Don’t Move Away from the Truth (Charles Box)
Just before giving in to the pressure of the crowd to crucify our Lord Jesus Christ, Pilate asked one of the most tragic questions of the Bible. In a very cynical way he asked, “What is truth?” In John 18:37-38 we read,
“Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.”
How tragic and disturbing that Pilate spoke of truth but he had no interest in the truth. How could Pilate judge with truth when he did not know the truth?
“These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates.” (Zechariah 8:16)
It would have been great if Pilate had been interested in truth and when he learned it to act accordingly. The same is true of us! “Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.” (Proverbs 23:23)
Don’t move away from the truth that the Bible is the word of God.
The Bible claims to be the word of God. Peter said, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:20-21) The Bible is not the wisdom and work of men but of the Holy Spirit. Paul said, “These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” (1 Corinthians 2:13) The Bible will never pass away. Jesus stated this in Matthew 24:35. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.” The Bible is truth. It is our guide from earth to heaven. It is the word of God. It has nothing to fear from honest investigation. So, don’t move away from the truth that the Bible is the word of God.
Don’t move away from the truth that the Jesus is the Son of God.
God blessed all nations through the seed of Abraham. The Scriptures predicted all nations being blessed through Abraham. “And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, In you all the nations shall be blessed.” (Galatians 3:8) These blessings came in and through Jesus. “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as of many, but as of one, ‘And to your Seed,’ who is Christ.” (Galatians 3:16) Peter acknowledged Jesus to be the Christ, the Son of God. “Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (John 6:69) Those who believe Jesus to be the Son must obey Him that He might be their “Savior.” Don’t move away from the truth that the Jesus is the Son of God.
Don’t move away from the truth about the precious blood of Jesus.
Man has a sin problem. Sin has separated mankind from God. “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:1-2) The only answer to the sin problem is the precious blood of Jesus. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) The gospel is the great news that Christ suffered sin’s penalty in man’s place. In 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 Paul describes and defines the gospel. “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you — unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” The only ground for man’s forgiveness is Jesus’ death! Don’t move away from the truth about the precious blood of Jesus.
Don’t move away from the truth about the Church of Christ.
Jesus Christ is the founder of this church. In Matthew 16:18 He said, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” This church was established in the city of Jerusalem about the year A.D. 33. (Acts 2:47) Jesus established only one church. In Ephesians 4:4 the church is called “one body.” In Colossians 1:18 Paul identifies the body as the church. Christ died for the church. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.” (Ephesians 5:25) He is the Savior of it. “For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.” (Ephesians 5:23) The saved are added to the church. (Acts 2:47) “To Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.” (Ephesians 3:21) Don’t move away from the truth about the Church of Christ.
Don’t move away from the truth about what Christianity can do for you.
Christianity had done more for our world than anything else ever could or will do. Christianity will bring you salvation from past sins. Man is a sinner and needs forgiveness. Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:16)
Christianity opens many doors to do good for others. We are told, “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1)
Christianity is the way of life which will lead to heaven. The Christian treats others as he wished to be treated (Luke 6:31), loves his enemies (Matthew 5:44), keeps himself pure (Matthew 5:8), and offers himself as a living sacrifice to God (Romans 12:1-2). The end of this life is peace, joy and the hope of heaven. (Colossians 1:5; 1 Peter 1:4) Don’t move away from the truth about what Christianity can do for you.
Don’t move away from the truth about God’s simple plan of salvation.
The Bible teaches that man is a sinner. (Romans 3:23) In order for us to be saved God requires that we do five simple things:
(1) We must hear and learn the truth. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17),
(2) We must believe in God and in Christ as the Son of God. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6) “He said to them, But who do you say that I am? Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:15-16.),
(3) We must repent of sins. “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3),
(4) We must confess Christ as the Son of God. “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32), and
(5) We must be baptized to be save. Jesus made it plain: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:16)
When we obey these simple commands we are saved from past sins and added to the Lord’s church. You should take action on these matters today! Don’t move away from the truth about God’s simple plan of salvation.
Don’t move away from the truth about New Testament worship.
The kind of worship God wants is described in John 4:24. “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” God is to be the object of our worship. To worship in spirit means to worship with a sincere heart. To worship in truth suggests that we worship according to the teachings of the New Testament. As early Christians worshipped God,
(1) They assembled each Lord’s Day to study God’s word. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15),
(2) They assembled each Lord’s Day to pray. Christians are to, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17),
(3) They assembled each Lord’s Day to sing. The only instrument used was the “heart.” “Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:19),
(4) They assembled each Lord’s Day to give as they had been prospered. “On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.” (1 Corinthians 16:2), and
(5) They assembled each Lord’s Day to partake of the Lord’s Supper. “Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.” (Acts 20:7)
This is the way the early Christians worshipped on every Sunday. If we are Christians we will do no less! Don’t move away from the truth about New Testament worship.
Don’t move away from the truth about what Jesus can mean in your life personally.
Come to Him and have the hope of eternal life. “And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17) For the Christians, tomorrow will be better than today. Don’t move away from the truth.
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037