In John 8:31, 32, we read, “Then Jesus said to those who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’” There are many wonderful and powerful lessons to be learned from these well-known words of our Lord.
Objective, Absolute Truth
First, there is such a thing as objective, absolute truth. Notice that Jesus spoke of “the truth” and not “a truth” or “my truth” or “your truth.” That is the language of our politically correct world. We are told that truth is relative to the person and the situation so that everyone determines what is true for them. But that doesn’t mean it is true for everyone else. This philosophy is called situational ethics or moral relativity. Many so-called scholars and philosophers deny that truth is absolute and objective and applicable to all people in all times in all circumstances.
Now, it does not take the wisdom of Solomon to see the absurdity of such a belief. If truth and morality are just matters of opinion, and one opinion is no better than another, then how would we ever be able to prosecute a criminal? How could we devise any laws that apply to the whole society? Anarchy would be the result!
Furthermore, situational ethics is a self-contradictory philosophy. One person could say, “I believe stealing is good,” while another person could say, “I believe stealing is evil.” Both would be right according to this false theory, even though the two statements are mutually exclusive.
So, the next time you hear someone say, “There is no such thing as absolute truth,” just ask them, “Are you absolutely sure about that?” Jesus taught there was such a thing as “the truth.”
Truth Is Knowable
Second, we learn that truth is knowable. Again, there are many who reject such a concept as arrogant. But Christ said, “And you shall know the truth…” Provided one does not assume a haughty attitude, there is nothing arrogant about saying that one knows the truth on a given subject; Jesus said it was possible. We certainly do not tell the mathematician he is arrogant for insisting that two plus two always equals four and every other answer is wrong.
Truth Is the Word of Christ
Third, we see that truth is the same thing as the word of Christ. Notice that Jesus used the phrases “My word” and “the truth” interchangeably. Truth, then, is to be found in the gospel of Christ. That is the standard of truth and error, and of right and wrong. Whatever is found in the pages of scripture then is true and anything that conflicts with it is false.
Truth Can Set Free
Finally, we learn that truth has the power to free us from the slavery of sin and its consequence of eternal punishment in hell (John 8:33-36).
It can free us from the domination of the devil and from the awful guilt of sin. Living in harmony therewith makes one a true disciple of Jesus Christ, free from sin and hell, and on the strait and narrow path to glory. Little wonder then that Solomon said, “Buy the truth, and do not sell it, also wisdom and instruction and understanding” (Proverbs 23:23).
Let us resolve that we will learn all of the truth we can, always live in harmony therewith, and never depart therefrom.