You must understand that that means that you are not going to be able to be friends with this world. You're not going to be able to be popular with people who hate the very principles upon which your salvation is built.
That's not possible. Hello and welcome back to the Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Hi, I'm Bill Wright. Today, as Don continues teaching God's people God's Word, he's going to bring us the second half of a message titled, In Defense of Truth, in which he'll compare and contrast the so-called truth espoused by modern culture with the absolute truth found in God's holy Word, the Bible. Let's join our teacher now for today's lesson from the Truth Pulpit. Truth is that which was real before you were born, which is true now and will be true after you are born. The meaning of Scripture. You know, it doesn't matter what Scripture means to you.
What we want to know is what Scripture meant before you were born and what it will mean after you die. That's a way of saying that truth is transcendent and goes beyond what any individual thinks. We have such high opinions of ourselves and we're so convinced that what we think is everything in the world, concept of truth humbles that pride of man and says that truth is bigger than you are and you need to align with truth, not truth aligning with you. Truth could say in another application of it. Truth is personal integrity that keeps one's commitments. He's a truthful man is a way that could be used to say he's a man who keeps his word.
Psalm 15 addresses that as one of the aspects of true godly character. Truth is personal integrity that keeps one's commitments. Truth is character that acts with no hidden agenda. Character that acts with no hidden agenda.
You know people like that. You're always wondering what's really behind the words that they say, right? What are they really getting at?
What did they mean by that thing that they said to me? Well, truth is character that acts without an agenda. The meaning of Scripture. You know, it doesn't matter what Scripture means to you.
What we want to know is what Scripture meant before you were born and what it will mean after you die. Truth is bigger than you are and you need to align with truth, not truth aligning with you. Truth is personal integrity that keeps one's commitments.
He's a truthful man is a way that could be used to say he's a man who keeps his word. Truth is character that acts with no hidden agenda. John 8, truth is spiritual reality which sets one free. Truth is that which is genuine or accurate. Truth is reality in contrast to what the situation may seem to be on the surface.
It goes and it has influence on human character and it is that which is real, the way things really are. Now, with those simple principles stated, let's consider them in light of the very nature of God himself, shall we? Because truth leads us to God and Christ. So turn in your Bibles to the book of Exodus 34 with me. In Exodus 34 verse 6, God is revealing the nature of his glory to Moses and he does so by by declaring his attributes to Moses as he passes by. And in verse 6, you read this, then Yahweh passed by in front of him and proclaimed the Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in loving kindness and truth, who keeps loving kindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression, and sin, yet he will by no means leave the guilty unpunished. As God is revealing his glory to Moses, one aspect of his glory, one of the radiating beams as the light hits the prism and shatters into the broad spectrum of color, one of the glories and one of the perfections of God is his truth, that he is truth himself. And you see that in that a forerunner of Jesus Christ being full of grace and truth. So God himself is defined in terms of truth. As you go on and we won't turn to these passages, but Psalm 31 verse 5 says that God is the God of truth. Christ himself is full of grace and truth, John 1 14 and 17.
What about the Holy Spirit? Turn to the Gospel of John chapter 14. John 14, truth, truth, truth, truth, truth.
John 14 verse 16, we'll start there. As Jesus speaks about the coming Holy Spirit, he says, I will ask the Father and he will give you another helper that he may be with you forever. That is the Spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive because it does not see him or know him, but you know him because he abides with you and will be in you. The Holy Spirit is known as, is identified by Christ himself as the Spirit of truth.
You see that same language in chapter 15 verse 26, if you would turn there. John 15 verse 26, when the helper comes, whom I send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will testify about me. John 16 verse 13, but when he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth for he will not speak on his own initiative. And you can look at 1 John 4 6, it talks about the Spirit of truth and the Spirit of error and other places like that, beloved, here's the point.
Here's the point. You look at the Godhead, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They are identified in terms of truth.
