What is Truth?
You may be familiar with these words that Pilate spoke to Jesus in John 18:38 when Jesus was on trial before him. Pilate probably meant it as a rhetorical (or perhaps sarcastic) question. He was no doubt wondering how Jesus if he were a king as he had just claimed, was able to attract enough subjects to establish a kingdom. Jesus anticipated his lack of understanding by explaining that his kingdom is not being established by external forces such as characterize the kingdoms of this world, but instead it is the result of forces that originate within each individual. It comes from within “everyone that is on the side of the truth.” Simply put, they are drawn by a love for truth. Jesus said something similar about this inner force in Luke 16, “The kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it” (Luke 16:16). When men receive a love for the truth, there is no power that can keep them out of this kingdom.
The New Birth
Under different circumstances, Jesus explained this same principle to Nicodemus in John 3. Here he went into more detail, elaborating on exactly how a person acquires a love for the truth. Jesus used a metaphor (birth) to describe the change that results in a person beginning to love the truth. By nature, men are not drawn to the truth. It requires a transformation so complete that it is like being born again. It is also described in the Bible as a “metamorphosis” (Gk. metamorphoo) because it changes everything. Along with the new birth comes a new nature that loves the truth. This seems to be the point that Jesus was making to Nicodemus when he compared two hypothetical men – one who loves his sin more than he loves the truth, and the other (the new birth) who has received a love for the truth and proves it by coming to the light.
David also understood this very well, as he wrote in one of his psalms, “Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts” (Psalm 51:6). This process of coming to the light so as to have “truth in the inward parts” is continual. It is not a one-time event, but it means coming to the light over and over. This is what Jesus meant when he said, “he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest” (John 3:21).
The Source of Truth
In this “present, evil world” what are reliable sources of truth? John said lies originate with Satan, calling him “the father of lies” in John 8:44. He said, “when he lies, he speaks his native language.” He also said, “the whole world is under the control of the evil one” (1 John 5:19 NIV), so we can be sure that this world is not a source of truth. The Bible gives the sources of truth and it should be noted that they are all from outside this world.
- Holy Spirit – Truth comes to us from the Spirit of Truth who, as Jesus said, “will guide you into all the truth” (John 16:13 NIV).
- Christ – At the most basic level, truth is actually a person – Jesus Christ – “I am… the truth” (John 14:6). He is the embodiment of truth. Truth has many different aspects and he came to earth to reveal them all to mankind – the truth about God, the truth about Christ, and just as importantly, the truth about ourselves.
- Word of God – “Thy word is truth” (John 17:17).
The Result of Truth
What are the results of “truth in the inward parts?” Here are a few.
- Freedom – Truth results in freedom – John 8:32 “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” Truth sets people free from the bondage and guilt of sin. It sets them free from error and deception.
- Fellowship – Fellowship becomes possible when people have a mutual love for truth. It surpasses ethnicity, gender, culture, language, and anything else that could be a barrier to fellowship.
- Righteousness – The “knowledge of the truth… leads to godliness” (Titus 1:1 NIV). When the pursuit of truth is the direction of our lives, it leads to becoming more and more like God and his Son and having their righteousness, which is the ultimate purpose of this life.
In modern times The Truth is sometimes used as an unofficial name to describe a group that models its worship style and beliefs after the early church that we read about in Acts and also again in I Cor 14 and 15. Similar to the early church they have a ministry that goes two by two, they meet in a home for worship on Sunday mornings and usually Wednesday nights. This group is international in scope and can be found in many different countries. More information can be found at www.thefellowshipoftruth.com
The purpose of this www.thefellowshipoftruth.com is to provide information about a non-denominational network of home-based churches that can be found in nearly every country of the world. We are imperfect people trying hard to fulfil the plan that God has laid out for each one of us. We do our best to follow the teachings of the Bible at home, work and in the place of worship. The format and structure are Bible based and very similar to what we read about the early church in Acts and I Corinthians (Acts 1:13 and I Cor 16:19.) Each week we meet in homes for fellowship and worship on Sunday mornings and Bible studies on Wednesday nights. From time to time, we also have larger Gospel services where multiple home-based churches meet together. These meetings serve to strengthen the faith of the believers, and also, help to explain our beliefs to those who are being introduced to our faith for the first time.