“…whatsoever is true…” Philippians 4:8
“What is truth?” Do you remember which famous Bible character asked this question? Here is a clue, his question arose while he was interrogating the most famous man in history. If you guessed Pontius Pilate, you were right. Pilate shot off this question in an almost sarcastic manner, after Jesus made a peculiar claim.
When Pilate asked Jesus if He was really a king, Jesus responded by saying that He was indeed a king, and He went on to describe the essence of His purpose in coming to earth. He said, "You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate seems to dodge this claim by doubting the very definition of truth, but his dodge is not successful. Jesus’ assertion that He is truth, and that everyone of the truth hears Him, remains strong to this day.
Truth seems hard to come by these days. Between advertising and political campaigns, false information and conspiracy theories, it is a great challenge to get our hands on something that we can rest assured is true. This is no more prevalent in today’s American society than in the area of morality. More and more, people seem to seek to define for themselves what is moral, and what is not. Ultimately, these moral systems only work when they are in line with God’s declared morality, and when they oppose God they utterly fail.
Christian author and apologist, Ravi Zacharias, speaks on the matter of understanding truth in a culture that has exchanged its value for propositional statements (truth claims) for a new priority on images and icons. That is to say, we have moved from believing in over-arching truth, and replaced it with entertaining images. He quotes poet William Blake, saying, "This life's dim windows of the soul distorts the heavens from pole to pole, and leads you to believe a lie when you see with, not through, the eye.” [emphasis added].
What a powerful statement! You and I are souls that look through the windows of the eyes, not merely eyes with no soul! In Philippians 4:8, the apostle Paul’s first admonition to us is to find "whatsoever things are true”, and when we find them, think on these things. God has been very gracious in showing us His truth in His word, the Bible, and He has been supremely gracious in showing us what truth looks like by taking on human flesh and dying on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. And that, my friends, is a grand truth to think about.