this push from society to conform to these ambiguous philosophies, the Christian must be strong in godly wisdom and discernment (James 3:17, Psalm 119:125), mature in the faith and solid in the Word of God so as not to be persuaded to take on the world’s views.
Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. Understanding that the Bible is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16-17), we must never forget that this living Word is our only access to absolute truth. Taking on the opinions of others (well-meaning or not), or forming our own opinions based on what we perceive to be right can lead us astray—for even our own hearts can deceive us (Jeremiah 17:9). The most difficult aspect about the truth is the fact that it often comes with a sting. Some parts of truth are easy to hear and we will even rejoice in it, but other parts will deeply pierce our hearts because they are hard to accept. However, we’re not alone in this—every single human being is the same in this regard. And the reason we have such a struggle to receive and apply some of the harder truths is because it’s going to have an effect on our life—a life in which we’re comfortable and don’t want disturbed. Yet in order to walk as our Lord and Saviour walked, following Him as genuine believers, we must not only accept the whole truth, but also apply it in our own lives. In other words, we cannot just hear what is right to do, we must also do it. James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. The only way an unbeliever can be born-again is by knowing the truth. The only way a believer can effectively walk as a Christian is by understanding the truth. It is by truth that we are set free – and truth is a person – His name is Jesus Christ!
John 8:31-32 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. We cannot say we love the truth if we’re not willing to live according to it. The Word of God needs to be regarded in the correct manner. There are three ways that people seem to view the Bible. Let’s take a look at what they are. The Bible is just a guide
In this position, we see the Bible as a book where we can pick and choose the parts that we like and disregard the parts we don’t, viewing its contents as merely ideas and not something we have to live by – like placing the Bible under our feet and elevating ourselves to be in control over it. Our thoughts and opinions come first every time and we interpret the Word according to how we want it to within the lifestyle that we’re comfortably living. The Bible is your friend
In this position, we see the Bible a little higher than the first one, being on an equal level with us, believing that its pages contain good things that we should mainly live by, and others that we can re-interpret to suit our lifestyle. We see the Word as partly true, and tell ourselves that perhaps those more difficult teachings are for other people at another time. Our thoughts and opinions decide what parts of the Bible we’ll choose to accept and apply. We don’t want to go over the top – especially with some biblical areas that would demand way too much of us. After all, God wouldn’t really expect us to live that way, right? The Bible is the truth to live by
In this position, we consider the Bible to be above our thoughts and opinions, therefore we see the whole book as the absolute truth, wanting to hear it, receive it and live according to it. We see the reality of our own state of wretchedness, and therefore have a high need to heed God’s Word and obey it. The parts we find difficult and hard to accept, we will choose to not go by our own feelings, but instead, trust that God knows better than us, therefore we willingly lay down our ideologies and live a lifestyle as the Word of God instructs – with the help of the Holy Spirit. The truth is fundamental to our Christian walk, so it’s of utmost importance that we hold the Word of God in high esteem. When we hold the Bible in its rightful place, we will then also be holding the truth in high regard. 1 John 4:6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error. Sacred text of Scripture must be handled with utmost reverence and respect, remembering that the way to follow Christ as He requires, we must walk in obedience to God’s Word of truth. -- By Jenny Ayling
This article was written to form part of the series, 'Imitate'. Containing 45 sessions, this thorough series intends to reveal the characteristics found in a disciple of Jesus. The original article, 'Imitate', would be the best place to begin your journey in discovering the qualities of a follower of the Messiah of Israel.