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Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for 2 John 1:4

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"WHAT IS TRUTH?"
Intro. John, writing to the Elect Lady said that he rejoiced greatly when he found her children walking in truth. In his next letter he said that he had no greater joy than to hear that his children were walking in truth.
I. WHAT IS TRUTH?
A. This is the question that Pilate asked Jesus when Jesus was on trial before him.
1. Pilate had first asked Jesus if He were a king, and Jesus answered, "To this end He was born, and for this cause I came into the world that I might bear witness of the truth."
2. It was then that Pilate asked with great cynicism, "What is truth?"
3. This is the time of history when the golden age of philosophy was in the final throws of death, and their quest for truth was being abandoned.
a. One system of thought after another had arisen only to be challenged and discarded by the new system.
b. There were those who said that might was right. Truth was determined by those who wielded the greatest power.
c. Others taught that truth was what you thought it to be. (This is pretty much the definition accepted today.)
4. The communists defined truth as whatever promoted the cause of communism.
5. There are many today who define truth today as whatever promotes their cause.
6. Still others say that truth is congenial with what I want to believe.
B. How can truth ever be discovered if man cannot even define what truth is?
1. Philosophy has concluded that truth is relative, so that truth is something that you believe to be true, as long as you believe it to be true, it is true to you.
2. In reality philosophy has despaired of ever discovering unified truth.
3. Paul wrote to Timothy of the philosophers, that they were ever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of truth.
a. The real truth is they have rejected the truth.
b. In Romans 1 Paul speaks of them holding the truth of God in unrighteousness.
c. He tells us that they changed the truth of God into a lie.
d. The bible speaks of a time when God will give man over to strong delusions that they might believe a lie because they had no love for the truth, that they might be saved.
4. The philosophers discovered that man cannot live in a state of despair, many of their students were committing suicide. So they suggested that they needed to take a leap of faith from the lower story of reality which is despair, into the upper story of esoteric non-reasoned religious experience. Hopefully you will find something there that you can believe in.
a. We see how popular in the intellectual circles today the Eastern religions have become, which provide non- reasoned religious experiences.
b. They testify to a feeling of peace when they chant their mantras.
c. There is a feeling of goodness as they become one with nature.
d. How far that is from God saying to the people, "Come now, let us reason together saith the Lord."
e. Or Paul saying, "I beseech you therefore brethren that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to the Lord, which is your reasonable service.
f. Or Peter exhorting us to be able to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you.
g. We have peace that passes human understanding because we are no longer in rebellion against God, but have surrendered to Him, the war is over.
h. We have joy because our sins are forgiven, and we have the promise of eternal life in the kingdom of God.
i. We have love because He first loved us and we have responded to His great love.
C. Why philosophy failed. The word philosophy comes from two Greek words, philo and sophia which mean the love of wisdom.
1. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "The world by wisdom, knew not God."
2. Man by his wisdom sought to understand and know God, and when his wisdom failed to bring him to God, he wrongly concluded that God did not exist. Because God is truth, He also believed that truth did not exist.
3. Paul wrote to the Romans, "Let God be true, and every man a liar.
4. God is not discovered through an intellectual quest, God has revealed Himself to man in the book we call the Bible. The Bible is God's word, thus God's truth.
D. In answer to the question, "What is truth?"
1. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father but by Me."
a. John said of Jesus, "And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."
b. In the same place he said, "For the law came by Moses, but grace and truth by Jesus Christ."
c. Jesus is the way to the Father.
d. Jesus brought to us the truth of the Father.
e. Jesus gives to us the life of the Father.
2. This is the gospel truth.
a. The first part of the truth is that man can come to the Father.
b. The complete truth is that man can only get to the Father through Jesus Christ.
3. In His prayer in John 17 He said to the Father, "Sanctify them through Thy truth, Thy word is truth."
a. God's word is true. It is the foundation for all truth.
b. Psalm 119:151 declares, "Thy commandments are true."
c. Psalm 19 says, "The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."
d. Paul affirms in Romans, "We are sure that the judgments of God are according to truth."
e. God's word is something that you can believe in, something to put your trust in.
II. WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF KNOWING THE TRUTH? JESUS SAID, AND YOU SHALL KNOW THE TRUTH AND THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE.
A. There are so many people today who are in utter bondage because they have believed the lies of men.
1. They believed that they could find true life in a bottle, and are now in bondage to alcohol.
2. They believed that they could find excitment and satisfaction in sex, and now are in bondage to pornography and their flesh.
3. They believed that they could find ultimate thrills in drugs, and are now addicted.
4. They believed that they could find happiness in possessions, and are now in bondage to their things.
5. Sin leads to bondage. Jesus said, "Whosoever commits sin is a slave to sin."
6. Peter wrote,
2PE 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
B. The truth of God sets men free.
1. Jesus said, "Who the Son sets free, is free indeed."
III. WHAT IS TRUTH?
A. You have been created by an all wise Creator, not evolved through a long process of accidental circumstances.
1. Thus your life has meaning and purpose.
B. The Eternal Almighty God who created you loves you and wants the best for you.
1. For this reason, He gave to you the rules for the good life which are incorporated in His laws. The prophet Micah said, "He has shown you O man what is good."
2. "The judgments of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether."
C. We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. The root word for sin means to miss the mark.
D. The wages or consequences of sin is spiritual death which means separation from the God that loves you. The prophet Isaiah said, "Your sins have separated you from God."
E. God still loves you and desires to have a meaningful relationship with you so He sent His Son to die for your sin.
F. God has promised that if you will believe on His Son, you will not perish, but have everlasting life.
G. In the end those who believe on Him will live forever with Him in the glories of His kingdom, and those who do not believe will be forever separated from Him. "He that has the Son has life, He that has not the Son has not life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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