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Volume 23 - Page 136 of 207 Index | Zoom | |
The truth that makes free.
"The truth shall make you free" (John 8: 32).
pp. 71 - 76
In the series of articles on "Sanctification" in Volumes XXI and XXII we had
occasion to refer to the words of John 17: 17: "Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy
word is truth." It was not there possible or desirable to depart from the theme in order to
deal with the questions concerning the truth that these words raise, but the matter is
important enough to merit a separate consideration; and we hope in the present series to
consider what it is, where it is found, and what it accomplishes.
There are many who adopt Pilate's attitude, and ask, "What is truth?" without waiting
for an answer. Let us examine the context of Pilate's question. The Saviour stands
before him, and Pilate asks:--
"Art Thou the King of the Jews? Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this of thyself, or
did others tell it thee of Me? Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the
chief priests have delivered Thee unto me. What hast Thou done? Jesus answered, My
kingdom is not of this world: If My kingdom were of this world then would My servants
fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now is My kingdom not from hence.
Pilate therefore said unto Him, Art Thou a King then? (or possibly, `Thou art 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 said unto Him, What is truth?" (John 18: 33-38).
Much as we would rejoice to discern even in Pilate the beginnings of grace, we fear
that his question was but the expression of a polite indifference characteristic of the
philosophy of his generation. His words imply that there is no such actuality as truth and
his action suits his words--for he does not wait for an answer. The words of the Lord,
however, to those who are of the truth, tell us that truth is real and positive, and that in the
Person and work of the Son of God we shall see its fullest manifestation and delineation.
He came, as He told Pilate, to bear witness to the truth, and in John 17: 17 He has left
us without doubt that the "truth" and the "Scriptures" are synonymous:--
"Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy Word is truth" (John 17: 17).
"I have given them Thy Word" (John 17: 14).
"I have given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me" (John 17: 8).
We do not propose to go over the ground already covered in other articles, or to
consider at length the doctrine of the inspiration of all scripture; this doctrine is assumed
in every article published in The Berean Expositor, and its repudiation would shatter the
whole fabric of our testimony. We simply draw attention to the fact that the Lord put
forward no philosophy as to "truth", but declared that it was resident in the "Word" and
"words" of God and embodied in His own life and witness. This is solid ground in a
world of shifting sand. Truth is real; truth comes from God; and truth has been