Sometimes I get frustrated with the limitations of human language and the inability of my own tongue to express the things that need to be said. This is one of those moments. This is one of those moments. The very nature of the eternal God is described and defined in terms of truth. Truth revealed in Christ. Christ, the actual revelation of God.
Do you see what we're saying? Truth is fundamental to the eternal essence of the most holy, thrice-holy, triune God. God does not exist apart from truth. Truth is fundamental to his essence.
And so what you need to see and what we need to start grasping more fully is the Spirit of the age in which we live is an attempt to assassinate God himself. If you deny truth, you have denied Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. If you have denied truth, you have taken away the hymns that we sang earlier. There is no need to talk about holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty if he's not the God of truth.
If it's just a matter of subjective experience and what one person thinks over against another, all of this collapses. And so if we are to defend the gospel of Jesus Christ, if we are to proclaim the true God out of Scripture, we must uphold the principle of truth and not bend, not yield an inch of ground on that territory. No matter who hates us, no matter who abandons us, no matter who leaves, none of that matters compared to the transcendent importance of this principle of truth itself. You have no salvation without truth. You have no God without truth. You have no Bible without truth.
Scripture does not permit it. And so the time comes for Christians, for the Church of Jesus Christ, to decide which side of this line it's going to stand on. Does truth exist or not? Is truth about your feelings or something greater than you?
That's how central it is. That is how fundamental the significance of truth is. That leads us to our third and final point. We need to deal with the standard for truth. The standard for truth. If truth exists, and it does, then we must know where to go to find it.
Where is the plumb line by which all other ideas and feelings are measured to know what is true or not? If truth is so fundamental, it is important to know where and how to find it. Why are we truth community church? Do you start to see the significance of the name on the sign out front?
There's a reason that we call ourselves by this name. It's not that every church should be truth community church. That would make it very confusing when you did a Google search, right?
When's there service? Ah! Every church in the world is named truth!
That's a problem. I don't care what other churches call themselves. I'm just wanting you to understand why we identified ourselves in this way. It's because we are saying this is what we stand for. We stand for the very principle of truth and all of the implications that you find from that from Scripture, and we deny that that which contradicts Scripture has any possibility of being true. No wonder people take offense at the name of our church. If they disagree with Scripture, we're saying they're lost and in lies and telling lies. People don't like to hear that. I'm okay with that.
I'm okay with that consequence is what I mean. So our church, truth community church, affirms and practices, that's really an important combination there that's worthy of a sermon all of its own, truth community church affirms and seeks to practice that the 66 books of the Bible are the only book of absolute truth. There is only one book in the world that tells you the truth without fail and without error, and it is the Holy Bible, the 66 books of the English Bible based on the Hebrew and Greek and Aramaic originals.
Not that the English is the only translation, but you get what I'm saying. For us who are English speakers, we find it in the English Bible that we have in front of us. So we see truth in Scripture.
I'll expand on this in a moment. We also say one of the aspects of truth is that there is only one way to God, that in Jesus Christ alone can salvation be found, and that every religion that that changes and redefines Christ, that denies his deity, every religion that denies his humanity, every religion that says there are other ways to God apart from Christ, they are false, damnable, demonic, satanic, false religions that must be rejected and denounced for the sake of truth. Scripture and Christ, truth and truth. But, beloved, what you have to understand is is that as you're making those fundamental affirmations, it is essential to understand that the responsibility to affirm truth and to defend truth means that you must simultaneously make denials as well. And if you go to the to the best of the confessions and catechisms in the history of the church, you'll find that they affirm and deny. They affirm and deny. It's not enough to simply say we have a ten-point doctrinal statement that we affirm. What I want to know is what do you deny if you're going to be so general about your affirmations? Tell me what you deny. Tell me what you think about Catholicism.
Tell me what you think about the Pope. Tell me what you think about Mormonism. Then we'll see whether we're on any agreement about truth or not, because if your view of your little ten-point doctrinal statement accommodates Catholicism and Mormonism, and you can call heretics and and and legalists like that Christians, we're not on the same page.
