Life-Study of 1, 2, & 3 John, Judeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we shall continue to consider the meaning of the word truth in the New Testament. We have pointed out that truth is God, Christ, and the Spirit. Therefore, truth is the Divine Trinity. Actually the Three of the Trinity are all one reality.
Having seen that truth is the Triune God, we may go on to point out that truth is also the Word of God as the divine revelation, which not only reveals but also conveys the reality of God and Christ and of all the divine and spiritual things. Hence, the Word of God also is reality (John 17:17).
The Word is the explanation of the Triune God. This means that the fourth aspect of what the truth is, the Word, is actually the explanation of the first three aspects of the truth, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. Therefore, reality is God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit, and also the divine Word.
According to the New Testament, truth is also the contents of the faith (belief), which is the substantial elements of what we believe as the reality of the full gospel (Eph. 1:13; Col. 1:5). This is revealed in the entire New Testament (2 Cor. 4:2; 13:8; Gal. 5:7; 1 Tim. 2:4, 7b; 3:15; 4:3; 6:5; 2 Tim. 2:15, 18, 25; 3:7, 8; 4:4; Titus 1:1, 14; 2 Thes. 2:10, 12; Heb. 10:26; James 5:19; 1 Pet. 1:22; 2 Pet. 1:12).
The contents of the Word of God are also the contents of our Christian faith. This is the objective faith, our belief. The Word is the revelation and explanation of the Trinity, and this Word has contents. In brief, these contents are the contents of the New Testament and also the contents of our Christian faith. Therefore, the contents of the New Testament and of our Christian faith are also the truth, the reality. This means that in the New Testament, reality refers to the contents of our faith and to the contents of the entire New Testament.
In the Bible truth is also the reality concerning God, the universe, man, man’s relationship with God and with one another, and man’s obligation to God, as revealed through creation and the Scripture (Rom. 1:18-20; 2:2, 8, 20).
If we would know the actual situation concerning God and the universe, there is no need for us to guess or make inferences. We simply need to come to the Scriptures, for in the New Testament we have the truth concerning God, the universe, and man. We also have the truth regarding man’s obligation to God and his relationship with God and others. This truth is revealed partially in God’s creation, and it is revealed fully in the Scriptures. In God’s creation we can see certain aspects of the truth concerning God, man, and man’s relationship with God. Therefore, in the New Testament the word truth is used to refer to these matters.
In the New Testament the Greek word for truth, aletheia, also denotes the genuineness, truthfulness, sincerity, honesty, trustworthiness, and faithfulness of God as a divine virtue (Rom. 3:7; 15:8), and of man as a human virtue (Mark 12:14; 2 Cor. 11:10; Phil. 1:18; 1 John 3:18) and as an issue of the divine reality (John 4:23-24; 2 John 1; 3 John 1).
John 4:23 and 24 say, “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and reality; for the Father seeks such to worship Him. God is Spirit; and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and reality.” Some hold the concept that the word truth in these verses denotes the sincerity of God’s worshippers. According to this concept, we should worship God not only in our spirit and with our spirit, but also worship Him in sincerity. This understanding is mistaken. In John 4:23 and 24 truth refers to the result, the issue, of God being reality to us. When we enjoy God as our reality, this enjoyment will have a certain outcome, and this outcome is truth, reality. Actually, this outcome of enjoying God as our reality is Christ coming forth from us. When we enjoy the Triune God—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit—as our reality, that is, when the Divine Trinity becomes a reality to us for our enjoyment, this enjoyment issues in a certain kind of virtue. This virtue is the Christ experienced by us, the Christ who is the fulfillment of all the offerings.
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