The Importance of TruthBy Dan Vis
June 08, 2020
This month we are offering our once a year Truth Corps program, with a challenge to give one summer to equipping yourself to share the Bible more effectively. In this week's memo, we look at why sharing truth is so vital!
Some time ago, I preached a sermon entitled The Power of Truth. In it I suggested three reasons we should value knowing truth. Given our focus on Scripture here at FAST, I thought it seemed a good idea to share a quick synopsis of the sermon in this week's memo.
Why Truth is ImportantDespite the relativism so often promoted today, pursuing objective biblical truth is important. While it's not an exhaustive list, here are three reasons I give for assigning truth a high priority:
1. Truth is important because it changes lives.
According to James 1:18Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures., we are born again, and become a new creature by the "word of truth". And Jesus made it clear that continuing our study of truth is an important part of the sanctification process. The more truth we know, the more freedom we will experience (John 8:31-3231 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.). Every believer who has been rescued from a life of sin can attest to the power of truth to change us.
“Every believer who has been rescued from a life of sin can attest to the power of truth to change us.”
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Here's how Paul describes the process of change: "God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth" (II Thessalonians 2:13But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:). As we grow in our understanding of truth, and lay hold of it by faith--the Holy Spirit uses that truth to transform us. That's how sanctification works. See also John 17:17Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth..
The flipside of this is that error is never unimportant or insignificant. It should never be considered harmless or irrelevant. Just as truth brings us closer to Christ, error pushes us farther away. The enemy has a reason for every lie he has spawned.
2. Truth is important because it is at the core of our work.
God's will is for "all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth" (I Timothy 2:4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.). Therefore, "seeing we have this ministry" our work is "by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God" (II Corinthians 4:1-21 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.). We are to "preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine" (II Timothy 4:2Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.).
If sharing truth is an important part of our work, a preparation to do that is likewise important. We are to "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you" (I Peter 3:15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:). That requires us to "study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (II Timothy 2:15Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.). Jesus gave a stern warning to those who know God's will, but fail to prepare themselves to do it. See Luke 12:47And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes..
3. Truth is important because deceptions are everywhere.
The book of Daniel prophesied of a "little horn" power that would work counter to Christ. A "host was given him" and "it cast the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered" (Daniel 8:12And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered.). Those familiar with this prophecy know historically that this happened exactly as predicted, resulting in the tremendous doctrinal confusion today.
The Word of God was like a mirror thrown to the ground and shattered. And through the centuries various men stumbled across some piece of glass, picked it up, and fought for that truth. But the churches they founded generally stopped there. Rather than the path of the just being a "shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day" (Proverbs 4:18But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.), they clung to their one or two little pieces. The result? More than 30,000 Christian denominations in the USA alone.
And the Bible predicts this problem will only grow worse. "Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived" (II Timothy 3:13But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.). "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (II Timothy 4:3-43 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.). In other words, truth will become increasingly rare, and therefore increasingly important, the closer we get to the end!
How to Fortify our MindsSo how can we avoid being deceived? Listening to sermons is valuable. A good reading program is helpful. But neither of these alone will prepare us for the endtime crisis foretold in prophecy. The final scenes will be rapid ones. They will come upon us as an overwhelming surprise. And "none but those who have fortified the mind with the truths of the Bible will stand through the last great conflict" (Great Controversy, p. 593).
“None but those who have fortified the mind with the truths of the Bible will stand through the last great conflict.”
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But how exactly does one fortify his mind? I'd like to suggest there are two steps in that process. And that both are essential:
1. Study Deeply
Study one Bible truth at a time. Dedicate between one week and one month of prayerful study to each topic. Look up every verse on the subject you can find. Read commentaries and explore relevant study guides. Try to reconcile difficult verses until you have a fully consistent understanding of the subject. Don't rest until everything fits. Once you are finished, create a simple outline of the clear teachings of the Bible on the topic.
