You were getting along so well. Who has interfered with you to hold you back from following the truth? (Gal. 5:7, NLT)
Truth is a very significant concept. Our view of truth shapes our societies and our personal lives. It also influences our relationship with God and our view of Scripture. Our definition of truth is impacted by the magazines we read, our choice of news broadcasters and even the opinions of our friends. And if you follow social media, your “truth” is being adjusted with every post and tweet you receive—every 60 seconds, 175,000 tweets are sent.
Let’s face reality! We live in an age where we are being bombarded by varying opinions as to what is or isn’t truth. Because of these deceptive trends, it is important that believers have a reliable and trustworthy compass by which to navigate in this world. We need guidance from God. We need divine perspective.
In the Old Testament, truth (’emeth) is rendered as “true” or “faithful”. In either case, the Hebrew concept communicated in its use is reliability and trustworthiness. This trustworthiness is frequently used to describe God’s divine faithfulness (Ps. 31:5; Jer. 42:5).
Those who walk in God’s truth accept as trustworthy God’s view of moral realities and act in harmony with His divine revelations: “For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.” (Ps. 26:3) Dependence on God’s truth is not based on emotional sentimentalities but firmly grounded in the nature of God (Deut. 7:9).
Truth (al’ētheia) in the New Testament emphasizes reality as God has revealed it in creation (Rom. 1:18) and in the gospel (Eph. 1:13; Col. 1:5; 1 Tim. 2:4).
Adherence to the truth was critical during the formation of the early Church. Paul reminds believers in Ephesus of the role truth played in their salvation: “In Him (Christ) you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit.” (Eph. 1:13, RSV) The Apostle John instructs believers to hold fast to the gospel truth: “I was overjoyed when some of the friends arrived and testified to your faithfulness to the truth, namely how you walk in the truth.” (3 John 1:3.)
Through God’s revelation we have access to reliable knowledge—divine truth—about God, about ourselves, and about how we are to live in relationship with our fellow man. This is especially important since there is often a tendency by believer’s to separate their “faith walk” from their “life style”. God’s truth is to be put into daily practice. Knowing the reliability of God and accepting the reality of God, believers can begin to operate from God’s perspective. God’s divine truth becomes the vehicle by which we are able to successfully navigate in this postmodern society.