We're talking a different language. And so we have to make denials. So we deny as we make these affirmations. We deny that any other religious book is true. We deny as satanic inspirations the Book of Mormon. We deny as satanic inspirations the Quran. We deny any book that claims that it is on an equal footing with the 66 books of the Bible.
We deny that. There is no other truth. Scripture stands alone.
Sola Scriptura. Scripture is alone in its truth claims. And anything Catholic tradition, the authority of the Pope that tries to put itself on a plane like that, they have just disqualified themselves as a religion. Not every Bible teacher will agree with what I'm about to say, but I'm gonna say it.
I said a week ago, I got things on my heart and I intend to say them, and I'm gonna say this. It is the same thing dealing with the charismatic movement that tries to put their personal modern-day prophecies on the same level of Scripture. What you are saying is, is that you have another seat of authority. And when charismatics come and say, God told me and therefore you must do this or that. God told me and here's what is true. We cannot talk that way and hold to Sola Scriptura.
We cannot talk that way without deceiving people. And so we deny that any other religious book is true. We deny that any other religion can lead to heaven. That's what we say about truth. That's what Scripture says about truth.
Sola Scriptura. Scripture alone. Not some modern-day prophet. Not God spoke to me.
Not I prayed about it and I feel good about it and therefore this is true. None of that. None of that. All of those things are just compromise and dilute and distort the principle of truth. Postmodern thinking has no interest in the concept of truth, let alone the elements of truth. The spirit of our age is to deny that there is such a thing as absolute objective or universal truth. People seek truth based on their feelings, their visions, their inner voices, or their internal peace, or what's quickly becoming one of my favorites in more conservative Christian circles. Hey, I've prayed about this and therefore it must be true. I've prayed about this and therefore my conduct is beyond accountability or correction.
That's not true. That is not true and that is a reflection of postmodern thinking, not biblical thought. People seeking truth on feelings, visions, internal peace. If it feels right, it must be true. Beloved, I know we're used to hearing that and it's easy for many of us to slip into that kind of thinking ourselves, but we need to recognize it for what it is. When we find ourselves thinking that way or being sympathetic to that thought, we need to recognize that as a temptation away from truth, a temptation to sin. And when we see that kind of thinking in our minds, we need to denounce it and say, no, that is not true. I reject that. That is not what I affirm and I am not going to allow my mind to think that way. And there is no excuse, especially for anyone as familiar with the Bible, there's no excuse for anyone who owns a Bible to fall prey to the world system in which we live.
There's no excuse. Proverbs chapter 14 verse 12 says, there is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. Proverbs 16 verse 2 says, all the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, but the Lord weighs the motives. Do you see, beloved, that what you think is not the final arbiter of what's true, the way that you feel, what your opinions are, that's not the final standard. And that's the whole point of what we're talking about. What is the standard for truth? That's the third point, the standard for truth. It is not what a man feels inside or what a woman feels inside.
But we say more than just that. We not only deny that truth is found within, we deny even the possibility of finding truth within. Our world system and many professing Christians are so enamored with their inner being, so convinced that they can find truth in their own heart, that they don't even recognize. And what we need to say to them is that your mind and your feelings are utterly defiled and deceiving, far from being a source of truth. They are the path to deception for you.
Don't go there. There is no truth within your heart, especially your unregenerate, unsaved, unredeemed, unrenewed heart. Your mind and your feelings do not and cannot guide you into truth.
They lie to you. That's what scripture says. Psalm 36 verse 1, transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart.
There is no fear of God before his eyes. Transgression, sin, iniquity, in other words. That's what's in your heart. Jeremiah 17 9, probably the clearest and most famous verse of these of things on this point. The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick.
Who can understand it? What other conclusion could we draw from Jesus's words in Matthew 15? Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man.
