"Nothing more impressive than an intellectual and spiritual approach to seeking truth and a willingness to embrace it unconditionally."

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Truth: Person or Precept?

The pursuit of "Truth" is indeed a noble one. Like all noble pursuits, the pursuit of truth must be balanced by both passion and perspective. Historically, the Apostolic Church has not lacked passion in its proclamation of "Truth"; yet it has been known to miss the boat on having a proper perspective of truth. While we understand that practical truth is portrayed by precepts (Isaiah 28:9-10), the heart of truth is much more. We must realize that the heart of truth is a person, rather than mere precept. Jesus says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life."

"So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." 33 They answered him, "We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, 'You will become free'?" 34 Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:31-36 ESV

The truth that sets free is man's relationship to the Son, the person of truth, and not just precepts of truth. We, like Israel of Old, tend to place preeminence on the precepts of truth over the person of truth. They had precepts in abundance, yet they lacked the power to perform them. We must know the Person of truth, which is the goal of the precepts of truth.

"Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith." Galatians 3:24 KJV

The law (precept of truth) was given to lead us to Christ (person of truth). It would be foolish and immature to revert to a law-based concept of truth that worships precepts and ordinances. This is the idea that Jesus was teaching in John 4:20-24:

"Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."

We must never become territorial with truth and think that my mountain is the only place where truth exist. This mistake can only be made when we limit truth to a precept. When you get the understanding that truth is a person, and that God is Spirit, you realize that truth is bigger than your mountain. My prayer is that the Apostolic Church mixes their passion for truth with a proper perspective of truth and see it as more than mere precept, but a person.

This does not minimize the importance of compliance with precepts, it is instead the only way that the precepts of truth can truly be practiced. Only through the indwelling person of Christ through the Holy Spirit can we practice truth. Compliance to the precepts of truth apart from the person of truth is impossible. Only when truth becomes a person can this be possible.

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