We all need an anchor to keep us from drifting. Drifting from what, you say! Today there are so many sources of information, how are you able to figure out what is true and untrue?
As little children, we believe what our parents tell us. And then, we go to school and our teachers tell us what to believe. When we reach adulthood and begin to question what our truth is, we find out that some or much of what we were taught was not true. Our parents and teachers may have been well-intentioned, but sometimes misinformed.
Usually, there are just pieces of our education at home and at school that had some errors. Not everything we learned was wrong. Generally, the questions we have are in the area of morality and faith.
As Pilate questioned Jesus before turning Him over to be crucified, the Son of God said, “
“You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause
I came into the world that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who
is of the truth hears My voice.” John 18:37b
Pilate replies with the question of the ages, “What is truth?” knowing not that “Truth Personified” stood before him.
In our search for The Truth, I believe that an honest and forthright exploration will take a person to the Master’s feet. Most objections to the truth of Jesus Christ are mixed with emotional responses to perversions of that truth which often have originated in childhood. Other negative responses to the truth in Christ have come from bad experiences in church or with deluded Christians. Many of these “Christians” are that in name only and besmirch the name of Jesus with their unforgiveness and lack of love.
As a follower of Jesus Christ, my foundation of truth is the Holy Bible. When viewed for what it is, God speaking through obedient writers through hundreds of years, the Scripture is a solid source of truth.
But, what about the creation, you say! Some have confused many by insisting that creation took place in a literal 6 days as we determine time today. Maybe it did and maybe it did not, for the apostle, Peter, stated
“But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day
is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.” 2 Peter 3:8
Also, the original Hebrew word translated “day” can mean “age” or “space of time.”
The Bible is not a scientific treatise, but it does not contradict science. It just leaves out things we have discovered through the years. For example, between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 a lot happened. If you are looking for the many years discovered in carbon dating, there you go! I won’t go into what Bible scholars believe happened there, but for certain, God did not create an earth that was chaotic, full of destruction and darkness.
Something happened between Genesis 1:1 and verse 2.
Also, archaeological digs have verified innumerable references in the Bible with more discoveries as time goes by.
The Scripture has one purpose and that is to chronicle the history of mankind, his fall from grace, and God’s plan of redemption through Jesus Christ, His Son.
As you study the Bible, it is good to remember that the Bible is its own best commentary.
For example, there is insight to be found in searching out original meanings of Hebrew and Greek. Strong’s Concordance has been a standard for years to help students of the Word. With technology, now you can download an app with the Strong’s numbers on your phone or PC for easy access. What was once a laborious process with a giant book has become a simple joy for study.
You can seek out other mentions of a topic in the Holy Writ. Many Bibles have center column references for each verse to take you to the passages with similar information. Most Bibles have at the very least, a simple concordance in the back where you can look up a word to see the more common references where it is used.
There are many Study Bibles available. Be careful not to rely more on the notes than the written Word. Man’s interpretation can be off. But, a good Study Bible can be invaluable, especially if it contains historical and archaeological information.
In all of these efforts, the Holy Spirit is our faithful helper and guide.
Jesus promised us before He left the earth…
“..when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth;
For He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He
Will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He
Will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” John 16:13-14
So, we have the Bible and we have the Holy Spirit to help us in our journeys through this life on earth.
Also, we have our pastors to give insight through sermons and counsel. Some feel that they do not need a church or a pastor. The Scripture admonishes us as follows:
“Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for
God can be trusted to keep his promise. Think of ways to encourage
one another to outbursts of love and good deeds. And let us not
neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage
and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back
again is drawing near.” Hebrews 10:23-25
Don’t let once-a-week church service be your only connection with your local body of believers. Get into a small group so you can develop deep relationships with your church family.
Our pastors have oversight of our souls. Without this protective covering, we open ourselves up to deception and all kinds of wrong thinking. This does not mean we never question or search out a matter. We simply do so with the care over us that God has provided to keep us from error.
Not everything your pastor may say will be correct. He or she is human and can make mistakes. You will know in your spirit by the leading of the Holy Spirit if something you hear is not right.
Some pastors are not walking in the truth. The Holy Spirit will guide you. When you get a check in your spirit regarding consistent wrong teaching, perhaps it is time to find another church.
A good pastor will conscientiously pray for the flock. His or her greatest desire will be for your faith to grow and for you to find fulfillment in all that you do.
“Obey your spiritual leaders and do what they say. Their work is to
watch over your souls, and they know they are accountable to God.
Give them reason to do this joyfully and not with sorrow. That
would certainly not be for your benefit.” Hebrews 13:17 NLT
Good pastors will not ask you to do anything contrary to what the Lord desires for us. This scripture is not asking you to blindly follow a cult leader. It is about honoring our church leadership as they endeavor to guide the flock into truth.
If anything you hear goes against the Scripture (God’s inspired Word to us), back off. Do some more study, especially in the Bible, to find out what is true.
Finally, know that you can protect yourself from error by implementing these suggestions into your life. Read your Bible daily, it is food for your spirit. Be faithful to your local church and respect your pastors. Listen to the Holy Spirit and pray. See if these practices don’t keep you on the pathway of truth for a fulfilled life.