What is truth?

by Henk Bolhuis
"The Word became a man and lived among us. We saw His divine greatness - the greatness that belongs to the only Son of the Father. The Word was full of grace and truth."- John 1:14
Most of us, even those who do not call themselves Christians, know the well-known Christian hymn called "Amazing Grace" written by John Newton [1725-1807] a former captain of a slave ship turned poet and minister of the Gospel.

The verse quoted above from John 1:14 speaks about Jesus Christ - the Son of God and in it John highlights two of Christ's wonderful attributes: His grace and His truth. These two go hand in hand as God's grace - God's unmerited favour - is based upon His truth.

This "free" grace, a foundational truth of the the Bible, is unique in that it speaks of God "coming down to rescue mankind" through the Lord, Jesus Christ, as opposed to the doctrines of all other religions that teach that man should perform and merit God's mercy.

We are living in a world that mostly rejects absolute truth and many today see truth as a variable that is dependent upon one's own perceptions and culture - it is no wonder therefore that the world is in such a chaotic and miserable state.

The Bible, however, assures us that there is such a thing as conclusive and veritable truth and that it is found in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

The question as to 'what is truth?' is not new and we find it already in the Scriptures during a conversation between Pilate and Jesus, where the latter said: "And everyone who belongs to the truth listens to Me" to which Pilate replied: "What is truth?" [John 18:37-38]

Can you see how Pilate and Christ were looking at this issue from two completely different perspectives?

For Pilate truth was nothing else than just another category or mindset, but for Jesus it was a reference to Himself.

Notice, too, that Jesus did not bother to answer Pilate's question, because the man was actually staring at "The Truth" and yet did not recognize it.
Earlier on Jesus had told His disciples: "I am the way, the Truth and the Life - no one comes to the Father but by Me." [John 14:6]

Truth therefore is a person and not just a category or a belief system and true Christianity is not fundamentally about following the teachings of a book, but rather about following a person and allowing Him the control of one's life."

At this point in time you may well ask the question: "But what about the Bible - is that not God's revealed truth too?"

Absolutely! But the Bible in it self does not give life, but it points those who read and trust it to the One who gives life - Jesus Christ.

It is Christ who brought grace and truth together as He gave His own life as a complete and "once and for all" sacrifice for our sins and everyone who believes this and takes hold of this in faith will receive God's wonderful grace free without any conditions.

"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me....!" Can you really sing these words today?