Only One Truth

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“My Truth” is a newly coined term that seems to indicate a form of truth that is based on a person’s own experience or understanding, something that only exists for that person. The phrase is often used to end debate or criticism of a person’s views or perceptions. Needless to say, your personal truth will always be subject to facts and evidence that can be verified in some way.

When it comes to spiritual matters, the debate for Christians ends with what God’s Word says on any given matter. The Bible always has the last word on everything, but it is not so simple, apparently, as evidenced by the myriad of Christian denominations, sects, movements, etc. Every one of them has their own interpretation of the Scriptures, or their favourite verses upon which they build their doctrines.

Some differences among believers actually serve us well as they enable us to appeal to a larger sector of outsiders, and ultimately a greater catch of souls for God’s kingdom. It also adds colour to the global church. However, there is a safety net that keeps us from drifting away from essential truths into error, and that is our established doctrines. While we might have different ways to describe our tenets of faith, there are some non-negotiable truths that the church must subscribe to.

This is where “My Truth” must make way for The Truth. There is no room for different interpretations of the essential doctrines.

And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 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 1:19-21

The prophetic (or inspired) Scriptures say what they say, and very little explanation is required to understand its message.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16,17

The sixty-six books of the Bible were written by about forty different writers over a period of sixteen hundred years. These men who wrote the Bible came from various backgrounds, education and classes. Every one of them contributed a portion to the Scriptures, as they were inspired, and even though they came from different times and backgrounds, everyone’s contribution harmonizes with the rest without contradictions. None of them had a complete picture of God’s message, yet putting all the pieces together gives us everything God wanted us to know.

To understand God’s Word, one must study all of it, find all the parts on specific topics, and put them together in order to view the full picture. It is like building a puzzle — only when you pieced all the parts together can you see the full picture. You cannot have a complete picture if you choose to leave some parts out of it — and that might be the reason, or at least partially so, for all kinds of flawed doctrines. You simply cannot cherrypick Bible verses and then build doctrines on them. All parts are required to make the whole!

Look again at the advice Paul gave to Timothy in the verse quoted above, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction…”

When Jesus revealed who He was to the men of Emmaus after His resurrection, He used all Scriptures in His explanation:

And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Luke 24:27

You leave questions unanswered when you leave parts out of the context. Every word and every verse in the Bible has meaning, and is there for a reason — nothing can be deemed unimportant or irrelevant; “…holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

The first Christians set a standard that we must continue to hold high:

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Acts 2:42

Warning lights should flash when certain verses of Scripture are sidelined to make doctrines work. We must feed on the fulness of God’s Word!

Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. Acts 20:26-28

Let us follow the example of Paul by declaring the full counsel of God to all. Our accountability is to God, not our denomination, movement or group of believers. The Word is the final authority on everything, and it leaves no room for private interpretation. It is too important to colour it to our liking.

May we find the courage to “rightly divide the word of truth,” even when the price is high, and the road a lonely one.
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. 1 Timothy 4:16

Because doctrines are important, you must study them for yourself instead of blindly accepting what you are being told. Error and deception are more common than most people realize, and ignorance concerning the Scriptures makes you vulnerable to it. The truth is available, it is in your Bible waiting to be discovered. Accurate truth matters, as Apollos found out. He was an eloquent and passionate speaker — which is always impressive — yet he was wrong on an important matter:

Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. Acts 18:24-26

Apollos was eloquent, mighty in the Scriptures, taught the Word accurately and boldly — yet his doctrine needed to be corrected. He did not teach error intentionally, yet he duplicated it those who heard him, and that is the danger of ignorance!

Robert Edward Grant

You tell lies when you don’t know the truth, but deceive when you know the truth, yet choose not to hold it high. You can make the Bible say what you want by building teachings on select verses taken out of the full context. We find ourselves in days of rampant deception, and for that reason we must pursue truth at all cost. Be aware though that the pursuit of truth will put you on a very lonely road. Instead of seeking to be right, always seek the truth, because only the truth will set you free and keep you free of the contamination that is in the world.

Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. John 17:17

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