"LOINS GIRT ABOUT WITH TRUTH"
Intro. In our last lesson we looked at the relevance of our loins being gird about with truth as a necessary pre-requisite for battle.
I. WHAT IS TRUTH?
A. This is the question asked of Jesus by Pilate.
1. I believe that it was said in a cynical way, for Pilate was living at the close of the age of philosophy when the philosophers had despaired of discovering truth.
2. One philosophical system had risen after another only to fall in succeeding generations.
B. Today people are still asking, "What is truth?" They say,
1. Truth is subjective, and it is relative.
2. There are no absolutes.
3. Thus truth is what you experience it to be.
a. But this precludes me from telling you what truth is.
b. It also precludes you from telling me, for we must each experience for ourselves.
C. It is probably more necessary for us to define what truth is today than at any other time in the history of the church.
1. There are many ecumenical movements in the church today that are seeking to unite the whole Christian church.
2. The Pope has been inviting the protestants to return to the holy mother.
3. There are many groups waving the unity banner and asking all to unify under their banner.
4. To refuse to do so marks you as a one who divides the body of Christ.
5. There are strong movements to unite what they call all religions.
6. People see sort of a utopia if all the religions could just hold hands and worship God.
D. Amos the prophet asked, "Can two walk together except they be agreed?"
1. I believe in Christian unity, but not at the expense of truth.
2. Paul did not tell us to gird up our loins with unity.
II. THE NECESSITY FOR A VOICE OF AUTHORITY.
A. What is my authority for truth?
1. Human reason cannot be my authority for truth.
a. As we have already shown the greatest minds of men could not agree on truth.
b. Paul said that the natural man did not understand the things of the Spirit, neither could he know them for they were spiritually discerned.
c. How many of you if you were to study science would want your professor to use a text book that was written fifty years ago? Our knowledge has increased so much in the last fifty years, that a textbook of that age would be made fun of. Yet the scientist say that science is based on fact. Have facts changed?
d. It is interesting that many of the mistakes that the so called scholars discovered in the Bible by further investigation and archeological findings have proven to be true.
e. One of the most damnable things ever to come from the church was what was known as higher criticism. This came out of the church in Germany, and has infiltrated in a more or less degree to every seminary.
f. Men began to challenge the authority of the scriptures, even claiming to have a greater understanding of the scriptures than Jesus Himself.
g. This blasphemy led a group of so called scholars to gather recently to determine through their great wisdom which of the sayings attributed to Jesus in the New Testament were actually authentic.
h. These men delight the hearts of the atheistic writers in the media who are bent on bashing the Christian faith.
i. Paul wrote to the Corinthians about worldly wisdom,
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
Where [is] the wise? where [is] the scribe? where [is] the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [even] the hidden [wisdom], which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known [it], they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.
But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
2. Feelings cannot be my authority.
a. I cannot say, "I feel that this is true."
b. Our feelings can change so quickly.
3. I cannot accept experience as the touchstone for truth.
a. I would then have to accept the Mormons, the hindu gurus, TM. and a host of other cultish groups which all testify of a variety if experiences such as a burning heart, or a blissful state of mind.
b. The same is true of those who testify of experiencing holy laughter, or uttering animal sounds, or being slain in the Spirit.
4. I cannot accept the traditions of the church as truth.
a. One of the reasons for the mass confusion within the Catholic church today is the fact that they have placed tradition on a par with the Bible as far as church dogma is concerned.
b. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees because they had taught as doctrine the traditions of man. And by their traditions they had made the commandments of God of no effect.
c. Prayers to Mary, the baptism of infants, the confessional, the doing of penance, the prayers to release a loved one from purgatory are all unscriptural traditions without any foundation of truth.
B. The Bible must be the final authority for all faith and practice.
1. Let God be true and every man a liar.
2. People today are looking for a voice of authority.
a. The reason why Herbert W. Armstrong was able to attract such a large following to his world wide Church of God was that he spoke with such authority, at a time when so many ministers were questioning the authority of the word of God.
b. The people were drawn to Jesus because he did not teach as the scribes or the Pharisees but He spoke with authority.
3. Without a final word of authority you can have nothing but confusion.
a. Men of wisdom will present conflicting views.
b. Men will testify of different feelings.
c. Men will have a wide variety of conflicting experiences.
d. Men will develop different traditions.
4. The Bible claims to be the inspired word of God.
The spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word [was] in my tongue.
Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst.
But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,
I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord,
For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The Lord said to my Lord Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.,
Men [and] brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.
And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,
All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.
5. Jesus prayed, "Sanctify them through Thy truth, Thy word is truth."
6. To gird yourself with truth, is to gird yourself with the word of God.