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Is There Truth Outside Myself?

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for He will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that He will take what is mine and declare it to you." (John 16:12-15 ESV)

When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth.

One of the primary roles of the indwelling Spirit of Jesus in the lives of believers is to guide us into the truth. The language is that of a Master guiding an apprentice, or a safari guide leading people to where they can discover the wild animals. It is not the language of downloading propositional truths into our minds like a computer.

The Holy Spirit leads us in the way of an ever-deepening relationship with the One who is the Truth - Jesus Christ. I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6) The Spirit of Jesus living in us moves us along the path of sanctification (becoming more holy) to become more Christlike. The result is a life that is based on true truth, and not the lies and half-truths of the world.

We live in a time when the culture around us has largely abandoned the concept of universal truth. All truth is considered to be relative to one's life experiences and circumstances and beliefs. You have your truth and I have my truth and neither is truer than the other. But Scripture affirms that God's truth is true always and everywhere. God's truth is true truth. And it is both universal truth and a reliable standard for our living a life that pleases Him and results in eternal life.

The Spirit of truth living in our lives and guiding our minds is a reliable lie detector. Worldly "truths" and half-truths are exposed when we lay them down alongside the truth of the Word of God.

The world says: Take care of number one.

Jesus says: Love as I have loved you and take care of others.

The world says: Don't get mad, get even.

The Spirit of truth says: Leave room for God's judgment. Instead turn the other cheek.

The world says: Whatever consenting adults do is their business.

God says: Sexuality is a beautiful gift that is only to be expressed within marriage of one man and one woman.

The world says: I did it my way.

Jesus says: Do it the Father's way.

How does the Spirit of truth guide us into all the truth? The Holy Spirit guides us in many ways. He sometimes uses the open and closed doors of our circumstances. He sometimes speaks to us through the advice of wise mentors. He guides our analysis as we use our minds to think through which choice to make. I find that primary among the tools the Spirit uses to guide me into truth are the Word of God and the inner witness of His presence and peace.

Scripture is the book of the Holy Spirit. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16 NIV) The Holy Spirit breathed truth into the minds and hearts of the authors of the books of the Bible. He also breathes truth into those who prayerfully read and study Scripture. A lifetime of reading and studying the Word of God leads to the mind of Christ, and a deep sense of having discovered the truth of God.

The inner witness of the Spirit's presence and peace is a second major way He guides us. The Spirit uses inner nudges and whispers in our minds to speak to us and guide us. He will disturb our peace with an inner check when we are considering a path that is not His will. He will confirm God's will with peace in our hearts, sometimes even in the face of what appears to be evidence to the contrary. He points to the way of escape when we are tempted. He nudges us to stop and help the stranded motorist we see along the highway or take the homeless person some food.

I am convinced the most important strategy for discovering God's truth - true truth - is to prayerfully read and study the Word of God, listening for the voice of the Spirit of truth to guide us into all the truth, and then put into practice by the Spirit's power the truths we discover there. In doing so, we grow in maturity and come to have the Mind of Christ in all things.

When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth.


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