What is truth? Pilate skeptically asked Jesus (John 18:38). Then he promptly subjected the truth to mockery, torture, and death. That’s the way it is with the ungodly—holding the truth in unrighteousness, they change the truth into a lie, put it to shame, turn from it with their hearts, and expel it from their minds to serve the creature (Rom. 1:18-28). Yet, they dare ask, What is truth?
God is truth (I John 5:6). God is truth in that He alone is God (Rom. 1:20). He is truth in that He is perfect, righteous, and without iniquity in all His being, life, and ways (Deut. 32:4). His eyes are upon the truth (Jer. 5:3). His judgments are according to truth (Rom. 2:2). His word is right and all His works are in truth (Ps. 33:4). And as truth, God is glorious, the light that shines in the darkness (John 1:14; I John 1:5). Thus, truth is also the glorious, perfect, unchanging knowledge of God as He reveals Himself. As the Westminster puts it, “God is both the truth itself and the author thereof” (WCF, 1.4). He is truth, and the God of truth (Is. 65:15).
God has revealed Himself through His Son, so that the truth is in Christ Jesus (Eph. 4:21). “I am…the truth,” He claimed (John 14:6). Therefore no man comes to, knows, or loves the Father but by Him. The truth came by Jesus Christ, God’s Word made flesh dwelling among us, full of grace and truth (John 1:13, 17). His one task, He told Pilate, was that “I should bear witness unto the truth” (John 18:37). What is truth? It is Jesus, minister for the truth of God to confirm the promises (Rom. 15:8). “I tell you of a truth,” he declared (Luke 9:27). And anyone who teaches otherwise than the words of Jesus knows nothing and is destitute of the truth (I Tim. 6:5). Jesus’ words are the Scriptures. And as His word, Scripture is also infallible truth (WCF, 1.5; Dan. 10:21).
The truth is salvation (Eph. 1:13). God begets us with the word of truth (James 1:18). By the truth we are justified—the truth makes us free (John 8:32). We are sanctified by the truth, our souls purified in obeying the truth through the Spirit (John 17:17; I Pet. 1:22). Truth is the fruit of the Spirit (Eph. 5:9). Proceeding from the Father, He guides us into all the truth so that the church is pillar and ground of the truth (John 14:17; I Tim. 3:15). And the truth preserves us (Ps. 40:11; Ps. 61:7). It is our shield and buckler (Ps. 91:4). To withstand the evil day, the good soldier has loins girt with truth (Eph. 6:14). Therefore the truth is precious. The believer binds the truth about his neck (Prov. 3:3), buys the truth and sells it not (Prov. 23:23), rejoices in the truth (I Cor. 13:6), and has no greater joy than to hear that his children walk in truth (III John 1:4).
The ungodly hate the truth. Stands to reason—they are of their father the devil, in whom there is no truth (John 8:44). His blasphemous spirit casts truth to the ground (Dan. 8:12). And his children receive no love of the truth (II Thess. 2:10). Ever learning, but unable to know the truth; men of corrupt minds, they resist the truth (II Tim. 3:7-8). They do not plead for truth, but trust in vanity and speak lies (Is. 59:4). They are not valiant for the truth, but proceed from evil to evil (Jer. 9:3). They do not endure sound doctrine, but turn away their ears from the truth unto fables (II Tim. 4:4). Truth is perished and cut off from their mouth, and by them the way of truth is evil spoken of (Jer. 7:28; II Pet. 2:2). Damned are they who believe not the truth (II Thess. 2:12).
The righteous nation not only loves, but obeys the truth (Is. 26:2). He who is of the truth loves not in word but indeed (I John 3:18). If we claim His fellowship but walk in darkness, we do not the truth; if we profess to know Him but keep not His commandments, the truth is not in us (I John 1:6; I John 2:4). God desires truth in the inward parts (Ps. 51:6). He is worshiped in spirit and truth (John 4:24). So the believer prays, “Lead me in thy truth” (Ps. 25:5). He believes, “All the paths of the Lord are truth” (Ps. 25:10). He knows that, in Jesus, mercy and truth are met together; in Christ, God’s truth toward Israel is remembered (Ps. 85:10; Ps. 98:3). Justified, the believer can exclaim, “I have walked in thy truth” (Ps. 26:3). Sanctified, he speaks the truth in love—for no lie is of the truth (Eph. 4:15; I John 2:21). By faith, he holds for truth all that God has revealed in His Word (L.D. 7). And doing truth, he comes to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought in God (John 3:21). Indeed, every one born of the truth hears His voice (John 18:37).