Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world--to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice." Pilate said to him, "What is truth?" (John 18:33-38a)
For the moment, I'm skipping toward the end of the book of John to bring us to a crucial question that Pilate asked Jesus, "What is truth?" That's actually an excellent question we should all ask ourselves.
What is truth? How does one "bear witness to the truth?" What does it mean to be "of the truth?" What does it mean to listen to the voice of Jesus? How did Jesus fulfill His purpose for being born?
All excellent questions. You probably know the circumstances of John 18. The Jews put Jesus on trial, a mock trial, and determined that He needed to be killed. They literally made up accusations at the trial to find Him guilty of anything. (Matthew 29:59-62) They certainly weren't seeking His answers, or the truth.
Caiaphas said it was better that one man should die than the whole nation of Jews perish (John 11:50, 18:14). They got nowhere in the trial with false accusations. But, when asked directly, they heard it from Jesus' own mouth that He claimed to be the Son of God, which Caiaphas used to declare Him a blasphemer, conclude the trial, and swiftly exact and deliver punishment. (Matthew 26:63-66)
Even though they picked up stones to kill Him lots of times before, this time they thought they were justifying themselves before the people by pretending to go through the proper process of condemning a man to death. What an amazingly awful spin the Sanhedrin put on the situation for political gain! Their strongest motivation was to protect their self-righteous authority over the Jewish nation. The refused to accept this Jesus for who He said he was.
So, what exactly is truth according to Scripture? We've already learned that we can find the definition and boundaries of truth in Scripture (see "Why Scripture?"). It must be some pretty important information if Jesus said bearing witness to the truth was His whole purpose for being born and coming into this world. In living this purpose He was ultimately condemned to death by crucifixion.
So, how do we seek out the truth, discover it, and assimilate it? We start with humility.
Before we crucify Christ (again), disregard Him, assume we already know the truth (whether believer or not, church-goer or not), before we get our understanding from human wisdom, or settle for shallow answers to deep questions, let's humble ourselves and simply let Him tell us. After all, He is the Word and the Word was God (John 1:1). He rewards those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). Let us find rest in His response. As the context of the verse in the subtitle of this blog says...
At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:25-30)
First, thank you for commenting, Steve. You've touched on so many topics. Each sentence could easily be studied by itself and still take time to really investigate from the perspective of Scripture and doctrine. Your theme, however, appears to be singular: "the majority has never been right."
There are many Scriptures that refer to the foolishness of man versus the wisdom of God, such as 1 Cor 2:14, which reads, "The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned."
Rather than using the word "majority," which is quite general, and then debating what "they" mistakenly believe, I think the terms used in Scripture are better because they have a very specific meaning. We can discover exactly what the term "natural person" means in this and other contexts.
Second, even if we clarified exactly who you mean by "majority," I'm not sure what your point is. Are you trying to draw others to Scripture for the correct information? Are you simply saying, "Look at all this evidence that shows I'm in the minority because I get it and I'm right"? Are you saying 'Group Think' applies and should be avoided? Are you trying to make a point or make a difference?
Third, I strongly disagree with your statement that, "No man has inherited the guilt of Adam. Men will face spiritual death because of their own sins." For one, Romans 5 renders your statement false, especially v18-19 in which Paul contrasts the First Adam to the Second Adam...
"Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:18-19)"
For another, you would be contradicting your own assertion. Most Christians believe your statement, that "men will face spiritual death because of their own sins." So, the majority would be correct in this instance.
Even still, I'm taking your statement very generally speaking. I think you meant all men face "final judgment," not "spiritual death," without drawing much distinction between the terms. However, they are quite different and not interchangeable. Final judgment hasn't happened yet (see Revelation 20). Spiritual death, on the other hand, is something everyone born of Adam is born into. That is why...
as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one." "Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive." "The venom of asps is under their lips." "Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness." "Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known." "There is no fear of God before their eyes." (Romans 3:10-18)
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