Tragically, many are not teaching the truth of God’s Word. Many so-called preachers and teachers teach a relative truth concerning the Word of God. They teach that the Bible can mean different things to different people. It is not objective, but relative. Relative to what? They answer, to whatever you feel it means to you –or, often, what they want to tell you it means according to their own particular bias or emphasis. This is called ‘abductive reasoning’. It presents truth as subject to the mind of the reader. It argues that all we have to do is the best we can with the information available and calls for leaps of imagination to help make sense out of what information is to hand. This is perfectly permissible when dealing with fallible human understanding and philosophy, arguments and reasoning. But, it is totally inadequate and wrong when approaching the Truths of God’s Word. Biblical truth is objective, timeless, and absolute. There are no ‘ifs’, ‘buts, or ‘maybes’ when we approach the Word of God. ‘For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.’ Psalm 119:89. We approach scripture knowing that God is saying what He means and that He means what He is saying. There may be passages that are challenging and difficult to fully understand, but that does not mean we can make it mean what we ‘feel’ it should mean. It has a definite, objective meaning that is timeless and ‘settled’ in the mind of God.
- Because of this we may have absolute assurance of salvation. ‘And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.’ 1 John 3:19
- Because of this we may know that we have (now as a present possession) eternal life. John 5:24, 1 John 5:13, ‘These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.’
- Because of this we may have total trust and absolute confidence in His promises. 2 Cor 1:20, Job 13:15.
- Because of this we know He is faithful and ‘cannot deny Himself. Human beings may disbelieve, but that won’t change Him or His promise. 2 Timothy 2:13, ‘If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.’
Make it your firm resolve to ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth…’ and keep a firm grip on the ‘Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God’ v17, along with every single other attribute listed in Ephesians 6:10-18. It is a failure to maintain this ‘love of the truth’, that which is the Word of God, those truths contained within the writings of ‘the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone’ (Eph 2:20), that were ‘in breathed’, ‘inspired’ (2 Tim 3:16) by the Spirit of God Himself, that Paul tells us is the one single thing above all else, that will keep us amidst the deceptions, distortions, errors and distractions of this present age. 2 Thess 2:10.
One of the favourite and subtly deceptive ploys of those who would point us away from the Word of God is to quote 2 Cor 3:6 where Paul uses the phrase, ‘…the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life’. However, to use this text to condemn those who, like the Berean Jews, ‘searched the scriptures daily, to see whether those things were so’ (Acts 17:11) is to be guilty of twisting and distorting scripture away from its clear and definite meaning. Paul was contrasting the ‘glory’ of the Old Testament law and the Mosaic Covenant which ministered death with the greater glory of the New Covenant which ministers life. To apply the term ‘the letter killeth’ to a desire to have a clear understanding of the Word of God based upon diligent reading and study is to disregard the clear exhortation of scripture from Genesis to Revelation. Paul encouraged his son in the faith, Timothy, to ‘study to show’ himself ‘approved unto God, a workman (a servant of the Lord) that needeth not to be ashamed (embarrassed because of ignorance of the Word), rightly dividing (explaining NRSV) the Word of Truth’. 2 Tim 2:15. This included the entire OT as we know it. The Law and Prophets. Paul could hardly breathe without referencing the law and the prophets in one way or another. The Lord Jesus was the same. The entire New Testament is a ‘revelation’ of the true meaning and intent of the Old Testament. It is impossible to understand the OT without the light of Christ and the writings of the apostles. It is this ‘ministry of the New Covenant, by the Spirit, that brings and ministers righteousness and life to the believer.
Let us all seek to so love the Truth of God’s Word that we will never cease ‘searching the scriptures daily’ to know and understand the will and mind of the Lord, and to do so in absolute dependence upon the Holy Spirit to make His Word clear to our understanding.