Faith in Jesus Christ is our response to God's elective purpose in our life. These two truths–God's initiative and man's response–co-exist throughout the Bible. The gospel is "the message of truth" because truth is its predominant characteristic. Salvation was conceived by the God of truth (Ps. 31:5); purchased by the Son, who is the truth (John 14:6); and is applied by the Spirit of truth (John 16:13). To know it is to know the truth that sets men free (John 8:32). Believers are people of the truth (John 18:37), who worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), and who obey the Word of truth (John 17:17). People have rejected, neglected, redefined, and opposed God’s truth for centuries. Some cynically deny that truth even exists or that it can be known by men (John 18:38). Others foolishly think that denying truth will somehow make it go away. Truth determines the validity of one's belief. Believing a lie doesn't make it true. Conversely, failing to believe the truth doesn't make it a lie. The gospel is true because Jesus is true, not simply because Christians believe in Him. His resurrection proved the truth of His claims and constitutes the objective basis of our faith (Rom. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:3). Truth is our protection and strength (Eph. 6:14). Throughout history, people have tried everything imaginable to gain favor with God. Most turn to religion, but religion apart from Christ is merely a satanic counterfeit of the truth. At the heart of every false religion is the notion that man can come to God by any means he chooses–by meditating, doing good deeds, and so on. But Scripture says, "There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). That name is Jesus Christ, and we come to Him by confessing and repenting of our sin, trusting in His atoning death on the cross, and affirming His bodily resurrection from the grave (cf. Rom. 10:9-10). There is no other way to God. False religious leaders and teachers talk much about God’s love, but not His wrath and holiness; much about how deprived of good things people are, but not about their depravity; much about God’s universal fatherhood toward everyone, but not much about his unique fatherhood toward all who believe in His Son; much about what God wants to give to us, but nothing about the necessity of obedience to Him; much about health and happiness, but nothing about holiness and sacrifice. Their message is full of gaps, the greatest of which leaves out a biblical worldview of the saving gospel and replaces it with the worldview of postmodernism with its dominant ethical system of relativism. The Bible describes mankind in the end times: “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). Spiritual answers cannot be deduced by human reason alone (1 Cor. 2:14). It’s not that spiritual truth is irrational or illogical, but that human wisdom is defective, because it’s tainted by man’s sinfulness, and unable to perceive the things of God. That is why the Bible is so important. It gives us the answers we can’t find on our own. It is God’s Word to mankind. Scripture is divinely revealed truth that fills the vacuum of spiritual ignorance in all of us. Post-truth is the word of the year for 2016 and also the philosophy of the day, According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. In a “post-truth” world, people make choices based on emotion and experience rather than objective fact. So in a post-truth world, truth is irrelevant. What exactly is a post-truth culture? It’s a culture where truth is no longer an objective reality. It has become subjective. It’s what’s true for me—my beliefs, my opinions, determine my truth. So in our post-truth culture, man determines truth. Man makes himself the ultimate authority. This starting point, which rejects God’s Word and the idea of moral absolutes, makes truth subjective. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Christianity is grounded in objective truth. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Objective truth exists because we have God’s Word. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Thy word is truth” (John 17:17), and Paul and James describe the Bible as “the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:18). The Psalmist says, “The entirety of your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160). Jesus Himself said, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). When Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by me” (John 14:6), He wasn’t expressing His personal belief or opinion. He was speaking the truth, a fundamental reality that doesn’t change from person to person. It doesn’t matter if our culture thinks all roads lead to God. The truth of the matter is “no one comes to the Father but by [Jesus].” This blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell
A Basic Bible Study Glossary:
Adjective – A word used to modify a noun. (i.e. “a great feast” or “a good shepherd”)
Adverb – A word used to modify a verb (i.e. “he ran quickly” or “she soundly slept “).
Allegorical Interpretation – The approach to interpreting scripture that approaches any passage of scripture as a prolonged metaphor where a deeper/true meaning lies beneath its primary/surface meaning. (i.e. – On the surface, Song of Solomon is a love song between Solomon and his lover but in reality it’s about Christ’s love for the Church).
Allusion – An indirect reference to another part of scripture by means of a common word, phrase or theme (i.e. Jesus on the Cross saying “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” is an allusion to Psalm 22).
Analogy – Comparison of two otherwise dissimilar things for the purpose of illustration (i.e. the love of a husband for his wife is compared with the love of Christ for the church in Ephesians 5:25).
Apparent Paradox (or Antinome)- A statement that appears to be false or contradictory, but upon further examination is found to be true. (i.e. ” For when I am weak, then I am strong” – 2 Cor. 12:10)
Authorial Intent – The singular meaning of scripture affirmed and intended by the original author of any passage of scripture.
Citation – A direct reference to another part of scripture (a quote).
Concordance – The reference work containing lists of all the occurrences of words in the Bible.
