Here are my two articles for the next two weeks… hope you enjoy. I only have so much room on the paper we pass out before worship, so it forces me to be concise! 🙂
“If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). “And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32). What does Jesus mean by truth in these passages? I believe that He is talking about more than words and facts. In John 17:17, He says, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word (logos) is truth.” Jesus also said in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life…” So, what John is talking about is perfect union with God (John 14:23; John 17:21). He means having the spirit of Christ within one – complete transformation. In 1 John 2:21, He correlates rejection of Jesus as the Christ with having the spirit of an antichrist. He goes on to say that if you don't have the Christ (the Truth – what they heard from the beginning; 1 John 1:1-3), then they don't have God. [1/2]
[Continuing last week's article]. If the Truth is the Christ, then how do we tell if someone has the Truth? People can have correct knowledge but not be transformed by that knowledge. As Jesus said in Matthew 7:16-20, those who have the Truth versus those who do not are made known by their fruits. Later in Matthew, this is taught in the parable of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31-46). The thing that distinguishes the sheep from the goats is how they treated Christ. What Jesus means by that is how they treated other people. Likewise, Paul gave in Galatians 5 :22-23 clear indicators as to who is led by the Spirit and crucified with Christ (Galatians 5:18, 24). This means that people can believe incorrect things but still have the complete Truth because the Truth is Jesus.