Not sure where to start? Here are some suggested topics:
How can I know the Bible is true?
How does a person become a Christian?
Will the second coming be secret?
What will heaven be like?
What happens after death?
Does God torture sinners for eternity?
Is God's law still relevant?
Is prophecy real?
What is God's purpose for the church
Even if you are familiar with what the Bible teaches on some of these, study them over again, until you are able to explain each subject simply and clearly to another person.
Our FAST Facts study course gives a quick introduction to some of the most common questions people ask. Consider using these as a starting point for your study. Then once you have studied the topics in those lessons, move on to others. You'll never exhaust the treasures of the Word of God!
2. Memorize Diligently
Once you have completed your survey of a specific topic, identify 4 or 5 key verses that best capture the essential teachings of the Bible on that subject. Look especially for verses that give a clear overview, or rule out common false interpretations. Then take some time and prayerfully memorize those verses.
Internalizing key verses on important teachings of the Bible is one of the most powerful ways to equip yourself to share truth. Memorization allows you to meditate deeply on the verse, and really grapple with the nuances of every word. And when stored in the memory, it requires only the slightest whisper of the Holy Spirit to bring it to mind in time of need. It allows you to share vital truth at any time, and in any situation--even if you don't have a Bible handy. That should be every believer's goal, don't you think?
FAST can help with this too. We provide powerful tools to help you memorize Scripture, and even recommend verse sets on many important doctrinal topics in our tools area. Use these to jumpstart the process of fortifying your mind.
ConclusionTruth is important because it changes lives, because it's at the core of our work, and because deceptions are everywhere. Listening to sermons and reading the Bible are both valuable, but to truly fortify our minds we must study deeply and memorize diligently. Determine to begin that process of internalizing truth, restarting the process if it has slipped, or continuing on if it is already a regular part of your life. Never underestimate the importance of truth!
CommentsHow important is truth to you? How has it impacted your life? Do you have a regular process you follow to fortify your mind with the teachings of the Bible on specific topics? If so share your strategy. How strong is your determination to know truth?
|Posted by Dan Vis on 06/09/20|
|I memorized that verse many years ago Georgia, and it had that exact same impact on me as well. Made me definitely want to be more diligent in my personal discipleship, including the need to "study to show myself approved" (II Timothy 2:15Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.)...
As for the class, it is a bit involved. I would estimated 2-3 hours per week.
|Posted by Georgia Kenny on 06/08/20|
|The study plan set out here is similar to what I had marked out for myself to do, but I really like the idea of spending a week or month each on a topic to really thoroughly grasp it and be able to share. I certainly need that deeper understanding...
Something I had not thought of was the fact that Luke 12:47And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. says the unjust servant didn’t PREPARE himself. I’d always noticed he didn’t DO his master’s will, but not that he didn’t prepare himself. This tells me that if we know truth, or have truth within our reach, but do not make sincere efforts to prepare ourselves to be able to share it, we will be counted an unfaithful worker.
I’m curious about the Truth Corps class - what kind of time commitment do you think would be needed per day/week?
|Posted by Dan Vis on 06/08/20|
|That's an excellent point Terri! Many times errors lie close to truth, and only a thorough familiarity with truth will equip us to identify the subtle errors we encounter. Glad you will be doing Truth Corps with us!
And I like your points too Carole, about the power of truth to strengthen the mind, protect the heart, give peace, freedom, and something to share. So many blessings!
|Posted by Dan Vis on 04/03/19|
|Glad you enjoyed it Diane! Again. :)
We will be doing some classes on how to develop just such a system soon Floride. Stay tuned. :)
|Posted by Floride Leonce on 04/03/19|
|Truth is very important to me. It is so important that Jesus says that it will set us free. And it is truth by which God will sanctify us (John 17:17Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.). I don’t have a system that I follow. If I come across some interesting subject, I read through it and try to look Bible references related to the subject. But, I like all your suggestions about having a system. It will make the learning process better and will help us understand the Bible better.
