“Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.” Proverbs 23:23
What is truth?
"Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered,
Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause
came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every
one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went
out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all." John 18:37-38
Pilate stood before Jesus, preparing to condemn Him to death, he was standing in front of the manifestation of Truth;
yet, he still could not see it. This is exactly what people do today.
They are presented face-to-face with the truth, but would rather debate
about it rather than submit to it. Why is this? Because they are not of the truth; they have no heart to hear it, but
are dull of hearing (Proverbs 17:16; Matthew 13:15; Acts 28:27; Hebrews 5:11).
We need to
understand that the truths of God are not debatable. He is Sovereign
and is the Creator & Judge of all. He does not request nor need our
validation of His truths; they stand sure whether we agree with them or
not. No matter how clever or intellectual a position may seem, it is only the carnal mind which rejects the truth of God in favor of leaning to his own understanding (Proverbs 3:5; I Corinthians 2:4-5; James 3:15). This is why it is futile to strive with others about the truth; unless God gives one eyes to see, one will not see no matter how long the discussion.
The truth is not our opinion and not even what we may believe. You will only find truth when the word of God and the Spirit of God are in agreement (Psalm 119:33; Psalm 138:2; John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13; 17:17; I John 5:6). It is not enough to have some personal interpretation of Scripture, nor is it enough to have some word from some spirit. The words from God - whether written or spoken - are inspired by the same God and will never contradict each other (II Thessalonians 2:15). Only the Word of truth and the Spirit of truth in alignment confirm what is true.
"Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." John 17:17
Such is how Jesus became flesh. The Word - which was with God and was God since the beginning - came forth from God. The Spirit came to perform the word, and the Truth was manifested, who is Jesus (Luke 1:31-35). Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6)
This process is what happens to us in salvation as well. The word of God is sown into our hearts and the Spirit of God comes into agreement with that word to generate life within us. As a result, we become reflections of the Truth.
When we believe the truth, we are recreated in the image of Truth, who
is Jesus Christ. When we believe a lie, we become a lie and are made
over in the image of the father of lies (John 8:44).
Remember, God is looking for "truth" in the inward parts (Psalm 51:6).
How do we “buy” the truth?
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the
which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and
selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it." Matthew 13:44-46
Surely the gift of salvation is free unto all who would receive it (Romans 5:15-18; Revelation 22:17). Neither is it possible to be purchased by money (Acts 8:20). Yet, we are exhorted to "buy" truth; this lets us know that there is a cost to it. As the song goes, "It didn't come cheap, but I got it for free."
"For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he
have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the
foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to
mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
Or what king, going to make war
against another king, sitteth not down
first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him
that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other
is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions
So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:28-33
The above Scripture indicates that possessing such is akin to selling all that you have in order to attain it. It is a similar principle when God speaks of buying the truth. You "buy" the truth by valuing and treasuring it above all else, counting all else as dung (Philippians 3:7-8).
It is interesting how some will refer to the moment of one entering salvation as the end of a matter. You turn in faith to Jesus Christ one day, and then no matter what, you are saved. Yet, that is not consistent with Jesus' text above at all. In the exact opposite of terms, Jesus describes entering salvation as being the start of something. He likens it to starting to build a tower or engaging in a war. This should let us know that two simultaneous things are happening when we enter salvation. One, our faith is building a tangible result (fruitfulness); and two, we are engaging in a war against an adversary.
How do we “sell” the truth?
Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22). He warns us that there will be doctrines of devils which attempt to seduce God's people and will actually lead people away from the faith (I Timothy 4:1). Many will in fact "sell the truth" and fall into apostasy (II Thessalonians 2:3).
To sell the truth is to forsake the truth in deference to lies; to adhere to that which is not of God, using your on mind as the standard for truth. It is to choose to walk in a way other than the way of truth (Psalm 119:30). It is the same old trick that Satan used in the beginning: appeal to man's ego so that he will believe that he can determine what is good or evil apart from God (Genesis 3:5)
It should be known that God desires all to be saved (I Timothy 2:4); even to the point where He allowed His Son to be butchered on the cross for our sins. However, one of the harshest judgments we hear in the Scripture is for those who reject the truth.
"And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." II Thessalonians 2:8-12
"For this cause" - the fact that the people loved not the truth- God Himself will send them a strong delusion so that they will be damned! The God who loved us enough to die for us will take specific action to make sure that such persons go to Hell.
Walking away from revealed truth is not a small thing because God esteems His word, even above His name (Psalm 138:2). We cannot afford to have our own understanding or to do things our own way. The truths of God preserve us (Psalm 40:11); forsake them and there is nothing to keep us from falling away...God will make sure of that.
"Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you." I Samuel 12:24
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Thy Word is Truth