Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 11, 1957

The Supreme Importance Of Truth

Roy E. Cogdill

Jesus said, "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free". Nothing else in the world has that power. Ignorance and error will only enslave. Truth alone has the power to make men free. The wise man of the Old Testament said, "Buy the truth and sell it not." Men should be willing to pay any price that truth may demand of them and when once they possess it they should never be willing to part with it no matter what the consideration that may be offered.

Until truth becomes more important to us than any other consideration we are mixed up in our values. It should be the determination of every heart to know "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth". There are no substitutes for truth but error.

Truth in religion can be determined by only one standard. Standards are necessary in determining anything. We have standards for time, measurement, law, and in every other field. Law determines the standard in every field and authority stands behind the law. In the realm of religion, authority inheres in God the creator of all. His Word, divine law is the standard for measuring truth. If what we teach, believe, and practice in religion is not in harmony with the Word of the God, it is wrong, untrue. and will condemn instead of saving. Paul, with this in mind said, 'Prove all things, hold fast unto that which is good". Jesus settled the matter of a standard for truth in religion when he said, "Thy Word is Truth". John 17:17.

It does not matter by what other authority it may be established, it is not truth unless it is contained in the Word of God. The creeds of men may teach it, the people who accept it may be honest and sincere, the councils, religious conclaves and conventions may legislate, authorize and approve it, but if the Word of God does not teach it, it is error and therefore wrong. Paul said, "Let God be true, but every man a liar". Rom. 3:4.

There are some very definite obligations which every man owes to the truth. In the first place, God wills that men "shall know the truth". There was a time when God "winked at ignorance" but now He commands "all men everywhere to repent". Acts 17:30. Men are held responsible before God for a knowledge of the truth. It is accessible to all and we can learn the truth if we will. We need to rid our hearts of their idols, all inherited traditions, and every bit of self will and honestly hear what God has to say and we can know the truth. The only man who cannot know the truth is the man who willfully closes his ears and shuts his eyes to the truth because something else is more important to him. We need not even depend on the priest, preacher or prelate to interpret the truth for us. God means what he says and if we can learn what He has said we will know what he means without difficulty. Moses said, "the secret things belong unto God but the revealed things belong unto us and our children that we may do all of the things written in this law". Deut. 29:29. Paul said, "Because they received not the love of the truth, that they might he saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they all might be damned who believed not the truth". II Thess. 2:10-12.

Not only must we know the truth but we must believe the truth. It makes a great deal of difference what a man believes. Paul declared in II Thess. 2:12 that all who believed not the truth would be damned. Only belief of the truth can save. Jesus said that those who believed not the Gospel preached by His apostles would be damned. Mark 16:15-16.

We must love the truth or we will be deceived and damned as a result. II Thess. 2:10-12.

Then we are held responsible for obedience to the truth. In Rom. 2:4-10 Paul declares that God will render to every man according to his works and to them that "obey not the truth" will be rendered "wrath and indignation, tribulation and anguish". Again in II Thess. 1:710 he declares that those "who obey not the Gospel" will be punished with "everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His power".

Peter teaches that we purify our souls through our obedience to the truth. I Peter 1:22-23. There is, therefore, no salvation without knowing, believing, loving, and obeying the truth. Without these obligations being fulfilled we have no promise of forgiveness or a home eternal in God's presence.