Conjunction – A word used to join to words or phrases. (i.e. “I am the resurrection and the life” – John 11:25)
Context – The setting of a word/phrase/passage/book of scripture. The context includes the setting in the literature (the words surrounding a word in the sentence, the verses surrounding a verse in a chapter, etc.), as well as the setting in history, geography, and theology.
Contradiction – A condition where two directly opposing statements are claimed to be true at the same time and in the same way (i.e. my cat Cletus is in this box I’m currently holding and my cat Cletus is not in this box I’m currently holding).
Critical Reading – An in-depth (critical) examination of a text.
Cross Reference – An note/comment within any literary document which directs one to (either directly or indirectly) related information elsewhere in that same document.
Deduction – The process of reasoning from the general to the specific.
Deductive Bible Study – The study of the Bible that starts with broad/theological concepts and attempts to uncover them in individual texts of scripture.
Didactic – In Biblical studies, a type of literature intended for straightforward teaching in a usually non-poetic, non-metaphorical style.
Eisegesis – Reading into a passage of scripture a meaning that comes from anywhere other than the language and grammar of that specific passage of scripture.
Epistle – In Biblical Studies, a type of literature that that is a form of personal letter.
Etymology – The origin and historical development of words.
Exegesis – Reading out of a passage of scripture a meaning that comes from the language and grammar of that specific passage of scripture. Exegesis is the application of the principles of Hermeneutics
Figure of Speech – The usage of words in a way other than the common or literal sense.
Genre – A type of literature distinguished by its content or compositional form/style.
Hermeneutics – The principles, or study of the principles, of the science and art of the interpretation of literature.
Historical-Grammatical Exegesis – Exegesis that emphasizes the need to take into account the original language and historical/theological setting of any word/passage of scripture; it is shorthand for a “literal interpretation” and is contrasted with allegorical exegesis, anagogical exegesis (i.e. turning everything into some sort of metaphor about heaven – i.e. every Old Testament passage about “the promised land” is actually talking about heaven) or moral exegesis (ignoring the details of any passage of scripture and simply reducing all scripture to moral instruction – i.e. Daniel 1 is that a story about being courageous).
Idiom – An expression used in a language that is unique to that language in grammatical construction or meaning.
Illumination – The process by which the Holy Spirit allows an individual to both gain a full understanding of the meaning of a passage of scripture, and also ascertain its spiritual significance.
Imperative – A statement of command.
Induction – The process of reasoning from the specific to the general.
Inductive Bible Study – The study of the Bible that starts with individual texts of scripture and attempts to uncover their individual truths in order to systematically assemble them into broad/theological concepts
Inspiration – The doctrine in which is explained the Biblical teaching on the process of the divine and human co-authorship of scripture.
Juxtaposition – The placing of 2 dissimilar passages of scripture in immediate proximity to each other for the purpose of illustration by contrast.
Lexicon – A book that compiles the meanings of words in a specific piece of literature (as opposed to a dictionary, which compiles the meanings of words in common speech).
Metaphor – A figure of speech whereby there is an implied comparison using “is” or “am”. (i.e. “I am the door” – John 10:9)
Narrative – In Biblical Studies, a type of literature that either tells a story or gives a historical account.
Noun –A word used to name a person, animal, place, thing, or abstract idea.
Simile – A figure of speech whereby there is a concrete comparison using “like” or “as”.
Semantics – The study of word meanings.
Semantic Range – The full range of meanings that a word can have.
Surface Reading – An shallow (non-critical) examination of a text. (i.e. – John 10:30 – “I and the Father are one” seems to insinuate that Jesus is the same person as God, but that’s not what it actually means when one critically examines it).
Paradox – A statement that is self-contradictory. (i.e. “John is a married bachelor”.)
Participle – A verbal form that has the characteristics of both a noun and a verb, often ending in “ing”.
Pericope – A complete and self contained section of text; a passage of indeterminate size that contains a complete idea (i.e. any of the parables may be multiple verses/paragraphs, but each parable is a pericope unto itself).
Poetry – In Biblical Studies, a type of literature makes use of special literary forms of structure, meter, rhythm, parallelism, etc.
Pronoun – a pronoun is a word or form that substitutes for a noun or noun phrase. (i.e. “him” or “you”)
Proof-Text – A biblical text used to support an idea wrongfully associated with that text.
Prophecy – In Biblical Studies, a type of literature that combines prose and poetry and is marked by extended divine discourse, economic expressions, vivid word pictures and imagery, rapid shifts in mood, rapid shifts in chronological focus, and cryptic allusions.
Usus Loquendi – a Latin phrase meaning “usage in speech”. This is what a word normally means in conversation.
Verb – A word that conveys an action (bring, read, walk, run, learn), an occurrence (happen, become), or a state of being (be, exist, stand).
Word Study – A systematic examination of the semantic range of a word in scripture in efforts to more accurately isolate the semantic nuance found in a word in a specific passage.