The God of Truth
We have been studying the Ten Commandments at ACC this fall. The commandments are helpful, not only because they teach us how to live, but because of what they reveal about God. Kevin DeYoung writes: “The law is an expression of the Lawgiver’s heart and character…. The commandments not only show us what God wants; they show us what God is like. They say something about his honor, his worth, and his majesty. They tell us what matters to God.”The ninth commandment says, “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” What does this law reveal about God? It shows us that God is truthful in every way. Scripture calls him “the God of truth” (Isa. 65:16). His Spirit is “the Spirit of Truth” (Jn. 14:17). His Word is “the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). And, when his Son came into this world, the Son said, “I am the truth” (Jn. 14:6).
The thought that God is completely truthful is a wonderful thought, but it can also be frightening.
It is wonderful to know that the universe is governed by One who will never deceive us. Hebrews 6:18 says that “it is impossible for God to lie.” This means that we can trust God. He will not lead us astray. We can rely on his word. Jackie Hill Perry writes, “God is not a man, that He would or could lie. Every single thing He has ever or will ever say is true.”
But God’s truth can also be frightening. Unlike our friends or acquaintances, who may flatter us or avoid raising sensitive matters, God addresses, with brutal honesty, the deep, broken places in our hearts. Like a surgeon’s scalpel, his word, “penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Heb. 4:12). In can be terrifying to interact with Someone who knows everything about you and who speaks with unflinching honesty.
But, rather than running from God’s terrifying truth, the gospel encourages us to run toward it. God’s desire is not to condemn, but to heal us. (See John 3:17.) The One who knows our deepest secrets is the One who loves us more than we can ever imagine. Jesus is “full of grace and truth” (Jn. 1:14). Though his truth may frighten us, his grace assures us that, if we place our trust in him, we know he will receive us with love.
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