3. Truth

To be true, in its simplest form, is to be factual. A fact is empirical as it can be tested an tried, and greater normative claims typically hinge upon it. Such as rest to cure the body of stress. Or sodium ions from simple table salt to make a flame burn orange in colour. To be true is also to be understood. For example when Jesus revealed to the Samaritan woman at the well who he was (John 4:1-42), she ran and told her countrymen about the Messiah—and they believed. Well, then, how did the woman and these countrymen know truth?

There is a seemingly inextricable link between belief and truth that cannot be explained in the natural alone. If we agree that one must focus their mind (intellect) on Jesus and submit their will (desires) to God, then we must also agree that belief is rooted in faith. The Bible states that faith comes by hearing. When the woman recounted her encounter with Jesus to her countrymen, they did not simply believe Jesus; they importantly believed in Jesus. The believed Jesus to be the truth, the manifestation of God’s word to man.

I suppose this raises some key questions. Namely, without the baptism of the Holy Spirit that allows them to bear witness, how could they possibly know the truth of Jesus? There is an important hint throughout much of the Old Testament. Before the ‘open heaven’ policy instituted immediately after Jesus’ baptism, the Holy Spirit would come upon the prophets to guide them and instruct them. The countrymen, by believing in Jesus, was a prophetic act of faith. It goes without saying that to believe in something or someone is a personal testimony of truth. The second important question is, what of the countrymen? Did they “go and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19) after learning and accepting the truth of Jesus Christ? And what of the woman and her sinful past? Why don’t we have a follow-up account? Or word on a Holy Ghost celebration for her repentance? Might I say that it does not matter. The truth is not based on the possibilities of our future choices; the truth is in the person of Jesus Christ, and we obtain (or attain some semblance of) truth by keeping our eyes fixed on him.

Now, in the absence of light there is darkness. In the absence of water there is dryness. In absence of riches there is poverty. And in absence of truth, there is untruth. The Bible refers to satan as the ruler of the world and he who “does not come but to steal, to kill, and to destroy” (John 10:10). If Jesus—who sacrificed his flesh in the world, is seated at the right hand of the Father, and came "so that [we] might have life, and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10)—is ultimate truth, then we must submit that satan is ultimate untruth. This is understood from an elementary reading of the Bible. It is particularly evidenced by the negative spaces we allow when we do not accept certain truths.

Let me be more precise. If we have been given power and authority to trample “over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall by any means hurt [us]” (Luke 10:19), satan can only hurt us or steal power from us if we allow it. It is a choice. If we take this a step further, replacing the truth of Jesus with satan’s untruths is a choice we make on a continual basis. I’ll give a practical (and, surely, relatable) example. The truth that is Jesus states that I must love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37). Loving him with my mind (intellect) means reading and believing his word. His word says I am made in his image (Genesis 1:27), and I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). Satan might suggest to me that my skin is the wrong hue. Now, assuming I am already in decent health, I have the choice to either reject this untruth or accept it and thus replace God’s truth in the person of Jesus. Wherever I fix my attention—on godly truth or worldly lies—I will reap its reward. As stated, “for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21). In other words, your heart will dwell on whatever you invest your time and energy in doing. So we must “gird up the loins of [our] mind” (1 Peter 1:13) so that it reproduces only good fruit and not that which is spoilt. Meaning, the reproduction of good fruit is a manifestation of Jesus’ perfect work. And that’s the truth.