Love the Truth

Thus says the LORD:
‘Cursed is the man who trusts in man
And makes flesh his strength,
Whose heart departs from the LORD,
For he shall be like a shrub in the desert…
Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
And whose hope is the LORD.
For he shall be like a tree planted by waters…
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.

Jeremiah 17:5-8

Do not despise…Test all things; hold fast what is good.

1 Thes. 5:20-21

2 Thes. 2:1-12

  • v.3 – apostasy before Christ returns
    • “Son of Perdition” (compare John 17:12; Judas is type for antichrist)
  • v. 4 – “in the temple” – Body of Christ (cf. 1 Cor. 3:16), not Jewish temple
  • v.7 – “already at work” – apostasy had begun in Paul’s day
  • v.9 – “signs…lying wonders” – miracles in themselves are not evidence of truth (cf. Ex. 7:12,22; 8:7; Deut. 13:1-5)
  • v.10 – NEED to receive love of truth
    • Ultimately, receiving a love of the truth refers to receiving Jesus, who is Truth (Jn. 14:6), as shown in this context.  Jesus holds “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,” (Col. 2:3).  However, this also expresses itself in a love of true doctrine, true ideas, etc.  Though this study focuses on the love of truth in doctrine and in our Christian walk, we must be careful not to separate the love of true doctrines from a love of Christ, the Truth, as the two can’t exist in isolation and are really, ultimately, one thing.
      • 1 Tim. 4:1 – We must continue in love of truth for entirety of our life.
    • Q: What does it look like to love Truth?
    • A:
      • John 15:13 – “love” = willingness to lay down life for that which is loved 
      • Prov. 23:23 – symptom of “loving the truth” = willingness to give up what you have held onto for sake of Truth
        • Example 1: Are spiritual gifts for today?  Charismatics, would you throw out your experiences if it could be proven that gifts of the Spirit have ceased?  Non-charismatics, would you throw out what you were taught and be filled with the Spirit if it could be proven this was for today?
        • Example 2: Should babies be baptized?  
        • Example 3: Who is Antichrist?
        • Ask yourself: Am I holding on to things besides Truth that make me assume my way is right? (cf. Prov. 14:12)
  • v.11 – God will cause them to be deceived
  • v. 12 – ultimately, it is issue of desire and heart (Rom. 1:18ff)

Q: How do you find truth?

  • God is truth (John 14:6; Romans 3:4).  God cannot lie (Titus 1:2); compare with Satan who cannot speak truth (John 8:44 – “there is no truth in him”)
    • Holy Spirit leads to truth :] (John 16:13; 1 Cor. 2:11; 1 John 2:27)
      • But some can confuse Spirit with other spirits, emotions, or confuse soulish desires with spiritual desires :[ (1 Kings 22:5-23; 1 John 4:1; Hebrews 4:12)
    • Scriptures minister truth :] (John 17:17; Heb. 5:12-14)
      • But can be twisted :[ (Matt. 4:4-11; 2 Pet. 3:14-16)
    • True Teachers minister truth :] (Acts 8:26-40; Eph. 4:11)
      • But false teachers teach lies :[ (2 Thes. 2:3; 2 Tim. 4:3-4; 2 Pet. 2:1-3; Jude 16-21)

Q: How do you keep from corrupting and co-opting God’s ways to understand truth?

  • Love Truth (see above comments on 2 Thes. 2:10)
    • Love the “revealers” of truth (Spirit, Word, teachers) God has given you, do not grieve or scoff at them (Prov. 23:23; Eph. 4:30; Rev. 22:18-19; Heb. 13:17)
    • Be correctable (James 3:17; Ps. 141:5; Prov. 1:23; 9:8; etc.)
    • Do not be lazy in seeking and investigating truth (Job 28; Prov. 25:2; Acts 17:11; Mark 4:10; 1 Thes. 5:21)
  • Desire to do God’s will (1 Sam. 3; Prov. 1:23; Matt. 6:22-24; John 7:17; 2 Cor. 3:16)
    • Over a desire to sin (Rom. 1:18-32; 2 Thes. 2:12; 2 Tim. 4:3) 
  • Trust in God’s power to reveal more than your power to understand truth (Matt. 11:25)
    • 1 Tim. 6:20-21 – do not become overly fascinated with “knowledge” that contradicts truth (cf. 2 Cor. 11:3)
  • Seek confirmation from multiple sources (Prov. 11:14; Deut. 19:15)
    • Matt. 4:5-7 – Jesus uses context and whole counsel of Scriptures, not just isolated passages
    • Acts 15:6-22 – Witness 1 = testimony of Spirit; Witness 2 = testimony of Word
    • Gen. 1:2-3 – Principle: Spirit (v.2) + Word (v.3) =.light -> life
      • This principle can be applied to having spiritual “light” and “life” (e.g. 2 Cor. 4:6)
  • Be faithful to what God has already revealed to you (Prov. 4:4-6,10-13,20-21; Luke 16:10; Phil. 3:16; 2 Tim. 1:14; 3:14-15)

Q: What does it look like to exercise a love of the truth?

  • Bereans – Acts 17:10-12 (cf. 1 Thes. 5:20-21)
    • 1. Eagerly receive what you are taught
    • 2. Eagerly test to see if it is truth
  • Council of Jerusalem – Acts 15:6-22
    • 1. Received testimonies of Peter, Barnabas, Paul
    • 2. Saw confirmation in Scriptures (Amos 9:11-12)

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: Preach the word!  Be ready in season and out of season.  Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.  But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

2 Tim. 4:1-5