What Is Truth?


Pilate therefore said unto him,” Art thou a king then?” Jesus answered,” Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” Pilate saith unto him,” What is truth?”   John 18:37-38    (KJV)

What a great question Pilate asked Jesus! What is truth? Man’s search for truth is as old as original sin itself. What’s the big deal about truth anyway? I’ve even had people say to me,” Well, I think we all have a little truth.” (I am speaking in the context of Christianity, and denominational differences.) To me a statement like that is referring to a weak god. And our God is anything but weak! To have a little truth here, and a little truth there, here-a-truth, there-a-truth, everywhere-a-truth-truth, is not the way our God operates. He is about order and structure and purpose. And this is exactly what truth gives us.

 God’s revealed truth gives us: 1) structure, 2) direction, 3) purpose, and 4) information. These dynamics all work together to bring us truth in it’s fullness.

For instance, in the King James version of the Bible, did you know that the word truth is found 234 times. The Old Testament has it 97 times. Of those 97 times, the Book of Psalms has it 40 times. Most of the Psalms were written by King David, ” a man after God’s own heart.”

The New Testament has the word truth in it 137 times. Out of the 137, 27 are found in John’s Gospel. Another 20 are found in his three epistles. John is referred to as ” the disciple who Jesus loved.” The Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke only use the word truth 11 times…..combined!

What does all this mean? Well, I find it interesting that God chose these two particular men to write about truth,” a man after God’s own heart” and ” the disciple who Jesus loved.” We know that the truth in God’s word is not limited to just these two writers, He just chose them, to write the most about it. What this reveals is, the closer you are to God, the clearer truth becomes. The more open we are to receive it. The more open we are to share it.

So, where does the Bible say we can find truth? Well, that’s what we are going to investigate in this new study,” What Is Truth?”

God bless.

Who God is; How We Ought To Be


As we finish up the study on “His image , His likeness” I wanted to give us a few more things to think on. I wanted us to go beyond the trying to define what image is, and what likeness is, to acting in God’s image and likeness. In other words, doing things like God would!

In Old Testament times, even through the first centuries after Christ, names meant something, more so than today. Some of us may not even know what our own names mean.

 Listed here are some names of God, names that reveal a part of His character, His nature, His attributes. These names can also help us in our quest to be more like Jesus. Remember, we are made in His image and likeness and we need to act as such. The world is watching.

Elohim– God the strong one, Gen. 1:1; El Elyon– most high God, Gen. 14:22; El Olam– everlasting God, Gen. 21:33; El Shaddai– almighty God who is sufficient for the needs of His people, Gen. 17:1; El Roi– the God who sees, Gen. 16:13; Adonai– lord or master, Jos. 5:14; Yahweh– I AM the One who is, Gen. 2:4, Ex.3:14; Yahweh Jireh– the Lord provides, Gen. 22:14; Yahweh Nissi– the Lord my banner, Ex. 17:1; Yahweh Shalom– the Lord is peace, Jud. 6:24; Yahweh Sabbaoth– Lord of Hosts, 1 Sam. 1:3; Yahweh Maccaddeshcem– the Lord your sanctifier, Ex.31:13; Yahweh Raah– the Lord is my shepherd, Ps. 23:1; Yahweh Tsidkenu– the Lord our righteousness, Jer. 23:6; Yahweh Shammah– the Lord is there, Ezk.48:3; Emmanuel– God with us, Matt. 1:23; Jesus– the Lord saves, Matt.1:21

And by the way, my name Timothy is from the Greek language and it means honoring God.

I hope you all have enjoyed this study. I sure have. May God continue to bless each and every one of you, as we all seek to grow in His image and His likeness.

Amen.

God is Relational


The Lord God said,” It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for Him.” So the Lord God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, He took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. The Lord God then built up into a woman the rib that He had taken out of man. When He brought her to the man, the man said,” This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called woman, for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.  Gen.2:18,21-23  (NAB)

God is perfectly relational within the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and even though we are created in His image, He has limited our ability to be just like Him to being like Him. It is in this way He has called us to community. Man was incomplete without woman and is acknowledged  as such when, the man states,  bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called woman, for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken. As the end of chapter 2 clearly states, this is why man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two become one body. They need each other. Man needs woman and woman needs man and without this oneness the family, the culture, the world would not exist. Much like God Himself would not exist with one member of the Holy Trinity missing.

