THE MIRROR OF TRUTH

FRIDAY

THE MIRROR OF TRUTH

Dr. Tony Evans tells the story of a native in a foreign country who had never seen a mirror before. The missionaries brought one over. This native girl had never seen what she looked like. She walked up and for the first time in her life looked at a mirror and saw herself. The mirror had been nailed to a tree. Not liking the image before her, she took the mirror off the tree and slammed it to the ground.

She did not like what the mirror had to say so she got rid of the mirror. When we come before the mirror of God’s Word, the first thing we will see is ourselves. Many of us don’t want the mirror to tell us the truth because we won’t like what it tells us.

Truth is telling it like it is.

ABSOLUTE TRUTH

THURSDAY

ABSOLUTE TRUTH

Absolute truth is true … for all people … at all times … in all places.

Christianity is not just true for Christians, it is true for everyone. It is not just true subjectively, but it is also true objectively. “Objective Truth” and “Absolute Truth” are the same. “Relative Truth” and “Subjective Truth” are the same. Subjective, or relative truth is something true for SOME people, not for ALL people… or in SOME places, not ALL places… or at SOME times, not at ALL times.

Truth is OBJECTIVE and ABSOLUTE not RELATIVE or SUBJECTIVE. Some believe there is no truth at all. This is a self-defeating position. A person may say: “There is no Truth.” The problem: Is that a true statement? Realize that truth is not always what you want to hear and appreciate people in your life who will tell you the truth.

Absolute truth is true … for all people … at all times … in all places.

ITCHING EARS

WEDNESDAY

ITCHING EARS

2 Timothy 4:3-5

“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.”

QUESTIONS FOR DIGGING DEEPER:

• What people are mentioned in this passage?
• What do you think Paul is most concerned about in this passage?
• Who does Paul say is going to control what is being taught?
• What motivates the people to turn their ears from truth?
• What do you think Paul means when he writes “keep your head”?
• How does this passage relate to what we see in the church today?

Paul explained the reason for this charge. “They” are the people to whom Timothy and his followers would preach, his listeners. In the future, they would not tolerate the truth but would only listen to speakers who told them what they wanted to hear (false doctrine, entertainment, etc.).

In other words, they have made themselves the measure of who should teach them and what teaching is acceptable. Moreover they would choose to believe myths rather than the truth. The context seems to indicate that these people were believers.

THOUGHT: Truth is telling it like it is.

THE TRUTH ABOUT TRUTH

TUESDAY

THE TRUTH ABOUT TRUTH

“He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” 1 John 2:4

WHAT TRUTH IS NOT:

1. Truth is not what works. Cheating on a test may lead to a good a good grade but that grade does not accurately represent the truth of what you have learned.

2. Truth is not what coheres. Although a chain and a web are cohesive, they cannot hang in ‘empty space.’ They must be anchored to something.

3. Truth is not what was intended. When a person lies but intends to tell the truth… they still lie.

4. Truth is not what is comprehensive. A person can have a ‘comprehensive’ view of a lie or an incomplete view of truth.

5. Truth is not what is relevant. A lie may connect with a persons feeling but not connect with them with what is really happening.

6. Truth is not what feels good. A bad report card may feel bad, but it represents the truth. Truth can produce bad feelings and lies can produce good feelings

THOUGHT: Truth is telling it like it is.

WHAT IS TRUTH?

MONDAY

WHAT IS TRUTH?

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6

Truth is telling it like it is. Truth can be described as “that which corresponds to reality.” Contrary beliefs are possible, but contrary truths are not possible. We can believe everything is true, but we cannot make everything true. Truth accurately expresses an actual state of affairs and opposite ideas cannot both be true at the same time and in the same sense.

The truth about truth:

1. All truth claims are absolute, narrow and exclusive. Even the claim that “every religion is true” excludes its opposite.

2. Truth is discovered, not invented. It exists independent of anyone’s knowledge of it. Gravity existed prior to Newton.

3. Beliefs cannot change a fact, no matter how sincerely they are held. A person can sincerely believe the world is flat but that only makes them sincerely mistaken.

4. Truth is trans-cultural. 2+2=4 here, there, and everywhere.

5. Being raised in a given culture doesn’t make the beliefs of that culture true or right. Becoming a Nazi while living in Nazi Germany doesn’t make Nazism true or right.

6. Truth is not affected by the attitude of the one professing it. An arrogant person does not make truth arrogant.

Godly Life Change

FRIDAY

The ultimate goal of all Bible study is to cause godly life change. No matter how many times a person interacts with the Bible, it should always be fresh and relevant. Every nuance in the biblical text is an opportunity to pull out wisdom and truth. For this reason, it is important not to move too fast through the text. Today we will look at two final passages that support the idea that we should be prepared to defend our faith.

APOLOGETICS MAY SIMPLY BE DEFINED AS: “THE DEFENSE OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH”

QUESTION: WHY DO APOLOGETICS?

9. Paul Defended The Gospel

“For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me.” (Phil 1:7)

10. Jude Urged That We Contend For The Faith

“Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.” (Jude 3)

The Local Church

THURSDAY

The local church has a serious responsibility to defend the basic concepts of the Christian faith but cannot keep up with the attacks without basic tools and training that will equip Christians to love people enough to answer their hard questions. One noted cult researcher observed that the cults are “the unpaid bills of the church.”

The church has failed to doctrinally train its members; it has failed to make a real moral difference in the lives of its members; it has failed to meet people’s deepest needs; and it has failed to provide people with a sense of belonging. The failure of the church is wide and deep, and this has made it easy for cults and other world religions to flourish. Today, we will look at two more Bible passages that tell us why it is important to be prepared to prove and defend what we believe.

APOLOGETICS MAY SIMPLY BE DEFINED AS: “THE DEFENSE OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH”

QUESTION: WHY DO APOLOGETICS?

7. Paul Refuted Those Who Opposed The Truth

“Holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.” (Titus 1:9)

8. Paul Rebuked Those In Error

“This testimony is true. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith.” (Titus 1:13)

The Truths of the Bible

WEDNESDAY

We teach the truths of the Bible because it is part of growing as a Christian. Jesus modeled this for us in His life, and it is part of our purpose; there is a real need for it in this fallen world. C. S. Lewis said, “The first qualification for judging any piece of workmanship from a corkscrew to a cathedral is knowing what it is—what it was intended to do and how it was meant to be used.”

Jesus left His followers with a very specific mission statement when He said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28: 18-20). Today we will look at two more passages that support the idea that we should be prepared to defend our faith.

APOLOGETICS MAY SIMPLY BE DEFINED AS: “THE DEFENSE OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH”

QUESTION: WHY DO APOLOGETICS?

5. Jesus Rejected False Teachings

“This people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.” (Matt. 15:8-9)

6. Paul Reasoned With People

“But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.” (Acts 9:22)

Unanswered Questions

TUESDAY

Too many people are turning away from Christianity, and God, because they have questions and challenges that go unanswered. Because of this, Christianity is viewed by many as an insanity that is only for the weak-minded and misguided. Today we will continue looking at ten passages that support the idea that we should be prepared to defend our faith.

APOLOGETICS MAY SIMPLY BE DEFINED AS: “THE DEFENSE OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH”

QUESTION: WHY DO APOLOGETICS?

3. We Are Commanded To Discern True From False Prophets

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (I John 4:1)

4. Jesus Corrected Error

“But Jesus answered and said to them, you are mistaken not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God.” (Matt. 22:29)