We are posting a sermon we gave a couple of weeks ago in our small church. It carries an important message to everybody:
Truth v. interpretation
Ever since I was an intern in a church to complete my undergraduate degree, I have heard the sentence—that is according to your interpretation’ This phrase has been used over and over again by those who claim to be a follower of Christ whenever the truth conflicts with what they think or want to believe.
Today we are going to look at why that phrase is wrong and unbiblical and why truth is what matters. We are basing our points upon scripture alone
There are 137 Bible results for “truth.”
People investigating want the truth, they do not want someone’s interpretation of events.
Send one of your number to get your brother; the rest of you will be kept in prison, so that your words may be tested to see if you are telling the truth. If you are not, then as surely as Pharaoh lives, you are spies!”
1 Kings 17:24
Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth.”
1 Kings 22:16
The king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?”
Description of those who speak the truth
The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart;
Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
You love evil rather than good, falsehood rather than speaking the truth.
The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.
Wise counsel supplies the truth not the interpretation of what one should do.
Buy the truth and do not sell it— wisdom, instruction and insight as well.
God sets the example
I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness; I have not said to Jacob’s descendants, ‘Seek me in vain.’ I, the Lord, speak the truth; I declare what is right.
Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth.
Some people do not like the truth
Because of rebellion, the Lord’s people and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground.
There are those who hate the one who upholds justice in court and detest the one who tells the truth.
2 Timothy 4:4
They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the merely human commands of those who reject the truth
Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?
Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.
What we are to do
These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts;
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
How do we get to the truth
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
Why do we need the truth
2 Corinthians 13:8
For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.
2 Thessalonians 2:10
and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
2 Thessalonians 2:12
and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
2 Timothy 2:25
Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,
God is not calling us to find an interpretation we like. He is calling us to the truth.
1 Timothy 2:4
who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
1 John 1:8
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
2 John 1:4
It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us.
3 John 1:4
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
1 Corinthians 13:6
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
You will notice that throughout this outline there is not one reference to go get, follow or accept interpretation. God is not about interpretation but about the truth.
The church needs to stop seeking after interpretation for that act is not going to find God’s word. It will only find someone’s subjective opinion about what God’s word says and that is not what Jesus said we would know or receive.
Jesus did not send a spirit of interpretation to be our guide. He sent the Spirit of TRUTH and that is what we will know and that is what will set us free. The reason we have so many different denominations is because people rely upon interpretation and refuse to hear the truth.
They want their own ways not God’s. I do not know how many times I had my internship advisor tell me, that is ‘Your Interpretation’ but it got annoying. Sadly he had the last word. When church people, especially those charged with leading and guiding future church leaders do not want the truth, it is no wonder the church is so off in its thinking today.
When the church refuses to accept or learn the truth then it only has itself to blame. The Spirit of Truth is not going to lead different people to different truths. There is only 1 truth and we need to accept that fact. We may not like what it says but anything less only damages the church and the cause of Christ.
When church people start rejecting the guidelines found in the bible they do not like, they cannot expect unbelievers to suddenly pick up the slack. Only the believer has access to the truth and the Spirit of truth and it is only they who can be the light unto the world.
If the Christian fails to do their duty then there is no one else who will and lives are lost for eternity. This is not a game.