Here’s the notes from last night’s study…
We started with a definition of “truth” from from Wikipedia: Truth has a variety of meanings, such as the state of being in accord with fact or reality. It can also mean having fidelity to an original or to a standard or ideal. In a common usage, it also means constancy or sincerity in action or character. The direct opposite of truth is falsehood, which can correspondingly take logical, factual or ethical meanings.
Then we began to see what 1 John had to say about truth. We looked at it from 5 perspectives.
1. Truth lives in the real world of action.
Truth is something we do: 1:6 We can claim fellowship with Him by word, or experience it in action. i.e. Our love should be in deed and truth. 3:18
2. Truth also has to do with the inner environment of your life.
Truth can be (or fail to be) in us: 1:8; 2:4. The inward environment determines the truth of your outer life. Do you have the truth living in you?
Taking numbers 1 & 2 together: Being “true” is the total package of inner truth which comes out to prove it’s there.
3. Truth is not unknowable. Christians know the truth.
You know the truth. And lies cannot come from truth. 2:21 We can know we are of the truth. 3:19
4. Truth is ultimately a spiritual issue.
There is a spirit of truth and a spirit of error, we need to discern them. 4:1-6 Truth is not just a static list of facts. It always has an energy behind it. So all claims to truth need to be weighed:”What is the spiritual energy behind this claim?” Everything preaches.
Tellingly, John leads us to see that The Holy Spirit is truth. 5:6, 2:27
5. Jesus/God is truth. 5:20
To get the background of Johns letter, we then looked at Three truths from John’s Gospel: (John 1:14, 17:17, 14:6)
- When the disciples saw Jesus, they saw the glory of God full of grace and truth.
- The word of God (who Jesus is) is truth. Truth comes from God’s mind and is carried by His word.
- Jesus is Truth. Truth is what Jesus is.
Now, what does it actually mean to say that someone “is truth?”
- He is the ultimate reality and the ultimate test of what is real. Is it part of, from, connected to, in agreement with Him?
- It means truth is personal. It is about living connection. Truth is what lives in and flows from Him.
- When He speaks, it is not only true but binding. It creates obligation in us.
- There is a great war between truth and lies in the universe. It stretches from the very beginning of time, when Satan brought the first lie in the the world, to the end, when the Truth comes back victorious: see John 8:42-47, Rev 19:11, 21:22.
Challenges for us:
- Do you have God’s truth?
- Do we let the person of Jesus define our lives?
- Do we examine the things in our lives in relation to Jesus? If He is the measure, do we measure everything by Him?
- Are we people who have Him as truth in our hearts, coming out? Is He making us true people?