The Difference Between Truth and Lies
Text: John 18:33-38
I. Truth is critical
A. Truth brings stability to a nation - Proverbs 29:14
B. Truth makes us free - John 8:32
C. Jesus is the way and the truth - John 14:6
D. Jesus’ words, which are truth, judges us - John 12:48
E. What distinguishes truth from lies? Pilate asked an interesting question: “What is truth?” - John 18:38
1. He wasn’t interested in an answer. He thought truth was not definable.
2. But let’s consider the question
II. But how do we recognize the truth?
A. Truth is narrow
1. Even when asking our question, notice we say truth in the singular but lies in the plural.
2. That is because there are many wrong answers, but only one right answer.
3. Mathematical truth is narrow: 2+2=4. There isn’t a range of acceptable answers.
4. Historical truth is narrow. There is a fixed number of people who held the office of president.
5. Scientific truth is narrow. Airplanes are able to fly because of known truths regarding air flow and lift.
6. Spiritual truth is also narrow
a. The way to heaven is narrow - Matthew 7:13-14
b. There is only one faith - Ephesians 4:5
c. We need to stay on the right path - Proverbs 4:25-27
7. Those who reject truth, also reject the narrowness of truthful answers
a. False teachers malign the way of the truth - II Peter 2:1-2
b. They reject the “right way” - II Peter 2:15
c. If truth can be broaden, then they can claim their way is also a “truth.”
B. Truth isn’t about who believes it
1. The guy who denies that gravity applies to him still gets hurt when he falls. The truth of gravity remains fixed.
2. Facts are things that don’t change, regardless of who believes them or denies them.
3. The Pharisees refused to believe in Jesus and thought that was enough for everyone else - John 7:45-49
4. The problem is pride gets in the way of seeing the truth - I Corinthians 1:26
a. But that doesn’t mean the truth no longer exists - I Corinthians 2:7-8
C. Truth can’t be substituted with something else
1. There is a consistency to truth - Proverbs 14:5
2. If it isn’t truth, then it must be error and error can never replace truth
3. This is what the Gentiles tried to do - Romans 1:24-25
D. Truth cannot be changed and remain true
1. No lie is of the truth - I John 2:21
2. Changing the truth of the Gospel leaves you condemned - Galatians 1:6-9
E. Truth is verifiable
1. Because truth doesn’t change, it can be confirmed
2. The Bible uses the requirement of two or three witnesses - Deuteronomy 19:15
3. A single testimony cannot establish truth - John 5:31
F. Truth lasts
1. It stays the same because it cannot be anything else - Proverbs 19:9
2. Lies give quick “victories” that don’t last - Proverbs 20:17
III. Truth can hurt
A. Truth doesn’t respect a person or his feelings.
1. But a truthful person is concerned about saving lives - Proverbs 14:25
B. Wisdom was rejected because of her reproof - Proverbs 1:20-25
1. But it didn’t change the truth of her warnings - Proverbs 1:26-33
C. There are people who will shout that they are offended when told the truth
1. Such as the fact that homosexuality is a sin - Romans 1:26-27
2. Or that a denomination’s practice is wrong - Matthew 15:7-14
D. Just about every religious truth is offensive to someone
1. I know people really upset that the New Testament only authorizes vocal music - Ephesians 5:19
2. Others are upset that women are prohibited from publically teaching - I Corinthians 14:33-40
3. Still others find it offensive that baptism saves - Mark 16:16; I Peter 3:21
E. Liars tend to tell people what they want to hear - Psalms 12:2
IV. Truth sets you free - John 8:32
A. Consider the consequence of our own society when truth is subjective and is relative to a way a person feels
1. If we feel something then it is our own personal truth. However, the only feelings I can trust are my own. Therefore, I can trust no one else.
2. Justice requires that we know what really happened, but without objective truth, we cannot know and there is no justice.
a. There is no reasoning or understanding - Psalms 119:104
b. Without justice, society collapses into chaos - Psalms 7:14
c. Without truth, there is no morality - Proverbs 13:5
B. The result is that people deny that there are no standards, but at the same time insist that people conform to standards based on personal preference.
1. It isn’t that standards don’t exist or that there are no reasons for the standards.
2. After all, truth doesn’t change based on who is demanding that what they believe is true.
3. But what happens is that people react harshly against perceived offenders of their beliefs because their beliefs have no other foundation than their feelings - Proverbs 25:18
C. Thus, people decide who to believe or not believe in advance of hearing any evidence.
1. It is all based on their feelings.
2. My feelings are different from your feelings, and so there are fights - Psalms 27:12
3. And somehow the one who wins the brawl gets to define what truth is for the moment.
4. Oddly, liars tend to accept what is most destructive - Proverbs 17:4
5. Liars are not kind - Proverbs 19:22
a. But that is because it is selfish – based on personal feelings
D. But truth is the foundation of Christianity
1. Feelings are set aside and evidence is examined.
2. The Gospels are historical accounts of what happened - Luke 1:1-4
3. The reality of the resurrection was established by evidence - I Corinthians 15
4. It was the use of multiple witness that established who Jesus is in John 5
E. Having the truth brings stability and peace
V. Truth needs to be spoken in love - Ephesians 4:15
A. That love for other people’s souls includes telling people when they are wrong - II Timothy 4:1-2
B. It is hatred that leaves a wrong uncorrected - Proverbs 13:24
C. It is what God does for us - Hebrews 12:5-13
D. So let us learn from the truth, even when it hurts for a moment or seems too restrictive.
E. And as Agur prayed - Proverbs 30:8