What is truth? Christ before Pilate. By Nikolai Ge – 1889.

by Brian Shilhavy

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.

If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. (1 John 1:5-10)

If one wants to live a truly healthy life, it is absolutely necessary to live in the truth.

What is “truth”?

Truth begins with the reality that there is a God who created all things, that he controls all the affairs of the universe, and that he knows who we are and why we exist:

LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.

Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?

If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.

All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (words of King David in Psalms 139:1-16)

Starting with this foundational truth, we then understand that since there is a Creator who knows us and created us for a purpose which he established, our lives will experience the greatest health the closer we follow his plan for our lives.

A perfect world would be one where everyone followed God’s plan.

That is the condition of a place called heaven today, and at one time it was also the condition of the earth we live on. But when the created beings stopped following God’s plan and came up with their own plans instead, everything got messed up.

This is what the Bible refers to as “sin.” There are many negative consequences to sin, including the decay of our bodies and physical death. Death was not part of the original plan, but God implemented it as a punishment for sin so that people who did not carry out his plan and purpose would not go on and live forever following their own ideas and plans.

So one would think that the solution is simply to get with the plan that God has for the human race, and start obeying him and living by his plan and purpose.

And indeed that is what man has tried to do throughout much of history via religion. God appeared to Moses and the Israelites in Old Testament times, and gave them a system of laws that they could use to live their lives and judge others who did not live according to the plan.

That system is still the basis of most legal systems throughout the world today.

Religion is a Failure

There is a problem, however, with religion and laws and man’s attempts to get back with the plan and follow God’s purpose in life by following a system of rules and regulations.

We can’t do it. We don’t have the power or strength to follow such a system perfectly.

Our natural tendency is to do things our own way, rather than follow someone else’s rules and regulations.

Especially in modern day American and western culture, we pride ourselves in being independent and subservient to no one. Modern culture is built upon a foundation that is a lie, Darwinian evolution. It denies the spiritual realm and denies God’s existence, allowing man to set himself up as the one who establishes “truth.”

But this whole system is a system built upon lies, and is not the truth. Following a system built upon a false foundation of lies results in poor health.

God, being the Creator and owner of all things, is certainly within his rights to exert himself through his superior power and strength, and force everyone to do his will. And we are told that one day he will indeed do that.

But God did something that is absolutely incredible, and that separates him from all the religions of the world: he sent his son into the world as a perfect human being to show us the way to get back with his plan.

Jesus carried out God’s plan and purpose perfectly and never committed any sin – the only human being to ever live a sinless life. He did not deserve the punishment of death for sins, but he ended up sacrificing his life for those of us who could not live sinless lives ourselves. He then broke the power of death by rising from the dead three days after he was killed.

The New Plan – Religion Not Needed

So now there is a new plan in New Testament (or New Covenant) times, after the time period when Jesus died and rose from the dead. It replaces the old plan which was religion and a system of rules and regulations, and imperfect animal sacrifices that were intended to please God and have him forgive us for all the times we followed our own way and not his.

The new plan acknowledges that Jesus Christ was the only human being who completely followed God’s original plan and that now he alone is able to give real health and eternal life in God’s Kingdom, to those who trust in him:

Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.

For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these.

For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.” (John 5:19-21)

This is a very important truth about the new plan: real health and eternal life with a place in God’s Kingdom cannot be earned by religion or good works. It is something that Jesus gives to those whom he wants to give it to.

Fortunately for us, he is the most generous and gracious person in the universe, and he wants to give it to everyone! It is a free gift, and it is available to anyone who wants it:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

This is the truth that trips up most people, because it is hard to believe that someone will actually give away something for absolutely free, especially something as valuable as real health and eternal life with a place in God’s kingdom.

People don’t like charity. We’re too proud. We want to earn our way – we don’t want handouts.

But that’s the new plan! The only condition is that you have to believe it is true, and you have to take it. Most don’t.

Kingdom of Light (Truth) vs. the Kingdom of Darkness (Lies)

So as we have written previously, there currently exist two kingdoms on earth in the spiritual realm: the kingdom of darkness ruled by Satan who is called “the father of lies” in the Bible, and the Kingdom of Light ruled by Jesus.

Everyone is in one or the other of these kingdoms spiritually.

One kingdom is built upon a system of lies, while the other one is built upon a foundation of truth. We are all physically born into the kingdom of darkness, because we inherit the sin nature from our parents and are totally incapable of following God’s plan.

We enter into the Kingdom of Light by receiving the free gift Jesus offers, and then we are re-born spiritually.

The spiritual rebirth gives us a personal relationship with Jesus through his Holy Spirit. We are then capable of walking in the light, and following Jesus as his disciples (students), and learning directly from him what God’s personal plan is for our life.

This is the truth that brings real health and sets us free from the sickness of sin:

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)

Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. (Matthew 15:30)

Are you living in the light? Do you know the truth that transforms lives and brings perfect health? Are you following Jesus as one of his disciples?

As the apostle John wrote above in the opening Bible passage, those who confess their sins come into the light and understand the truth, while those who deny they are sinners do not know the truth, and base their lives on lies (like Darwinian evolution and the belief that God doesn’t exist or doesn’t care.)

Some people come into the light and recognize the truth, but then wander back into the darkness still trying to follow either their own plan, or the first plan of religion and a system of rules and regulations.

But to know the truth is to know the source of all truth, and that is Jesus Christ.

Do you know him today? If not, accept his free gift of eternal life and invite him into your life right away! Then you will experience real health.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. (Luke 5:15)