The first and most foundational area of truth is the discovery of origin. If there is no Creator, then truth is uncertain at best. Without a North Star to guide our moral compass, truth has no consistent reference point. It has no credible point of origin.
On the other hand, if there is a Creator, One Who holds all things together by His will (Colossians 1:16-17), then truth is certain. Truth is credible, unchanging, and authoritative.
The human experience involves two points of origin, one is physical, the other spiritual. When Jesus defined truth in John 17, He was nearing the end of His physical life. Because the issue of physical origin was not in question, He addressed the more important issue of spiritual origin. Notice Christ's definition: "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth." (John 17:14, NKJV)
Truth is the sanctifying dynamic that gives birth to our spiritual existence.
James 1:18 (NKJV)"He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures."
1 Peter 1:22-23 (NKJV)"Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit … having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever."
John 3:5 (NKJV)"Jesus answered, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.'"
Because no one will enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of the water and the Spirit, and because truth is the sanctifying agent that gives birth to the spirit realm, submitting to the whole truth and nothing but the truth is essential. It is an issue of primary importance and must not be compromised by human wisdom.
Be sure to read Acts 2:38 and Colossians 2:11-15 in addition to the passages above.
A paradox is something that sounds contradictory but is actually true. As a physical being who is also called to be spiritual, this word takes on great meaning for a Christian.
Some time ago, I witnessed the perfect example of a Christian paradox. It was about noon on a Sunday. Following a wonderful service of Bible study and praise, we all gathered around a small pool of water near the front of the building. Spiritual electricity filled the room and witnesses crowded in as we anticipated the greatest marvel known to the human realm, the spiritual delivery of a babe in Christ.
It will never cease to amaze me how the all-powerful God of creation can use such a simple act to memorialize the most important event in human history. I will never overcome the amazement of watching another instant replay of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. (Romans 6:3-4) In baptism, we see the very moment at which both the physical and spiritual realms merge into a testimony of Divine validation. (Acts 2:38, Romans 8:16) No wonder Peter used it as the climactic application to the inaugural sermon of the opening day of the church. No wonder the Holy Spirit inspired him to command baptism as an essential requirement in remitting sins and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit! (Acts 2:38) Immersion into Christ is nothing less than identifying with God Himself! It is our sacred origin!
As the young woman came up out of the water, she did something that reminded me of the paradox of surrender. She raised her hands above her head and gestured victory. Yet, as she did, it was poignant that she was standing in the midst of her own defeat. Only in Christ can joy be found in giving up and celebration be prompted through surrender. Only in Christ can death bring birth.
"Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth." (John 17:14, NKJV)
Submission to truth brings cleaning, it is our spiritual sacred origin. The Word of God is truth and His Word says that baptism cleanses us of sin. (Acts 2:38, 22:16; Colossians 2:11-15) In other words, truth and baptism are Divinely connected. The sanctification of truth begins in baptism. Have you been baptized for the purpose of cleansing you of sin, embracing the new birth, and accepting your sacred origin?
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