Words communicate meaning. If they don’t they are useless. The “new’ idea that a word is however you want to define it may satisfy an individual but it doesn’t communicate a true thought or idea.
A few terms in our language are absolutes. TRUE is one of them. You can change it to mean whatever you wish, but you no longer have the same concept or thought.
Every use of TRUE means “conforming to reality,” and reality doesn’t change. It is what it IS. True means “conforming to reality” whether used as a noun, adjective, verb, or adverb. This is not a lesson in English grammar, but the grammar of our language does help us understand.
As a noun, TRUE is the state or reality of being accurate; TRUTH (“in true” or “out of true”)
As an adjective TRUE is “conformable to an essential reality” (a “true description”)
As an adverb TRUE is “in accordance with fact or reality,…without deviation or variation.”
As a verb TRUE means “to restore or bring to a desired mechanical accuracy.” (to TRUE it)
We get the point. If something is FALSE it isn’t TRUE. If it is partly false, it isn’t true. We might talk about a half-truth or a partial truth, but if it is half or part true, it is not true. There is no “part” truth.
A similar word is PURE. If the water supply is contaminated, it is not pure. It is either pure or it is contaminated.
WHAT are we most concerned about being TRUE? The WORD, being the WORD of God, Scripture.
Before we can truly BELIEVE, we must be able to trust that God’s WORD is true. Absolute.
We are thankful to scholars who have given time and effort to analyzing the Bible, to give us tools to help us in deciding. Is the Bible TRUE? Can I rely on it? There is no easy answer, unless we look at the evidence.
Most people who reject the Bible haven’t looked at it closely, much less studied it.
There are many types of evidence to check out. One is the reliability of the New Testament, based on existing facts.
Let us look at a short video to see a few of the facts underlying the Bible as we have it today.
These are basic facts to keep in mind. Yes, we can deny them, but if we check them out, we find they are TRUE.
The little book of James has a good illustration for this. He relates it to our too-easy use of our little instrument, the tongue.
First the “tongue” lesson.
James 3:5–6 5… the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!
Doesn’t this say something about this little member of ours? We have heard so much about forest fires that are out of control. Is our tongue like that? It is something we have to watch closely. James continues:
6And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.
It only gets worse, so easily out of control. We say something we didn’t intend, and then something else follows, and something else. Like a forest fire it spreads, one fire starts another, and so on.
What about that last phrase? How is the “course of nature… set on fire by hell”?
The “course of nature” could be translated “wheel of life” or the “round circle of existence.” Set on fire by “hell” brings it down to the pit, the lowest possible level, like words can start a heated argument (nothing to do with literal burning).
Words, words, words. James says,
James 3:8–12 8But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
What is James saying? No “man”—unaided, unmotivated by the Word of God – can tame the tongue. No, but the Word of God applied to our lives, in prospect of the future reward, CAN tame our tongue—and MUST tame it! Otherwise it is an unruly evil that will take us down. James tells why:
9With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God.
Aren’t we contradictory creatures, working right against ourselves? James continues:
10Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.
No indeed, not if we want God’s blessing.
11Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening?
Is it possible to get both fresh water and salty from the same spring? Of course not. Then, why the tongue…?
12Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.
Our words and every part of us must be ALL TRUE. John said,
1 John 3:18 18My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
Our loyalty to truth must go beyond mere words. It has to change our LIVES, so we become ALL TRUE. And when we are, we will love “in deed and in truth.
The “word of truth” is our starting point, TRUE in all we believe.
James 1:18 18Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.
God’s Word is all PURE, all TRUE. Absolute, and to the standard of Christ. This is where we must come.
Absolutely PURE, absolutely TRUE with nothing bad in it at all . What better definition could be given than this of what true religion really demands, or of the standard we must attain.
There is only one thing that will make us absolutely PURE and absolutely TRUE, and that is washing, daily washing in the Word. Yes, daily washing; keeping the Father’s commandments is what will make us PURE and TRUE.
One final thought from Jesus:
John 17:17 17Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
This is Jesus’ own standard, and the standard He set for His disciples. What a privilege to share it!
John 17:19 19And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.
All pure, all TRUE. Absolute, and to the standard of Christ. This is the standard we must come to.
Then, with all the impurities of our character washed away, we have the glorious promise:
Matthew 5:8 8Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.