“Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6 NLT)
God’s heart is that we know Him. His love is so great that He devised a strategy to make Himself known to us that would be undeniable. God poured Himself into a human body in order that we might see a living, breathing example of what the embodiment of Truth would look like. Yet, we’re so divided, even in the Body of Christ, we struggle even to identify who Jesus is.
Today’s post is an effort to share my heart and thoughts regarding Truth. I capitalize that word because Truth is a Person. His name is Jesus. How do I know that? Because that’s what He said about Himself, and He doesn’t lie.
Tim Keller said of Jesus: “Jesus is one of the following: Lord, Lunatic, Liar, or a Legend. Only four possibilities.” What you decide about Jesus has enormous potential for good or bad, but that’s the topic of another post. Foundationally, I believe Jesus is exactly who He claimed to be – God in human flesh.
My point is two-fold. First, we can never, this side of eternity, know the whole Truth, in the sense that we can know everything there is to know about Jesus. John Wesley said: “Bring me a worm that can comprehend a man, and I will show you a man that can comprehend the Triune God.”
But secondly, we each formulate a flawed system of belief that will guide us through this life. No one, living or dead, can know everything about God, thus, to follow the findings of a mere man in our search for understanding God is going to lead to frustration and futility. So, am I apposed to studying the ideas of godly men across the years? No, of course not, but they are fallible men, just like me.
Where am I going with this. The term “Theology,” literally means “words about God.” The premier book that God has given us to help us in our understanding of who He is, is the Bible. Millions of books have been written across the centuries seeking to give expression to the understanding that men have as to what the Bible says and means. And that’s a wonderful thing.
Problems arise when we take the ideas of men and make them dogma, or a term we may better recognize – doctrine. Men have built their theology on a system of beliefs that made sense to them, and, unfortunately, to many others. Why is it unfortunate? Because rather than creating an avenue to more unity and harmony in the Church, it’s served as the basis of much division. We don’t simply follow Jesus, we follow the ideas of men about Jesus.
Our unity MUST be in Jesus, not in doctrine. My Mentor said: “We let the tail wag the dog when we put doctrine ahead of Christ.”
So, what is the alternative? Read, study, pray, meditate upon, contemplate, discuss with others, but draw your own conclusions, based on your own study. Don’t take what ANYONE says at face value, except Jesus.
Chuck Colson said: “Why does truth matter so much? Because the Church simply can’t be the Church without being on the side of truth. Jesus came as the champion of the truth and of those on the side of the truth. Without understanding this, the Church cannot even present the Gospel. Without truth, it resorts to therapy and has patients, not disciples.”
Let’s continue to look at this vital subject in tomorrow’s post.
Blessings, Ed 😊