Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). Pilate was not interested in knowing what truth was for he ended his interview without giving Him opportunity to respond. Truth was of no particular concern for him. He was far more interested in what was politically expedient. Sad to say, this is still true in far too many instances today. Folks just simply are not interested in truth.
Jesus tells us plainly what truth is. He said in His prayer to His Father, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17). Since God’s word is truth, and he cannot lie (Titus 1:2; Heb. 6:18), when men today speak anything contrary to what God has given, in every instance, “Let God be true, but every man a liar” (Rom. 3:4). We must bring our teaching and our actions into complete harmony with God’s word; otherwise, we are not of the truth. In his interview by Pilate, previously mentioned, Jesus had also stated, “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice” (John 18:37).
Thus, only those who are guided by truth are “of the truth.” Jesus gave Christians important guidelines to identify those who are “of the truth.” He said, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Col. 3:17). Only those whose words and deeds are authorized by Jesus Christ in the truth are “of the truth.” This includes everything that is taught, and everything that is practiced, including what we practice in worship. Those who teach contrary to what God’s word teaches, and those who worship in ways not authorized by God, are not “of the truth”.
Another statement of our Lord also demonstrates the extreme importance of truth. He said, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). There are several important things taught here:
(1) There is such a thing as Truth. The world wants us to believe that there is no such thing as truth, or that truth is whatever we want it to be. We are told that there is no right or wrong, that truth is subjective. But remember what Paul wrote in Romans 3:4.
(2) Man can “know the truth.” Again, men want us to believe just the opposite. Men, in their folly and in their rejection of God and truth, tell us that “it is impossible for us to know anything for sure.” This statement not only contradicts the words of Jesus in this verse, but is also absurd in itself, for if it were true, we could not know it.
(3) We are made “free” by the truth. This freedom is freedom from sin. Paul wrote, “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness” (Rom. 6:17-18).
-Paul M. Wilmoth