Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Searching for Truth?

By Ronald Bartanen


    The wise man Solomon advised, “Buy the truth and sell it not” (Prov. 23:23).  In the marketplace of ideas one must be careful to distinguish the true from the counterfeit. Jesus said, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32).  How will we know the truth when we see it?

   Some seek truth in their own hearts, though the Bible warns, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9).   How much religious error do we subject ourselves to when we follow the path of simply doing what “seems right”, or “what I’ve always believed.”

    Some seek truth from preachers and church councils, accepting what they are told without question, though Paul warned, “Of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things” (Acts 20:30).  Men are fallible, subject to error.  Preachers and religious-leaders may be ever so sincere in their beliefs, and still be misled.   We who endeavor to preach the truth of God should do so with fear and trembling.  We dare not seek what is regarded as popular in our religious circles.  While this may seem to be the way to go, it opens the door to error.

    Ultimate truth is found in Jesus, who said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.  No man cometh to the Father but by me” (John 14:6).  Truth is found in His word, the Scriptures, of which Paul wrote, “All scripture is inspired of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).  How many supposed “truths” do we defend even when we have accepted such “truths” on their popularity.  We should follow the example of the noble Bereans who, upon hearing the apostle Paul’s proclamation of the gospel, “searched the scriptures (to see) whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11).

    The search for truth doesn’t end when one becomes a Christiaan.  Actually, that was just the beginning of the search.  The apostle Paul, addressing those who had earlier been converted to Christ, and had also been milk-fed with basic truths by him, but had grown lax in maturity sufficient to move on to the meat of the word of God, saying, “The Bible is God’s gift of a textbook for guidance.  “All scripture is inspired of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God should be complete, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).  Within its sacred pages we have revealed to us the account of God’s dealing with mankind, past, present and future, none of which should be casually ignored.  Will we understand everything revealed therein? Assuredly not.  I confess that I still have much to learn, and don’t expect a full enlightenment until I’m with the Lord, and He can explain some things to me! But that doesn’t excuse me from seeking a better understanding of what God wants me to know.  God wants us to be well-fed, and we do not do well in spurning what He sets before us.   We do not have to await the coming of another new year before we make a resolution to spend more time in reading the Bible and prayerfully seeking a better understanding of God’s truths.

- Ronald Bartanen is a retired minister who for many years served the Lord's church in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee. After the passing of his beloved wife, Doris, Ron has relocated from Illinois to Florida where he is near family. He may be contacted at: ron33dor@yahoo.com

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