“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.”
The truth of God is reason to celebrate Thanksgiving!
Today I’m thanking God for truth – His truth.
Can you imagine what your life would be like without the truth of God? Let’s see what happens when we remove God’s truth from our lives.
1-Without truth, there would be no salvation.
Without the Word of God, you’d still be dead in your sins, headed for a Christless eternity.
In 2 Thessalonians 2:10, Paul describes unbelievers as “those who are perishing.” And why are they perishing? “They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.”
The lost end up in hell because they do not love the truth. We can therefore conclude that God only saves those who love the truth.
Think about your own conversion experience. At some point in time, you heard the gospel, the message about your sin and its devastating consequences, and the wonderful saving work done on your behalf by Jesus on the cross, and you embraced the truth of this message with all your heart. You bowed the knee to King Jesus, repenting of your sin and believing that only He can save you. You became a Christian because of your love of God’s truth as revealed in His holy Word.
2-Without truth, there would be no sanctification.
God did not save you from the penalty of sin apart from the truth, and God does not save you from the power of sin apart from the truth.
On the night before His crucifixion, Jesus spent much time in prayer. John 17 records some of what Jesus prayed before He was arrested. Here is one of the most beautiful prayers in the entire Bible. Our Savior asked the Father to “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17).
He was praying for His disciples, that God would sanctify them. “Sanctify” means to “set apart for sacred use” or to “make holy” (NIV footnote). That’s a wonderfully concise explanation of the glorious process that begins the moment we first believe and continues until the day we die.
God loves us too much to leave us in the condition He first finds us. He desires that we become more and more like Jesus. He wants to change us from the inside out, purging the sin and replacing it with a life of holiness.
It won’t be easy. And it won’t be pretty. Make no mistake about it — sanctification is difficult and ugly.
And how does it happen? By the truth. And what is the truth? “Your word” is the truth that sanctifies us.
There is no mystery as to the means of sanctification – much quality time spent in the written Word of God – hearing it, reading it, studying it, meditating on it, memorizing it and obeying it, all because we long for it like a newborn baby craves milk (1 Peter 2:2).
3-Without truth, there would be no worship.
While conversing with the woman at the well, Jesus makes this well-known statement: “A time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:23-24).
In this age of religious pluralism, the world believes that anything goes, spiritually speaking. Tolerance is the byword of today’s free-thinkers. It doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you are sincere.
Jesus makes it clear that nothing could be further from the truth. If I’m not worshiping God in truth, then my worship is in vain. And how do I know whether I’m worshiping God in truth? By focusing my thoughts on the God of the Bible, not the god of my imagination.
This is why sound biblical teaching must permeate the life of the church. Our worship only pleases God when it is biblically informed. This is why the psalmist sings, “Know that the LORD is God” (Psalm 100:3). We must know our God before we can worship our God. And we can only know the one true God through the truth He has revealed in Scripture.
4-Without truth, there would be no Jesus.
God has not only revealed Himself through the truth of the written Word, the Bible. He has also revealed Himself through the truth of the living Word, His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus declared “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Is this not one of the most breathtaking statements in the Bible?
Jesus is the truth. Truth is not only found on every page of Scripture, it is also found in a Person, the Son of God.
And so we are overwhelmed with the indispensable nature of God’s truth. Without it, there would be no salvation, no sanctification, no worship, no Jesus. This short list just scratches the surface of the meaning and significance of divine truth.
In light of this, how should we respond?
John MacArthur, in his book The Truth War, provides a fitting summary of how we should respond to the truth of God. “Scripture describes all authentic Christians as those who know the truth and have been liberated by it (John 8:32). They believe it with a whole heart (2 Thess. 2:13). They obey the truth through the Spirit of God (1 Peter 1:22). And they have received a fervent love for the truth through the gracious work of God in their hearts (2 Thess. 2:10).”
How do you know if you have a genuine understanding of God’s truth? You will “know it, believe it, submit to it and love it.”
And you will thank God for it.
On Thanksgiving Day, and every day, may we lift up our souls in praise to God for the matchless gift of His truth!
NOTE: For the other posts in this Thanksgiving acrostic, visit Click Here.
To date, there are 6 posts in this series, one for each letter of the word T-H-A-N-K-S.