For The Truth

Bible

For we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth” (2 Corinthians 13:8).

In this verse, Paul was not discussing what is or is not possible. Rather, he was speaking of the determination of faithful disciples of Christ. We must choose one of two sides – we can be for the truth or against the truth. As Christians who have committed to being on the side of truth, let us notice what we can do to benefit and support it.

Learn the truth – This is the foundation of all the other points we will discuss here. We must learn the truth before we can do anything in support of it. This will involve reading (1 Timothy 4:13), diligent study (2 Timothy 2:15), and listening to those who teach the truth (Matthew 11:15). It is essential that we learn the truth because we must be able to distinguish truth from error (1 John 4:6). If we cannot make this distinction, we will be unable to do any of the other things in the following list.

Believe the truth – Knowing the truth is different from believing the truth. One may know all sorts of things about the Bible, but not believe it. In writing to Timothy, Paul made a distinction between knowledge and conviction: “Continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of” (2 Timothy 3:14). This conviction is faith (Hebrews 11:1) and it should be behind everything that we do (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Practice the truth – It is possible for one to believe the truth, but never act upon it. Some of the rulers believed in Jesus but wanted to hide their belief, so they refused to confess Him (John 12:42). “Faith without works,” that which makes faith visible, “is dead” (James 2:26, 17-18). We must practice the things we learn and believe (1 Peter 1:22). Our eternal fate depends upon it. Paul wrote that the ones who are “doing good” will inherit “eternal life,” while the one who “do not obey the truth” will receive “wrath and indignation” (Romans 2:7-8).

Teach the truth – There is a principle in Jesus’ instruction to His disciples: “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8). We have received the truth and the benefits that come from accepting it. Therefore, we should try to share that with others. The gospel is for all (Mark 16:15; Romans 1:16), not just for those who already have it. We must be ready with an answer (1 Peter 3:15) whenever we find opportunities to help lead others to the truth.

Defend the truth – Paul said that he was “appointed for the defense of the gospel” (Philippians 1:16). Being in defense of something implies that it is under the threat of attack. We are engaged in a spiritual war and must be ready to defeat “speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). When others attack the truth, we must be willing and able to defend it.

Encourage the truth teachers – It is important that those who devote their lives to teaching the truth receive encouragement (Colossians 4:11). They certainly do not have an easy task (James 3:1). Lack of moral support from fellow Christians, such as what Paul faced at his “first defense” when “no one supported” him (2 Timothy 4:16), can be discouraging. Fortunately, Paul had the right attitude: “May it not be counted against them. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me” (2 Timothy 4:16-17). But how many eventually give up for lack of encouragement?

Support the truth teachers – John said, “We ought to support such men” who go out and make sacrifices in order to teach the truth (3 John 8). This is more than just moral support. God’s intention is for “those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:14). This financial support can come from both churches (2 Corinthians 11:8) and individuals (Galatians 6:6). By supporting those who proclaim the gospel, we become “fellow workers with the truth” (3 John 8).

With all of the things we can do to promote the cause of truth, let us not become complacent. Instead, let us be busy doing all that we can “for the truth.


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