We are told that we live in a postmodern world. The prevailing philosophy of postmodernism is the rejection of objective truth. Truth is said to be culturally derived and thus may be different from one culture to another, and even from one person to another. In this philosophy no single truth is superior to any other truth, and all truths must be tolerated, if not accepted.
While the world is trying to redefine the concept of truth, the scriptures take a very different view. Nowhere in the scriptures can we find even the slightest hint that truth is relative, or that it may differ from person to person, or from culture to culture. On the contrary, the scriptures are consistent in declaring that there is a single standard of truth to which all people of all time are accountable.
When the Lord stood before Pontius Pilate, He said that He had come to testify to the truth, and that whoever is of the truth hears His voice. To this Pilate famously responded, “What is truth?” (Jn. 18:38). If Pilate had known Jesus, he would have known the answer to his own question. On the night of the Lord’s betrayal, as He prayed to His Father, asking Him to bless His disciples, Jesus said, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth” (Jn. 17:17).
This simple statement sets the bounds of any discussion of truth. Jesus did not say that God’s word is “a” truth, or one of many truths. He said that God’s word is truth. Some postmodernists might reply that Jesus didn’t say God’s word is the only truth, but this is not all that the Lord said about truth. In Jn. 8:31, 32 as the Lord spoke to some believing Jews, He said, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
Here the Lord connected His word with truth and said it is the truth. If those believing Jews continued in the Lord’s word they would know the truth, the one and only truth, which could make them free. This is a powerful statement that is valid because the Lord only spoke the things His Father in heaven gave Him to speak. In Jn. 12:49, 50 Jesus said, “For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.” Thus, when Jesus spoke, He spoke the word of God, which is the truth.
The Lord underscored the importance of continuing in God’s word near the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount. In Mt. 7:21 Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.” In spite of what postmodernism teaches, it does matter what truth one believes. Only those who obey the truth; that is, who do the will of the Father in heaven, will enter heaven. All others will be denied (Mt. 7:22, 23).
God’s word, the Bible, is not one truth out of many from which we may choose. It is the truth. It is the one and only truth which makes us free from the consequences of our sins. In Jas. 1:21 James said, “Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted which is able to save your souls.” There is a single standard of truth, and it is God’s word. When we continue in God’s word, we will know the truth. When we know the truth and obey the truth, we will be saved.