It’s impossible to deny the existence of truth without at the same time affirming it. How come? Well, think about it: to say “truth does not exist” is to make a truth claim.
So, what is truth?
Truth is what corresponds to reality. Simply put, truth is “what is”, as defined by God. God is a God of truth; all truth is God’s truth; and no truth exists apart from Him. In His Word, the Bible, God has revealed His truth to us. In fact, the only thing you can really know for sure is what God tells you.
Reading and believing the Bible is essential to knowing God. So, if you are seeking the truth, pick up your Bible or open your Bible app now and, as we proceed, ask God to show you the truth from what you read.
Start with the Bible’s first verse: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen 1:1). God is the sovereign, eternal, righteous Creator of the universe. Hold it there, you say, if there’s a God, why is there all the trouble in the world? Because we have ruined His perfect creation through our wilful rebellion. At the beginning, in the garden of Eden, in defiance of God, humanity decided to take its destiny into its own hands, to define its own reality and set its own rules, and humanity is still completely committed to this global project of independence and autonomy of its Maker. Have you ever thought what our culture’s underlying philosophies are really saying? Humanism is self-centred and says “Be what you want” (“You can be whatever you want to be”). Hedonism is feelings-centred and says “Do what you want” (“If it feels good – do it”). Materialism is possessions-centred and says “Get what you want” (“You deserve it”). Relativism has no centre. It says “Believe what you want” (“What’s true for you isn’t necessarily true for me”).
This sin of Adam and Eve, our first parents, led to the ‘fall’ of both the created order and of human beings, the whole human race being constituted sinners from that moment onward. We all individually begin life “in sin”, being sinners in our very natures. The Bible is clear on this point:
Romans 5:19 “By one man’s disobedience many were made sinners”
Psalm 51:5 “In sin did my mother conceive me”
Ephesians 2:3 “We…were by nature the children of wrath”
In other words, sin isn’t just something we do, it’s something we are. We are wicked in our hearts. Jeremiah 17:9 says “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked”. This is the cause of all the trouble – the very source and fountain of sin in our lives and in the world. Our nature has revealed itself in the sinful things that we have said, and thought and done. Though we may like to think of ourselves as basically good and better than others, the fact is, “There is no difference [between any of us], for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23).
The Bible says, “There is none righteous, no, not one…there is none that doeth good, no, not one…with their tongues they have used deceit…whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: their feet are swift to shed blood: destruction and misery are in their ways: and the way of peace have they not known: there is no fear of God before their eyes. Now we know that what…the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God” (Rom 3:10-19).
The Bible’s accurate and honest picture of humanity is very bleak. It describes us as:
- Lost – 2 Cor 4:3-6
- Unclean – Isa 64:6
- Wayward – Isa 53:6
- Condemned already – John 3:18
- Helpless – Rom 5:6
- Bankrupt – Luke 7:42
Think about what these verses mean for you. Remember too that your sins will all be judged by God. On the day of judgment, sinners will be cast into the lake of fire as punishment for their sins (Rev 20:11-15). If you are not saved, that’s where you are heading – for ever. Hard to accept? Sure, but offensive though this is to human pride, you will never be saved until you sincerely bow to this solemn fact.
What can you do about it? Nothing! The Bible is clear: you can do nothing to save yourself. You cannot buy, earn or merit favour with the God against whom you have sinned. Neither your religion, nor your baptism, church attendance, good works, charitable giving nor even your prayers can clear your sin and make you right with God. You can even sincerely confess your sins to God every day and ask God to help you to be a better person, but that will never justify you before the righteous God of heaven.
If you take all the apples off an apple tree, is it no longer an apple tree? Likewise, cutting down on the number of sins you commit doesn’t change who you are, nor does it move the dial of your acceptability to God one millimetre. Your sin so taints and stains everything you do as to render unacceptable anything you offer to God. The Bible says that all your best efforts are like filthy rags (Isa 64:6).
In such a hopeless and helpless condition you stand in need of one thing: a sinless Saviour! – to save you from your sins and deliver you from the wrath you deserve. The Lord Jesus is that Saviour! He bore God’s punishment for sin when He suffered and died on the cross. Three days later God raised Him from the dead and then seated Him at His right hand in heaven; proving and declaring that the work to save sinners was and is complete – finished to the satisfaction of the infinitely holy God of the universe.
If you are willing, without reserve, to agree with what God says about you:
– to own up to your guilt
– to admit you deserve to go to an eternal hell
– to acknowledge your utter helplessness
…then the following four Bible verses will bring hope to your soul. Please read them slowly, thoughtfully and carefully:
Isaiah 53:5 “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.”
Romans 5:6-8 “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly…But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
1 Peter 2:24 “Who His own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree…by whose stripes ye were healed.”
John 3:36 “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and He that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
Have you accepted the sentence of guilt under which you lie because of your sin? Then accept the mercy and forgiveness that God offers to you in that very condition! Christ rendered a fully acceptable sacrifice to God on the cross, answering every charge against sin. He has loved you and given Himself for you. He has satisfied the righteous claims of God against sin by shedding His precious blood and laying down His life as a once-for-all sacrifice for sin. Take God at His word! Christ’s work for sinners is done. Trust in Christ for salvation at once and be saved.
The Bible is clear: salvation is by grace, through faith and not by works (Eph 2:8-9). Do not rely on a prayer you can pray, or on money you can pay, or on a confession you can make. Rest alone on what another – the Lord Jesus – accomplished for you 2,000 years ago on the cross.
“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).
Michael J. Penfold (email@example.com)