Today we come to the final attribute of God to be covered in our brief examination of His character. Jesus equates Himself with “the truth” in today’s passage and since Christ is Lord over all (John 1:1), we understand that truth is fundamental to the divine nature.
Scripture repeatedly teaches the sanctity of truth. This is done in a variety of ways. Satan is called a “liar” and the “father of lies” (8:44), showing us that the opposite of what is true is not holy. The psalmist describes truth as the sum of our Creator’s word (119:160), and he reminds us of how the Lord draws near only to those who call upon Him in truth. Jesus affirms the inviolability of lawful and factual oaths and vows by telling us it is better not to swear an oath at all if we have no intent to keep it (Matt. 5:33–37; see also Num. 30:2; James 5:12). Even our Father made a vow to Abraham when He wanted to confirm the truthfulness of His promise (Heb. 6:13–18; Gen. 15).
God’s swearing of an oath provides confirmation that truth is not only a proposition to be believed but also an action to be performed. To be sure, truth is propositional, and Scripture gives us many facts in statement form (for example, 2 Tim. 3:16–17). However, we falsely claim to know the truth if we do not live it out. Truth is also something that we do (1 John 3:18), and we are not faithful to the Lord if we are not concerned to walk in His true way (Ps. 86:11). This does not mean perfect obedience, but it does mean that we repent whenever we find ourselves living contrary to His standards (1 John 1:5–10).
As Christians we affirm the correspondence theory of truth. In other words, truth is that which conforms to reality. In the face of postmodern relativism, we must emphatically resist any suggestion that ultimate, objective truths do not exist. Though we may not accurately perceive or understand the real world at times, the same does not apply to the Almighty.
Therefore, truth is that which conforms to reality as it is perceived by God. He knows all things exhaustively, and so we can trust anything He reveals in Scripture. Truth is not defined by our own subjective standards; it is determined by the Source of truth Himself.
Postmodern philosophy looks at how each person perceives things differently and concludes that no ultimate standards exist. The fact that we all have different perspectives only shows that we are not omniscient; yet it does not follow that no being can know or define truth. Have you succumbed to the implicit denials of truth in the culture? Ask God to help you know His truth and live it out by speaking honestly with everyone you know.