What Is Truth?
What is truth? That is a question people everywhere are asking. We know truth is important. We know we want to have truth. However, we do not know what truth is. How can we know truth?
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me." - John 14:6
Jesus IS Truth?
What does it mean, "Jesus IS truth"? What Jesus is saying is that He is the definition of truth. You can only know truth if you know Jesus. If you want to know truth, the answer is ALWAYS JESUS.
Okay, what does that mean?
Truth is commonly defined as that which matches reality. That's a good definition. However, there is a problem. What is reality?
What Is Reality?
We are at a unique point in history. People are defining their own reality. What better way is there to be happy than to define reality the way YOU want it to be? Defining your own reality eliminates conflicts. It eliminates uncertainty. It means never having to be wrong. What a great life... until you actually run into reality. However, running into reality can be avoided for unbelievably long periods of time. What do I mean by that?
The craziness we see happening today has its root in a disconnect with reality. For example, the word "science" has become the god of truth for many people. However, it's not actually referring to real science. The WORD "science" is being used to promote lies (an alternative "reality") instead of truth. The word "science" has become a way to deceive and manipulate people, instead of representing knowledge and truth.
Post modernism is a way of thinking in which we define our own reality... what is true for you, is true for you... but what is true for me, is true for me. However, is that true? Can we make our own reality? If we think we can control reality, are we not claiming to be god?
Satan's offer to Eve: You will become like God..." - Genesis 3:5
Is it valid to define truth as that which matches reality? Not if everyone has a different reality. It then becomes a recipe for confusion, not clarity. We need a standard that is not subject to individual interpretationa standard that provides a foundation on which we can evaluate our experiences, instead of using our experiences to define truth. I can describe how I reacted to tasting a certain ice cream, "It was terrible." That's my experience. You can describe how you reacted to the same ice cream, "That ice cream was great! Best I ever had!" That's your experience. What do we have? Opinion, not universal truth. It is a subjective truth. Any claim that your "reality" is different from mine is superficial, and not what we mean when we talk about truth. The reality was that we both were tasting pistachio ice cream. That is a universal truth.
The issue revolves around the definition of the word "truth." It's a word that has multiple meanings. What is happening is that the meaning of the word "truth" changes in the middle of the conversation. This is a propaganda technique called "equivocation." For example, liking or disliking the taste of pistachio ice cream is a subjective truth. It is true that to me it tastes terrible and to you it tastes wonderful. Since we both are speaking truth, but our truths are different, that means there is no absolute truth. Whoa! We just made an unjustified leap of logic. In the ice cream example, "truth" refers to a personal preference, something that is subjective. This is called a subjective truth. Then to say there is no absolute truth is referring to universal truth... things that are always true or false. For example, if on the planet earth I jump up, gravity will pull me back down. This is a universal truth.
Fallacy of Extrapolation
There is also what is called the "fallacy of extrapolation." This involves taking truth that only applies in certain circumstances or to specific groups of people (limited truth), and making it a universal truth. For example, a friend gives me five Fuji apples. They are basically red in color, so I conclude all apples are basically red in color. Is that true? No. I've extrapolated from a small sample into a universal "truth" that is not true. (Granny Smith apples are green.)
The problem we face is that the definition of truth changes in order to support a political/cultural agenda. Truth that applies in limited ways is expanded to be universal. Truth that is subjective is interpreted as universal truth. The result is that the word "truth" no longer has any meaning. It is simply another tool used to deceive you... getting you to believe things that are not true.
For example, the statement "all white people are racist" is being promoted as a universal truth. It is in fact a limited truth. It is true that some white people are racist, but the vast majority are not. It is fallacy of extrapolation to say all white people are racists. This fallacy is a propaganda technique used to deceive you.
You need to be able to distinguish between subjective truth and universal truth, and limited truth and universal truth. To do that you need to be aware that the word "truth" is being misused without your knowledge. You now know that.
What we are seeing today is the twisting and distortion of the meaning of words, such as "science" and "truth," in order to support a political/cultural agenda. What we need is a foundation for universal truth that can be trusted. Where do we get that foundation? The answer is always Jesus.
How Does Jesus Define Truth?
Jesus (God) is truth. What does that mean? It means that truth is not just defined by what God says, but also by who God is. Truth is that which conforms with the mind, will, and character of God.
What is truth?
Truth cannot be separated from Jesus. It is all that He is. His love. His grace. His mercy, righteousness and justice. His holiness and perfection. All that God is, that is what truth is.
An Example: Climate Change
Let's get practical: What about catastrophic climate change? Truth or Fiction? If we are going to find truth, where do we start? With Jesus, and that means scripture.
While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Summer and winter,
And day and night
Shall not cease. - Genesis 8:22
While the earth remains, so will humanity. There will be food (seed and harvest), there will be times of cold and times of heat, there will be seasons. Even during the prophesied seven-year tribulation when environmentally things will get REALLY crazy, humanity will go on... until God destroys everything and creates a new heaven and earth. We need to be taking care of the earth, but climate change will not wipe out humanity nor destroy the earth.
How can we know who is telling the truth and who tends toward lies? Ask, do their words and actions affirm God or reject God? Do their words and actions glorify God or reject God?
Truth? It is ALWAYS JESUS.
Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. - 1 Corinthians 15:57
Victory in Christ means victory over sin and death. Sin and death were defeated at the cross.
For all have sinned [disobeyed God] and fall short of the glory of God. - Romans 3:23
Sin is the source of death. It is because of sin that death came into the world.
Just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all mankind, because all sinned. - Romans 5:12
Jesus defeated sin and death by paying the penalty for sin when He died on the cross in the sinner's place. With the penalty paid, sin and death no longer have power over those who believe in Jesus Christ.
...but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 6:23b
God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. - Romans 5:8
However, if you reject God, you have rejected the only one who can and did conquer sin.
God will not force you to accept His gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus, but He will also not let His creation be polluted by sin... your sin. He has reserved a place where you will receive justice. Instead of Jesus taking on Himself the punishment you have earned, you will receive on yourself what you have earned.
You will not have peace... for eternity... because you will not have had victory over sin.