This is the beauty and sanctity of the sacrament of marriage! A living witness of the love that exist in the Triune God. God is love. Perfected love within the oneness of community.   We are created separately, to become one. Though we won’t be perfect, it is the witness of two becoming one, the unity it symbolizes, the dependence we have upon one another that reflects His image and His likeness.

Paragraph 357 in The Catechism of The Catholic Church states: “Being in the image of God the human individual possesses the dignity of a person, who is not just something but someone. He is capable of self-knowledge, of self-possession and of freely giving himself and entering into communion with other persons. And he is called by grace to a covenant with his Creator, to offer Him a response of faith and love that no other creature can give in his stead.”

Amen.

God Rules


And the Lord God commanded the man saying,”Of every tree of the garden, you may freely eat; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.”    Gen. 2:16-17 (NASB)

As stated last time, God allows us to rule over creation. Yet we cannot rule over Him, God is the ultimate ruler. Also, as stated last time, we must submit to His rules, His authority or suffer the consequences.

When I was younger, I tended to look at church, with all it’s rules and regulations as “the no fun zone.” I didn’t understand that God’s rules, His commandments, were given to us to keep us safe, to keep us healthy and happy and in total communion with Himself. Just as I tell my children,”Look both ways before crossing the street,”or “Brush your teeth after every meal,” to keep them safe and healthy.

Our hedge of protection is built first with obedience (1 Sam. 15:22). If all we do is “praise”God or “worship” God, but have no “fruit” to show with it, then guess what, it ain’t real! As James would say, that’s a “dead faith”. Obedience to God is not optional, if we are His child. We must not look at sin as the “fun” thing. That’s a very hard thing to do in today’s society, but we must trust God and the rules He’s given us, to keep us from the danger and destruction of sin.

Secondly, our hedge of protection, is built with faith. We can say we have faith all day long but how is that faith manifested? I must act upon God’s promises, believe He is who He says He is, and act like it. It’s a life-style. This is how we co-operate with His grace; we choose to! Adam and Eve chose to disobey God, before the “Fall”; before the inclination to sin was present in them. Once they sinned, their hedge of protection was gone (in the fullest sense). Their protection now was in the form of a restoration process, through obedience. Today it’s still the same.

If I think I can live, do, say, think or act any old way I want to and be a Christian, then I am a fool! As Paul would ask,”Who has bewitched you?” (Gal.3:1). Ever wonder why people won’t go to church with you? Could it be they do not see the power of the gospel, lived out in your life?

So in His image and likeness we know good and evil (Gen. 3:22). Let us choose God in obedience and faith, bringing glory and honor to our Father in heaven and being a light to this dark world.

Amen.

God Allows


And God blessed them; and God said to them,”Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.  Gen. 1:28 (NASB)

God gave us the command to subdue (conquer) the earth and rule over it. We have that God-given authority. Not a king of the world mentality, but rather a priest of my family mentality.

As the priest did in the Old Testament, and still do today, we need to submit in service to God and take care (rule over) what He has entrusted to us. In our study of the domestic church, we learned how the husband and wife were to submit to God and to each other in leading their family. That’s a prerequisite, submission to God, whether or not you’re a husband, wife or single adult. We must do this and in our obedience He gives us the authority to subdue and rule what He has entrusted to us.

If we are not submissive to God, then we will have the tendency to let our circumstances rule us instead. We will also tend to let others dictate to us our worth, our priorities and even our spirituality. We must remember that God has given this command and we will be blessed by Him if we, in His image and likeness, obey Him. To not rule over our lives in Godly submission is to reject what God has ordained, and that rejection leads to chaos. Just look at today’s culture.

Living in God’s image and likeness isn’t an easy thing to do. We must develop a spiritual discipline to say “Yes” to God, more than we say “Yes” to sin. Like I said, it’s not easy but it can be done, for we have this promise in scripture, ” Greater is He that is in you, than he who is in the world.” 1 Jn. 4:4

Amen.