Whatever is True

Bob RoaneJoy and Peace, Loving and Trusting God, Wise living

Brothers and sisters, whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned, or received, or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9)

This post builds on The Faulty Walnut and God’s Remedy

Our Brains Are Lazy

In his book, Collective Illusions, Todd Rose calls our brains “energy hogs.” They are whirling hard drives in our skulls which consume 20 percent of our physical energy. Neuroscience shows that 95 percent of our cognitive activities are unconscious. That’s scary. Because God says, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”1

Rose says that because our brains require so much fuel, norms play a critical role. We agree on values, beliefs, attitudes, and/or behaviors based on what people believe to be normal, typical, or appropriate. Social norms function as unspoken rules or guidelines. They are like autopilots, so that our neurological hard drives don’t overheat.2

The problem is, our autopilots are not trusty! By nature, fallen human beings often follow rules and expectations that leave God out. The Lord must renew and reshape our norms, habits by His truth, or else we go astray. God the Holy Spirit comes to indwell and assist Christ’s followers with new goals, new motives, and new ways of life that please God.

We Are to Think Like and Imitate the True God

Jesus’ believers have turned to God from idols to serve the one and only living and true God.3 One of His Hebrew names is LORD, God of truth translating the Hebrew name Yahweh El Emeth. Our God is absolutely honest, faithful, and trustworthy. But the devil (a fallen angel) is a liar and the father of lies.4 Since the fall of Adam and Eve, Satan has been deceiving us and leading human beings away from trusting and obeying the Lord our Maker and Caretaker.

We can’t say that something can be true for you, but not for me. Truth is not based on our personal opinions. Truth is objective, not subjective, rooted in God’s character. Truth exists because God exists. Only falsehoods have to be invented.

Dishonest Leaders

This topic is so important now because the concept of absolute truth is under vicious attack. The April 3, 2017 cover of Time Magazine asked: “Is Truth Dead?” One former U. S. leader said, “Truth isn’t truth,” and another spoke of “alternative facts.”5 But alternative facts are not facts at all. They are lies. In the list of things the Lord hates, He mentions liars twice.6 Revelation 21:8 says that on Judgement Day “unrepentant liars will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

Despite the decline of truth in our culture, God’s character and promises are still true and trustworthy. It is impossible for God to lie and He created us in His image to be like Him.7

Christ and the Holy Spirit Are True

Jesus is the Word who became flesh and made His dwelling among us. Christ is God’s glorious one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.8 Even Christ’s enemies said, “Teacher, You are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because You pay no attention to who they are. But You teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.”9

Jesus promised that after His death, resurrection, and ascension, He would send the Holy Spirit to be another Advocate, Counselor, and Helper to carry on Christ’s work on earth. Jesus called Him the Spirit of truth who teaches us what is true and reliable.10

The Lord’s Scriptures are True

God’s opinion about the Bible is the only one that matters because He is the only one competent to assess the Scriptures. We may take a old diamond to a gemologist because they are expert in telling if stones are genuine or fake. They know more than we do about gems. Likewise, we can’t judge the Bible; it judges us. Only the Lord (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is competent to evaluate the Bible and He says:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. The Bible corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do right. God uses His Scriptures to prepare and equip His people to do every good work (action, behavior, conduct).11

So we pray:
Lord Jesus, You are the Word of God Incarnate.
You are God’s Wisdom from on high.
You are the Truth unchanged and unchanging.
You are the Light of our dark sky.
We praise You for the radiance
That from the Bible’s hallowed page,
Is a lantern to our footsteps
That shines on from age to age.
Equip us with everything good for doing God’s will.
Work in us what is pleasing to You.
Whatever we do, help us do it all for the glory, honor, and praise of God. Amen.12

To be continued

Notes (various Bible translations): 1 Prov 14:12.     2 Adapted from Rose, p. 110 and Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.     3 John 17:3; 1 Thess 1:9.     4 John 8:44.     5 Rudy Giuliani, Meet the Press, August 19, 2018, and Kellyanne Conway, Meet the Press, January 22, 2017.        6 Prov 6:16-19.     7 Num 23:19; Titus 1:2; Heb 6:18.     8 John 1:17.     9 Mark 12:14.     10 John 15:26, 16:13; 1 John 4:6.     11 2 Tim 3:16-17.     12 Prayer is adapted from William How’s hymn “O Word of God Incarnate” and Heb 13:21.