October 24th, 2020

Testifying to the truth


By Submitted Article on November 30, 2019.

For this Christ came

First of four parts

Jacob M. Van Zyl

Standing on trial before the Roman governor, Jesus said to Pilate that his kingdom was not of this world. He added, “For this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth” (John 18:37).

Born to testify to the truth – that was how Jesus saw his mission. The word “testify” comes from the Greek word for being a martyr. Jesus became a martyr for the truth.

Not realizing that truth was personified in Jesus, Pilate skeptically asked, “What is truth?” He should have asked, “Who brings truth to humanity?”

The previous night, Jesus said to his disciples, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

Today, this truth is rejected by many who see it as exclusive and arrogant. They feel that anyone who proclaim his/her ideas as the only viable way, is haughty and conceited.

However, if Christ was indeed the incarnated Son of God (John 3:16), the only Mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5), the only name by which humans can be saved (Acts 4:12), then his “I am” claims are not arrogant but 100 per cent realistic and true.

When a convicted person hears from a friend that he may be pardoned, he remains in uncertainty; but when the head of state says he is pardoned, he knows for sure it’s true. At the right hand of God Almighty, Christ has infinitely more authority than any head of state (Matt. 28:18).

Christ also linked the Father and the Spirit to truth. Shortly before his arrest, he prayed, “Sanctify them by your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:17). He promised his disciples after the Last Supper that the Spirit of truth would guide them into all truth (John 16:13).

In contrast to the Trinity who stands with the truth, Satan is exposed as a liar (John 8:44). He told Adam and Eve that if they disobeyed God, they would not die, but become like God.

The ninth commandment about true and false witnessing is part of the second table of the law: love for one’s neighbour. Therefore, truth should never be spoken without love (Eph. 4:15). In the history of the church, truth has sometimes been placed above love, causing schisms and persecution.

The Son of God became a human being to testify about the most wonderful truth: In his mercy and love, God gave his Son as atoning sacrifice, so that those who believe in him may be forgiven and be reconciled with God – for free.

When this has happened, they have to read, study and meditate on God’s word, delving deeper into truth.

Jacob Van Zyl of Lethbridge is a retired counsellor and the author of several faith-based books.

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