Going Deeper with the Message:
by: Ben Biles
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16–17 ESV). Here, Paul describes Scripture as breathed out by God and dependable for a variety of ministry uses. We see that the truth within the Bible is sourced in God Himself. If Scripture was simply an account of God, written by men, we might have reason to doubt it’s truthfulness. However, God fills the Biblical authors with His own Spirit and inspires them to write down His infallible truth. We believe that His Word is true, eternal, and dependable for our knowledge of God.
Yet, just 3 verses later, Paul issues a warning to his pastor friend Timothy. “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Timothy 4:3–4). The reality is that people are generally not attracted to the truth for truth’s sake. We would rather stick to our own opinions. We find it difficult to admit when we are wrong even when confronted with truth. Instead, we prefer sources of truth that support our own passions and desires. When God’s truth runs counter to what we want, we opt for another source of truth.
As mentioned on Sunday, “When we allow our identities to define truth, then that “truth” becomes a vehicle for our own agenda. But when we allow truth to instead define our identities, then we become vehicles for God’s agenda.” We have two options then. One—decide what’s true for ourselves and then speak, think, and act according to that truth. Two—accept God as the source of all truth and live according to what He says is true despite what we hear around us. The first option is ever-shifting, ever-changing as we try to define truth from our experience. But in this second option, we seek out God’s truth through the written Word and the Living Word Jesus Christ. Day by day, we are transformed into greater alignment and conformity with Jesus Christ and with what God has revealed in Scripture.
When we cling to our identities in Christ, God is able to use us to spread His gospel message. His truth emanates from us to those around us and through that, God changes lives. It becomes imperative then that we seek out God’s truth in the Bible and faithfully and boldly live it out in our everyday lives.
Living out the Message:
Your Source of Truth
By Ben Biles
When I was young, I remember something strange was written on my grandparent’s TV. They had taken a black permanent marker and inscribed “The Big Lie” across the top of the monitor. As a kid, I remember thinking that their actions were a little eccentric, but to them, this inscription served as a constant reminder not to trust everything heard on TV. So when we watched any news channel, everything that was reported was met with a good amount of skepticism. They often doubted the media as a reliable source of truth.
I’m convinced that truth is hard to come by. As a culture, we have become jaded from the lies of politicians, leaders, and authorities. Mainline philosophical thinking suggests that we live in a “post-truth” world where truth is relative to each person. This, of course, has led to problems. If your source of truth depends on your experiences and your knowledge, then truth is whatever you make it. Truth would be relative to the things you’ve seen, heard, and learned over time. As you change over time, your truth also shifts.
But if you believe in God and put Him as your source of truth, then all the things that God does and says become the foundation on which you can base your own understanding and experiences. Because God never changes, His truth is stable, eternal, and absolute. We can trust in God and live with confidence that His truth gives our lives meaning and purpose.
This is why a relationship with God brings peace to so many minds. We can rest assured that our salvation is secured through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for our sins. This frees us from the penalty of sin and allows us to live in a personal relationship with God. We better develop our relationships with God by gaining a deeper understanding of truth written in the Bible. There, we see how God has revealed much about Himself: His character, His thoughts, His plan for this world, and His love for humanity.
It becomes imperative that believers understand the truth of Scripture and live by it. We safeguard our minds and hearts with His truth and protect ourselves against every-shifting philosophies. In your own life, make sure that you find time to study the Bible. Then, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).