The Truth Shall Set You Free

Two groups of people began living in the same location of Costanza in the Dominican Republic after the war; the locals and Japanese immigrants who had arrived recently. The locals had never been able to advance forward and move from poverty to wealth. Their belief was fatalistic; they reasoned, why bother trying anyway. However, since the Japanese immigrants had a different mindset and characterized by “gambare”, がんばれ which means let’s continue trying harder, they ended up having beautiful homes and prospering in this paradise.[1]

Could it be that what you believe is how you will live your life? Or what worldview you have will determine how you will act?

Depending on what your worldview is, determines your thoughts and your actions. Since “ideas have consequences,”[2] it matters how you think immensely! There are three prominent worldviews on which people base their values and convictions: Secularism, Theism and Animism.[3] Here are the differences explained:

1)    Secularism asserts that “truth is empirical. Truth is what the senses can perceive. Morals are relative. Values emerge from social consensus.”[4]

2)    Theism affirms “ultimate reality as personal and relational. God exists. He created a universe of physical and spiritual dimensions, seen and unseen worlds. Truth, as revealed by God, is objective can be known by man. God’s character establishes absolute morals.”[5]

3)    Lastly, Animism having an Eastern religious feel, says that, “spirits animate everything, and everything moves toward oneness of spirit. The real world is unseen, truth is hidden and irrational, all is mystery.”[6]

Something to consider is; “Secularism denies the existence of absolute truth, while animism often says that it is unknowable.”[7] Other worldviews believe that everyone can have their own truth and, therefore nothing is absolute. “Make your own truth. Whatever is true for you in the depths of your being is true for you, but it does not have to be true for me. Let each one have his own truth.”[8]

Truth in the Gospel of John

When Jesus came, He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Jesus taught the people a new way of 

life and a new path to follow. He taught people about God the Father and announced He was the Son of God. Jesus spoke with conviction and love, unlike the teachers of the day, didn’t promise an easy road for His followers. Concerning truth Jesus proclaimed;

 “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32).

The Samaritan Woman

Jesus explained to the Samaritan woman, that true worshipers would worship in Spirit and in truth, and He taught what the true worship of God looks like (John 4:24). To worship in Spirit and truth means to focus on the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of Truth. Therefore, if we want to know the truth, we can ask the Holy Spirit. For Jesus to preach and teach on what truth is and how to worship in Spirit and truth is phenomenal. Jesus is the One who has created our minds and given us the ability to think and therefore, He has something to say about the topic. God wants us to think, to reason; “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18).

Truth Preached in 1 John

When the first house churches were gathering, Apostle John wrote instructions to them; 1 John is such a letter from John. John, unyieldingly, says church, make sure you don’t fall for the false teaching that has crept into the church. Unfortunately, there was a church split about doctrine, concerning the truth about who Jesus was and how a person could be saved and what a Christian should do. John was adamant about keeping the truth. Today, we can read the records of his instructions and see how we can truly follow Jesus. The Gnostics who were troubling this church believed that Jesus was God, but they concluded that Jesus wasn’t human, that when He came to earth, He only ‘appeared’ or only ‘looked like’ He was human.[9]

The Gnostics said they had fellowship with God but walked in darkness.[10] John addressed this and made the truth clear to them; “If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth” (1 John 1:6).

John said in his letter, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (I John 1:8). The reason he made this clear to them was because the Gnostics believed that they didn’t have any sin[11] and didn’t need Jesus to die for them on the cross. They thought they had a superior spirituality and were above sin.[12] But John clarified, “If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:10).

Can the truth set you free? Jesus said it would!
Photo by Fuu J on Unsplash

Why Believe the Truth?

It is essential to know what we believe that we can live our lives to glorify God. It is also important to see when our thinking might be leaning on something not endorsed by God because if it’s not what eternal use is it? Also, other worldviews might mean an action that is not right and not Biblical; like abortion, not valuing human life, living deeper in sin, or only living for pleasure while believing life is meaningless when it is full of meaning. Or not willing to improve your life or learn anything because knowledge is worthless. Not accepting good education, jobs, or money, because you might not be worth it.[13] Living with the attitude that woe is me.

So, what is the best way to measure if we believe the truth? Why not start by renewing your mind and letting the Holy Spirit lead you? (Romans 12:2) Abide in Jesus and let Him be the centre of all your thinking and actions. Since ideas have consequences, know that people need discipleship, so take seriously the commission that Jesus gave to make disciples of all people (Matthew 28:18-20). The truth is living in you because you are a Christ follower. Let Jesus produce the good fruit in your life.

[1] Darrow L. Miller and Stan Guthrie, Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Cultures, 2nd ed. (Seattle, WA: YWAM Pub., 2001), 69.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid., 41.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid., 69.

[8] Larry Allen, “A Time to Understand,” 1991, 1994, 2001, 2004, 2010 1985, 55.

[9] Thomas Floyd Johnson, 1, 2 and 3 John (Grand Rapids: BakerBooks, 2011), 6.

[10] Ibid., 29.

[11] Ibid., 32.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Miller and Guthrie, Discipling Nations, 60.

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