Pop Quiz: The Truth Test
THE TRUTH TEST
The "Truth Test" is a big one. In fact, Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life," (John 14:6). Jesus embodied truth. The Word of God contains truth. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. And John 16:13 says, "...the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth."
We must steward the truth that we have heard or we will lose the truth that we already know. It's possible to be deceived when we haven't passed "The Truth Test."
"And He said to them, Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you—and more [besides] will be given to you who hear. For to him who has will more be given; and from him who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away [by force]," Mark 4:24-25 (AMPC).
There are four statements in this passage that I want to discuss. These four truths have changed my life and I'm reminded of them constantly. Because, just like you, I have a "flesh" that needs to be crucified on a regular basis. That "flesh" part of me is proud and unteachable. It wants to resist truth and hide from it because it's painful. Can you relate?
It's not a given that we're going to be teachable people. It's not a given that we'll apply our hearts to truth. We must yearn for and love truth- even at the cost of personal pain. Many times when you face the truth it's painful short-term, but in the long-term you'll gain a lot.
1. "Pay attention to what you hear." Warning! You are about to be tested. God is saying, "Before you do anything, pay attention." Your future wellbeing will be determined by how you respond to the truth once you hear it. What are you going to do with the truth after you hear it?
2. We must study and apply the truth in order for this truth to benefit us. Keep in mind that you can go to church constantly and still act foolish and be totally deceived.
"Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful," Joshua 1:8 (NIV).
3. When we faithfully study and apply the truth you have been exposed to, God will trust us and increase our capacity to receive even more truth without limit!
"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does," James 1:22 (NKJV).
4. For those who fail to study and apply the truth they hear, even the truth they have will be forcibly taken away from them, and they will be given over to delusion and deception (a "reprobate mind," Romans 1:28). A reprobate mind is: deceived, corrupt, destitute, worthless, incapable of sound judgement, and/or depraved. This is someone who has suppressed or rejected truth for so long that they're not able to think soundly. The Word of God without obedience and action will be ineffective and useless!
"Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected," 2 Timothy 3:8 (NIV).
These men resisted the truth— men of depraved minds. Before they had depraved minds they opposed the truth, and then they were rejected concerning the faith. They were reprobate concerning the faith.
Here are a few verses about the "Truth Test":
"He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them. So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth," 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 (NLT).
"To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free,” John 8:31-32 (NIV).
"If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you," John 15:7 (NIV).
When truth is presented, everybody has the same opportunity to receive and apply that truth. We are responsible to steward the truth we hear. It's not enough to just hear the truth- we must meditate on it over and over until we apply it. What you choose to do with truth determines whether you pass the truth test or not!
Pastor Ron Enget | New Life - Lead Pastor