The Good Word – What is Truth?
by Bishop Jacob Afolabi
Truth is the most powerful thing in the world, because it is the only thing that does not change.
All men have to bow to truth, truth will neither bend nor bow to anyone. But like the Roman prefect of Jerusalem, Pontius Pilate said, “What is Truth..? (Jn.18:38), the real meaning of this word, and the great awe attached to it, has always been a problem for the finite minds of men to grasp. Speaking the truth does not come readily to anyone. The mind has first to be divorced from selfish motives and circumstantial fears, before there is boldness to utter truth.
The English language dictionary describes Truth as, “That which conforms to reality.” Mankind is the only image that lives. Every other image is dead and silent; yet even mankind is not reality, “For He remembered that they were but flesh, A breath that passes away and does not come again.” (Ps. 78:39)). Only God is the reality – But You are the same, And Your years will have no end. (Psalm 102:27)
Truth is not in Philosophy, human reason. nor in scientific enquiry. Reason itself cannot produce truth, nor can it validate it. “Who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. ( Romans 1:25). When men sought to worship God their own way, they ended up making foolish image representations of the Divine, who is Spirit and Holy. The images they made could not communicate with them, and the Divine they copied turned away from them in anger.
Furthermore, knowledge acquired by careful observation or by application of several laws that govern several conditions in nature, is still not sufficient to arrive at the truth in this 1ife. Possession of truth is the possession of Life itself. But through their own self instruction, “Men are always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2Timothy.3:7)
The dimension of human involvement in the quest for truth is large. But God has reserved for Himself the final act of revealing truth to any human soul that seeks for it. “For he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Heb.11:6)
By diligent inquiries we can obtain facts, but Truth can never be discovered by enquiries, only through revelation, Divine revelation. .
Therefore, What is truth? This is an element that thrives only in revelation, because it is embedded in a person. Truth is the personification of Reality. . Since Truth would not lend itself to inquiry, it chooses to reveal itself – in the person of the Divine – GOD. Beyond the truth, there is nothing else to seek for. Just as beyond light, there’s nothing else to expect to banish darkness.
Pilate was familiar with the ideas of Government, and royalty – the idea of Truth was strange to him. But Jesus stands before him representing The Truth !!! “Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the Truth. Everyone who is of the Truth hears My voice.” (John 18:37)
The root of Christianity is Divine, but the tree is human. Since It is the root that carries the tree – it is the Truth that makes Christianity have a supernatural claim. “I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” (John 16:18). Before this incident Jesus had said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Thus access to God comes only through the Truth – the Son of God is the Truth of Life.
There is an assurance that the seeker shall be the finder of Truth – but the inquisitive, the avaricious, the ambitious, the philosopher, the scientist, are all doomed to fail if they seek for the truth in their own way, through their own methods, that are sometimes confusing and sometimes conflicting.
Truth is eternal, and proceeds from the mouth of GOD – (Matthew 4:4).
About the writer
Nigerian-born Bishop Jacob Afolabi is Senior Pastor at the Christ Chapel Bible Church in Ottawa. He received the 2017 Black History Ottawa Community Builder award for his many years of community work, including founding the Ottawa Pastors’ forum, contributing inspiring articles in community newspapers and commentary on community radio stations, as well training a new generation of pastors. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.