What Truth is and What it is Not
Today when you ask Christians what is truth they give many different answers. Some say that truth is personal and not propositional. Others assert that truth is found in sensation, percepts, concepts, experiences, observations, science, psychology, and archeology and in human reasoning apart from Scripture. Christians are not unified in their definition of truth.
Purpose: To learn from Scripture what truth is and what it is not so that we learn to trust God’s Word alone as the only source for our belief and godly living.
1. What is Truth?
Truth is the revealed propositions found in the 66 books of the Bible alone and their logical implications.
Joh 17:17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
Eph 1:13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
Col 1:5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel,
Jas 1:18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.
1Th 2:13 For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.
Joh 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Joh 1:17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. Joh 4:23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.
Joh 4:24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Joh 18:37 Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Joh 5:31 “If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true.
Joh 5:32 There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true.
Joh 5:33 You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth.
Joh 8:32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Joh 8:40 But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this.
Joh 8:41 You do the deeds of your father.” Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.”
Joh 8:42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.
Joh 8:43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.
Joh 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
2Co 4:3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,
2Co 4:4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
1Jn 5:19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.
1Jn 4:6 We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
Joh 8:45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.
Joh 8:46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?
Joh 8:47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”
Joh 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Joh 16:13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
Rom 3:4 Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: “THAT YOU MAY BE JUSTIFIED IN YOUR WORDS, AND MAY OVERCOME WHEN YOU ARE JUDGED.”
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;
2Ti 4:4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
Rom 1:25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
1Ti 3:15 but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
3Jn 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
2Pe 1:12 For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth.
1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
Jud 1:3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
Rom 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
2. In order to defend the truth and to grow in the truth we must know the nature of truth.
Dr. John Robbins states that, “ Truth is a characteristic of propositions, and nothing else.” A proposition is the meaning of a declarative sentence. And only declarative sentences can be true or false. Sensations, feelings, percepts, concepts, are not propositions. Therefore they cannot be true or false. Hence, they are not of the nature of truth. The Bible alone is propositional revelation from God. God’s Word is objective truth because it comes from Him alone and it is revealed to us in logical, grammatical propositions that can be understood and known and believed and obeyed. Universals and necessity can only come from the mind of God because God alone is All-knowing. Rom 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Two plus two is four is not just so it is necessarily so. The law of contradiction is necessarily so. Logic is the science of necessary inference.
1Jn 2:21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Act 26:22 Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come—
Act 26:23 that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.”
Act 26:24 Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!”
Act 26:25 But he said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason.
Dr. Robbins continues, “ How a concept can be true or false she did not explain. “ Cat,” spoken, heard, or read without context, is not true. It is not false. It is meaningless. If it is an answer to a question, it is an elliptical expression, meaning: “That is a cat,” or, “My favorite animal is a cat.” But without context, “cat” is as meaningless as “boojum.” All by themselves, single concepts and single words are meaningless. They are neither true or false. If we are to know truth, if we are to discover truth, we must think in terms of propositions, not concepts.” Only propositions justify other propositions as logic requires. No perception can ever justify a perceptual judgment. For nothing is ever perceived all knowingly. “ Truth —- knowledge— comes only in propositions. “ Conceptual truth” is a contradiction in terms. Truth is relationship between a predicate and a subject. If there is no predicate, there is no truth. If there is no subject, there is no truth. Neither and experience, nor an encounter, nor an observation, nor an isolated concept, nor a single word can be true.
Truth cannot be derived from something non-propositional, such as “ observations.” Unless one starts with propositions, one cannot end with propositions. One cannot logically infer more than one begins with.” Without a Prayer, Page 78.
“Knowledge, by definition, is apprehension of what is true. One cannot be said to know what is false. One can have false information, but one cannot have false knowledge. “ False knowledge” is a contradiction in terms. What is true cannot be in error. What is known cannot be false. Therefore, knowledge is infallible. If it contains error, if it is liable to error, it is not knowledge, but merely opinion, information, or speculation.
The Lord does not want Christians to be integrationist. We are not to add mans words to God’s Word and call it truth.
Deu 4:2 You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
Deu 12:32 “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.
Pro 30:6 Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.
Rev 22:18 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book;
Rev 22:19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
1Ti 6:20 O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge—
1Ti 6:21 by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen.
Pro 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.