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March 25, 2008 / beidson

Practicing Truth: A Reality Lost to Relativism

Is it enough to just acknowledge truth in the abstract, or does the knowledge oftruth.jpg truth have consequences?  According to Scripture, the knowledge of truth demands an obedient response.  The problem these days is that truth has become relative, which makes practicing truth impossible.  You cannot practice what you are unable to preach.

Of course, to be a Christian, in essence, means to practice truth in a real life, flesh and bone kind of way.  It is not enough to confess that Jesus is Lord; you must put to death the deeds of the body by the Spirit of Christ every day.  You must make choices that reflect faith and love for God.  Scripture is our standard for truth, as we look to the one who is named Truth for the redemption of our wayward hearts and fallible minds.

But if truth has been trivialized, then it cannot be practiced, and so we have a generation of spiritual people who are not affected much by what they believe.  There is a huge disconnect between belief and practice, precisely because truth has been relativized.  Those who do not yield to absolute truth in their reading chairs will be unable to practice truth at the office, on the field, and in their bedrooms.  Those who are not faithful to truth in their thinking will be faithless in their practice of truth.

Absolute truth must be practiced at every point that it is acknowledged.  Submitting to biblical truth displays itself not merely in the “Amens” of Sunday morning worship, but in the conversation and behavior of every day life.  Grace transforms us because it pledges the allegiance of our hearts to the truth revealed to us by God in his Word.  We practice truth because we know it, and to know the truth is to become obedient to it.

This is why judgment is reserved not only for those who are philosophically opposed to any idea of absolute truth, but also for those who do not practice truth, even if they confess it.  “If we say we have fellowship with (God) while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth” (1 John 1:6).  The writer of Hebrews tells us that we ought to have our powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil (5:14).  Confession isn’t enough; it is the practice of our confession that is paramount.

It is easy to get lost in the empty philosophy of talk show hosts and next door neighbors, but be careful, lest you too let truth slip away into the abstract.  If it remains there, you will be unable to practice it, and if you do not practice it, you will face the judgment of Jesus Christ, and this is a reality you will not be able to trivialize.

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