Thursday, July 2, 2009

The World on Truth

Today I logged on to my Google page and the literary quote was from a French/American author. He says, “I have remained someone who believes that the only things indispensable to human life are air, food, drink and excretion, and the search for truth. The rest is optional.” I used to be like him.

Sticking with our truth theme, without my history with MJ and fever, this quote reminded me of a time in my life that I can only explain as arrogance. I think that it is interesting that there are two sides of the coin. There is truth and there is the search for it.

We live in one of these camps. Let me tell you what my camp looked like for a few years. As I was searching for truth, I believed that the only thing that was real was my experience. I believed that I had wisdom to discern truth, based on the fact that I took up space here. In light of this, my truths were flimsy and relative but apparently worthy of discussion. I can’t tell you how much of my life has been spent rejecting other’s truths or affirming my own.

I made monumental errors in judgment as I relied on myself to lead me through rejection of organized religion, rejection of my mother’s religion, rejection of conservative moral notions stemming from religion, and my entrance into experimenting with like-minded arrogant peers. I found that my search for truth was simply my desire to live as I wanted. Offering it as a search for truth, made it seem more impressive, even academic in nature. I felt superior to the ignorance that I had left behind.

The truth about truth is that everyone is searching for one. That means that there is lots of input. I believe that humans know there is a Truth. It is engrained in us. It is a part of our very soul for the created to seek out the Maker. That is so beautiful in its purist form, but it is very ugly when we skew our role of importance in that relationship.

The world, at least in words, knows that there is truth for the taking. Even Pilate showed us his search yesterday when he asked Jesus, “What is truth?”

We need to know about our Truth.

John 16:7-15,

Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment; about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned. “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

Quick interpretation: Jesus starts in v.7 by telling us that He tells the Truth. He also reveals that His plan is to multiply Himself (the Truth) in believers through this Advocate. He is sending the Advocate (Spirit of Truth) that He talks about in v. 13, which means that there is a Truth and it is about to hit the mainstream. Jesus is providing it for us, so we have it from the top. He will speak this Truth through His spirit and the Spirit will speak it directly to us.

The Holy Spirit is a member of the Trinity serving as a conduit, a bridge from us to Jesus. This is similar to Jesus being our bridge to the Father. Knowing the Spirit is knowing the Truth of Jesus, and of the Father. That is the Truth…not the truths of the world.

I think that we have to latch on to the three directives of the Spirit in the first part of the passage. These tell us about the things that the Spirit is going to prove to us, in turn pointing out the lies in the world that serve as obstacles to the Truth.

The Advocate will prove the world wrong about sin because the world doesn’t even want to talk about this. If we have the Spirit then we hear the Truth about sin in our lives and in our world. The world suppresses sin, but the Truth reveals it.

The Advocate will prove the world wrong about righteousness. Jesus proved His righteousness when He died on the cross and He rose again, exalted. He died, convicted as the unrighteous. He lives demonstrating his righteousness. He is who He says He was. The Advocate stays behind to reveal this truth of Jesus, exalted in righteousness, to those who will listen.

The Advocate will prove the world wrong about judgment. The world does not understand the foe that exists in Satan. People flippantly align themselves with him thinking of it like a social club. There are really people who believe that they are valuable to the father of lies. They are indispensable to an entity who was a murderer from the beginning. Anyone, unless deceived, would not align themselves with a psychopath and, yet, we see it all the time.

Here is the Truth about Satan. He is defeated. He has been judged as the entire world will be, none excluded. Knowing this, it is a bad time to get on that team. He has been condemned. John 14:30 & 31, “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; 31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us be on our way.”

This is the search for truth. I would hypothesize that these three elements are related to the universal search for Truth. The Spirit of Truth has been given to us to reveal these things to the world. In some corner of a heart, people are looking for the truth about sin, righteousness and judgment.

The world would never call it this. They might talk about sin in terms of how far they can go, and how long they can go there, without getting hurt too much. They might talk about righteousness in terms of justice or love. The world might talk about judgment in terms of fear or rebellion.

I have talked circles around all three. This is what I am left with…I call my search for truth, arrogance. I call my encounter with truth, repentance. I call my adherence to truth, faith. I call Truth, God.

Father, thank you for your Truth. Thank you for giving us the word that tells us who you are and how obvious the Truth can be. Thank you for your Spirit of Truth. Teach us about your Spirit, today.

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