What other conclusion could we draw as Paul talks about the present wrath of God in Romans chapter 1 verse 28 when he says God gave them over to a depraved mind to do those things which are not proper? What on earth makes any one that is halfway minimally acquainted with scripture think that they can find truth in their heart? So we deny not only that the heart is a source of truth and that your opinions are a competing truth source, we deny even the possibility of it. It's one of the reasons that men need to be saved, that you need to be delivered.
You need to be delivered because you have within you a mind that does not understand truth, that does not love truth, that rejects truth and tells you lies apart from scripture. Everything depends on the things that we're talking about here today, beloved. Principle of truth, the glory of God, the glory of Christ, exclusive salvation in the state and condition and safety of your own soul.
Everything depends on this. Proverbs 28 verse 26 says, he who trusts in his own heart is a fool. The heart of man is corrupt, evil, and full of falsehood.
And so, beloved, there are consequences to that. That means that the feelings and opinion of men are irrelevant to assessing truth claims. What someone says that God spoke to them in their heart, you know, Jesus, you know, gets so sick of these kinds of things. The rage a few years ago, I don't know if it still is, is that there were supposedly a lot of Muslims that were seeing Jesus stand at the foot of their bed and supposedly Muslims are getting called and converted to Christ because they see a vision of Jesus at the foot of their bed and, you know, they supposedly turn to Christ out of that. This is just demonic deception is all that is. Because where does faith come from? What does Scripture say? Where does faith come from?
Is it through visions? Not according to Colossians 2. Don't believe a man who takes his stand on visions. Faith comes from hearing and hearing by what? The word of Christ, external to the man, external to his inner perceptions. And Scripture asserts its own truthfulness and no higher authority exists. And anything that contradicts the higher authority is false by definition. Psalm 119, 142, your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness and your law is truth. Verse 151, you are near, O Lord, and all your commandments are truth. Verse 160, the sum of your word is truth and every one of your righteous ordinances is everlasting. John 17, 17, your word is truth. Your word is truth.
Your word, your word, your word. And in this way, God is recognized as alone the authority as he's expressed it in his word. So the word is the standard for truth. In like manner, truth is found only in Jesus Christ.
Listen to these familiar passages. We said, John 14, 6, I am the way and the truth and the life. There is salvation in no one else, Acts 4, 12, for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved. 1 Timothy 2, 5, there is one God and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
Not Mary, not Muhammad, not any other false teacher, has nothing to do with Joseph Smith. 1 John 5, 11 to 12, the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has the life. He who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. Affirmation and denial. You have the Son, you have the life.
You don't have the Son, you don't have the life. This is clear-cut. And so, beloved, the standard for truth is the Bible alone. Friends, what do you believe about the truth? What do you say about Jesus Christ? Does your mind follow truth as it is found in Scripture or do you follow the spirit of the age?
Do you follow truth and let it contradict your feelings and opinions? Answer the question well, beloved. There is so much at stake for you personally as you respond. That's Don Green with a loving yet firm warning about the dangers of embracing the spirit of the age that has ensnared our culture. Well, friend, if you'd like to find out more about Don Green and his ministry or you'd like to give a financial gift in support of this broadcast ministry, just go to thetruthpulpit.com. When you get there, you'll find information about Don as well as an opportunity to make a tax-deductible donation. It's your financial support, after all, that allows us to remain on the air so that these teachings can continue to go out to a lost and dying world. Once again, visit us at thetruthpulpit.com.
But right now, here again is Don with a closing word. As we close today's broadcast, I just want to thank the faithful staff and generous friends who make this broadcast possible. I may be the voice of The Truth Pulpit, but the teaching would not reach you without the partnership of many others behind the scenes. So I say thank you to them and thank you to you who listen. It is a privilege for me to serve Christ by serving you in the teaching of God's Word. Thanks so much, Don. And friends, I'm Bill Wright, inviting you to join us next time as Don Green continues teaching God's people God's Word here on The Truth Pulpit.
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