John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
This passage of scripture tells us what the truth in written form is. It is the word of God. Jesus Christ is the embodiment of the truth, or the truth in shoes, but the written truth is to be found in the Bible, which defines truth, and through which all other teachings, assertions, or tenets must be sifted. In our search for truth there some guidelines and hints given in the scriptures, of which we should all be aware, for in our day there is mass distortion of the truth in many religious, educational, and secular circles.
To begin with, the truth is generally not found with the majority. The reason for this is because scriptural truth does not consist of most mainstream teachings, beliefs, and practices, and therefore is not usually palatable to the fallen nature of man. God has not called Christians to popularity, and therefore any attempt to find or harmonize truth with what is generally acceptable will inevitably lead to falsehood. Let's read:
Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
The efforts that are currently underway to modify the principles of truth to suit what the majority thinks is right, will lead to a famine for real truth, as spoken of by the prophet Amos. The tendency to do what is right in one's own eyes ultimately leads to relativism, where persons decide and define what they think is right or wrong, which results in no absolute truth or gold standard for measuring, defining, and differentiating right from wrong.
In some parts of the world, some people think it's "right" to eat cockroaches, while in other places roaches are considered detestable pests. Some people believe that the day of rest is Sunday, Monday and even Friday, while others believe the truth, that it has been, and always will be Saturday. If as individuals we allow the mainstream media or mainstream theology to define truth for us, then we will be subjecting ourselves to theological metamorphosis, in which the truth and the principles of righteousness "Evolve" with each passing generation. This then results in a total inability to discern between right and wrong, the "famine" we are warned of in the scriptures. Let's read:
Amos 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: 12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.
The reason therefore, why it's so important for everyone to know the truth as it is written in the scriptures, is because the work of sanctification takes place through the truth, according to our passage in John, and sanctification is never accomplished through error. Not only does the truth sanctify, by the power of the Holy Spirit, it also sets us free from sin, error, and the millions of snares the devil has set for the feet of the unwary. Let's read:
John 8:31 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.
The way in which the truth is derived from the Bible is by allowing the word of God to speak for itself. In other words, all preconceived ideas or beliefs should be tested by the scriptures, to be certified or surrendered as the Bible directs. Added to this is the very important element of correct interpretation, which all deductions from the word must be subject to. Let's read:
2nd Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
Correct exegesis of the scriptures can only be accomplished using the line upon line method. The habit of isolating one scripture to build a doctrine, to the disregard of other verses is productive of many false doctrines and consequent evils. Let's read:
Isaiah 28:9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
Then again, the tendency to regard some portions of scripture as inspired and others as uninspired, destroys the golden chain of truth that God has given to us. The entire Bible, both the old and new testaments, are inspired by the Holy Ghost and are to be accepted and applied as a whole, complete document, not subject to dissection, or abrogation as individuals or society might see fit. Let's read:
2nd Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
If these Biblical guidelines are faithfully and consistently followed, we will be guided into all truth, for God has made a promise that whosoever desires to do His bidding, will know of the doctrine. We therefore end with a passage, encouraging everyone to search the scriptures for the truth, for we need it as an anchor amidst the spiritual darkness that is enveloping the world. Let's read:
1st Timothy 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
We wish you good success in your endeavor to find the truth. "Good night" and God bless!