That’s a very powerful post. Thank you for sharing it with us, Dan!
God bless you!
|Posted by Diane Castanon on 04/02/19|
|I loved reading this one again. It never grows old, because I learn something new with each reading. Thank you for reposting this Monday Memo.|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 04/01/19|
|We have a class coming up on how to study topics like this and organize your verses as described. Stay tuned for it Carole!|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 10/31/18|
|What a powerful verse isn't it? And loved your testimony. God is so good to us. Thanks Michelle. And driving is a great time to memorize!!!|
|Posted by Michelle on 10/30/18|
|Truth is very important. We must search for it. It keeps expanding and growing the more I study.
I am a Family Nurse Practitioner and work as the only provider. I drive over an hour to work and was practicing scripture and when I got to work I mentioned to the manager of the center I was spending my time in the car memorizing scripture. I was pleasantly surprized when he asked me what verse I was memorizing. It was a long one but God is faithful! So I was able to quote Romans 8:38-3938 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord..
For I am persuaded that neither life nor death, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any creature is able to seperate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. God gives me ideas for hand motions to help me memorize and this helps. So glad for taking the Crash Course or I would not have been so diligent.
|Posted by Dan Vis on 10/09/18|
|Thanks Valerie! Truth is important, and it is only going to become more important as we go forward...|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 10/08/18|
|Glad this encouraged you Carole! That's something we all need to study. I'm hoping to do a prophecy class next year sometime... :)|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 05/01/18|
|Hi Patricia! Glad you found this helpful. And as for the comment order, I think I'm with you! :)
PS. Please check out the new Application Workshop live event we'll be doing later this month. I just posted the info page...
|Posted by Dan Vis on 04/30/18|
|You are more than welcome Carole! Truth is indeed a solid foundation. And memorization definitely helps keep our feet grounded. :)|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 04/30/18|
|Please note the Cross Reference class won't have FREE enrollment until tomorrow. If you are reading this today, and you are not a partner, you will need to come back tomorrow to signup. :)|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 08/03/17|
|Great to see you making the most of several different approaches Ann! Memorization. Reading. Study. And now Bible marking. You're going to be an expert before you know it!|
|Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 08/02/17|
|It's good that you are inspired to study God's Word more, Nicole and Gee. You can join us in this mission! :-) I am joining the next challenge too, so I shall see you there too!|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 08/01/17|
|I just unlocked the challenge for this month. Sorry I didn't have it ready first thing this morning. But it's ready now.
See you inside!
|Posted by Nicole Walker on 07/31/17|
|Wow, I was inspired by this reading to study out GOD's word more and more.|
|Posted by Carole Bliss on 07/31/17|
|Now is the time to witness to others, as never before. we need to know more fully what we believe in, what is TRUTH, and we need to know where to find it, so we can go out and share with others.
|Posted by Arthur Martens on 07/31/17|
|For someone like me it's very helpful to have guidelines such as timing and systems to follow. Thank you for several of the insights in this memo|
|Posted by Qing Ling on 03/13/17|
|I know @fast4God :) praying for those needed human resources up your way!|
|Posted by Qing Ling on 03/12/17|
|Inspiring stuff as always, Dan. Thanks for your clear and concise messages. I miss your audio sermons too.|
|Posted by Gloria Bernard on 02/28/17|
|I will pray for that Dan. This is God's will that this gospel will be preached to all nations.|
|Posted by Greg Carey on 02/25/17|
|A 1000 thanks, Dan. Inspiring thoughts to help a Laodician(me). Anyway I can listen to this sermon in its entirety?|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 02/25/17|
|Thanks for sharing Lisa! So glad you are growing, and yes--the enemy trembles when we start getting serious about our faith, doesn't he? Keep at it. God is our ultimate strength, which makes us more than conquerors.|
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