In a recent email I received, I was asked to define truth as found in the Bible. What a great question to be asking in a time where truth both as a word, but more importantly as a valuable part of the life experience, is being questioned at every level of our society.
This is not a new question or even a new quest in society, some 2000 years ago a man by the name of Pilate asked this question of Jesus, "Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.” (John 18:38 NKJV).
When society looks for truth within itself it surely will fail, but when we look for truth in God through his son Jesus Christ we discover that He (Jesus) is, "...the way the truth and the life, and no one can come to the Father except through Him." Truth that is found in a Person not a worldly or human philosophy!
“For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,” (Romans 1:17–20 NKJV)
While an estimated 74 percent of Americans strongly agree that "there is only one true God, who is holy and perfect, and who created the world and rules it today," an estimated 65 percent either strongly agree or somewhat agree with the assertion that "there is no such thing as absolute truth." Christianity Today, September 16, 1991, p. 48, from George Barna, The Barna Report: What Americans Believe, 1991.
Do we have a contradiction in terms when it comes to truth. Or are we, as a society, simply conflicted about what truth really is? When appearing as a witness in a court proceeding one is asked to place their hand on the Bibles and to respond to this statement, ".. do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, so help you God?" It's not enough in a judicial setting to tell a partial truth, but to tell the whole truth. It has never been difficult for anyone to be selective about truth, especially if it is going to reflect negatively on our character. Truth as a biblical concept is willing to take the most difficult path in order to speak the truth before God.
We find countless exhortations to speak the truth throughout the word of God. The Proverbs a especially rich in exhortations about truth.
Pr 3:3 Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart,
Pr 8:7 For my mouth will speak truth; Wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
Pr 12:17 He who speaks truth declares righteousness, But a false witness, deceit.
Pr 14:22 Do they not go astray who devise evil? But mercy and truth belong to those who devise good.
Pr 16:6 In mercy and truth Atonement is provided for iniquity; And by the fear of the LORD one departs from evil.
Pr 20:28 Mercy and truth preserve the king, And by lovingkindness he upholds his throne.
Pr 22:21 That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, That you may answer words of truth To those who send to you?
Pr 23:23 Buy the truth, and do not sell it, Also wisdom and instruction and understanding.
Pr 29:14 The king who judges the poor with truth, His throne will be established forever.
Pr 29:24 Whoever is a partner with a thief hates his own life; He swears to tell the truth, but reveals nothing.
It becomes clear that truth is that which is practiced and not just promised!