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Nothing but the Truth

A213

John MacArthur

Nothing But the Truth

Biblical Christianity is all about truth. God’s objective revelation (the Bible) interpreted rationally yields divine truth in perfectly sufficient measure. Everything we need to know for life and godliness is there for us in Scripture (2 Peter 1:3). God wrote only one book — the Bible. It contains all the truth God intended us to order our spiritual lives by. We don’t need to consult any other source for spiritual or moral principles to govern our lives. Scripture is not only wholly truth; it is also the highest standard of all truth – the rule by which all truth claims must be measured.

Such a conviction is the very antithesis of the post modern notion that no one should ever claim to know objective truth. And that is another major reason why Christianity has been targeted by the proponents of post modern inclusivism.

Authentic Christianity is “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). Christian truth is not subject to change or amendment. It isn’t nullified by changes in worldly opinion or standards of political correctness. It doesn’t need to be adapted and redefined for every new generation.

Certainly, an individual’s understanding of the truth can be refined and sharpened by study of the Scripture. But the truth itself does not need to be reinvented or retooled in order to make it suitable for the times in which we live. The same truth Abraham, Moses, David, and the apostles believed is still truth for us. Changing times do not change the truth. Scripture is as unchanging as God Himself: “But the word of the LORD endures forever” (1 Peter 1:25). In other words, we need to adapt our understanding to the truth of God’s Word, not try to manipulate Scripture in a vain effort to harmonize it with the changing opinions of this world.

The truth of Scripture is something precious that must be carefully handled and closely guarded (1 Timothy 6:20). Once again, a proper understanding of Scripture involves conscientious and diligent study. Second Timothy 2:15 says, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” By implication we see that all who do not divide the Scriptures right are sloppy workers who ought to be ashamed. In other words, no one has the right to be a theologian who is not first a careful exegete.

The truth is everything to a Christian. That is why we are called to refute error, defend the truth, and proclaim Scripture as the supreme truth against every lie propagated by the world.

I fear that the church in this post-modern era has lost focus on that fact. It is no longer deemed necessary to fight for the truth. In fact, many evangelicals now consider it ill-mannered and uncharitable to argue about any point of doctrine. Even gross error is now tolerable in some quarters for the sake of peace. Rather than rightly dividing the word and proclaiming it as truth, many churches now feature motivational lectures, drama, comedy, and other forms of entertainment — while utterly ignoring the great doctrines of the faith. Even people who attack the truth in pseudo-scholarly ways are finding publishers in the evangelical realm and being honored as if they had deep insight.

We must recover our love for biblical truth, as well as our conviction that it is unassailable truth. We have the truth in a world where most people are simply wandering around in hopeless ignorance. We need to proclaim it from the housetops, and quit playing along with those who suggest we are being arrogant if we claim to know anything for certain. We do have the truth, not because we are smarter or better than anyone else, but because God has revealed it in the Scriptures and has been gracious to open our eyes to see it. We would be sinning if we tried to keep the truth to ourselves.