20 September 2017

Truth And Power

Definition: “God’s truthfulness means that He is the true God, and that all His knowledge and words are both true and the final standard of truth.”

Jeremiah says “the Lord is the true God” Jer. 10:10

“And this is eternal life, that they know You the only true God and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” John 17:3.

Everything about God is true. That means there is no falsehood, no pretence, no ulterior motivation, no exaggeration, nothing that we will ever discover to be a fraction of a degree away from the centre of truth.

There is no danger or risk involved in committing ourselves entirely to God. Any human trust or relationship may contain an element of risk but God remains true to His character.

His knowledge is true.

Job said “God is perfect in knowledge” Job 37:16.

God is never mistaken in what He knows.

True knowledge then for us must be the ability to see and understand things from the divine perspective. If we leave God out of our knowledge it could well be that our knowledge will not be a true knowledge but a false knowledge.

“God’s words are both true and the final standard of truth”

God’s words can be relied on in every circumstance.

God’s promises must always be fulfilled.

God’s declarations can never be superseded. No scientist will ever discover anything that can in any way disprove anything that God has said even thousands of years ago. If he could, then God’s words would not be true and the final standard of truth.

How different the society in which we live is when compared to the truthfulness of God.

The false promises, the misleading descriptions, the dishonest practices. The spirit of the world is untrue, false and dishonest.

One of the hallmarks of the genuine Christian is sheer, downto-earth honesty.

“Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices and have put on the new nature” Col. 3:9.

“Let everyone speak the truth with his neighbour” Eph. 4:25.

“Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord” Prov. 12:22.

It is relatively easy to condemn non-Christians for their lack of honesty but how honest are we?

Do we exaggerate to make it sound better or to move peoples emotions? Exaggerated truth is a lie.

Do we misrepresent someone because of our lack of love for that person? Misrepresented or distorted truth is a lie.

Do we speak true words with a lack of grace? Jesus came “full of grace and truth” John 1:14. If our words lack grace, courtesy or fairness, they could well be lacking in truth.

I’m convinced that we Christians don’t take Bible honesty as seriously as we should. We do not honour God if we are found to be dishonest in any area of our lives.

We do not go around examining other people’s honesty or lack of it, although as we mature in the faith we will be able to discern if someone is telling us the truth or not. But we must all live in the light of God’s truthfulness and any deviation from that will dishonour God.

The Revelation text should inculcate judgement day honesty in all our lives. Rev. 21:8.

Attributes of Purpose.

Omnipotence.

‘God’s omnipotence means that God is able to do all His holy will.’

‘Omnipotence’ is derived from two Latin words –

‘Omni’ means ‘all’; ‘Potens’ means ‘powerful.’

Omnipotence then is all-powerful.

Most people don’t really have a problem with the conceptthat God is Almighty or all-powerful. We can accept that the Creator of the Universe really has all the power that is necessary at His disposal. God is never restricted by lack of power. God is never to be accused of being unable to do anything because of any lack of power. We often experience the inactivity of God but it is never caused by God’s need of more strength in order to make it happen.

The Lord’s own question is asked to Abraham and Sarah, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Gen. 18:14.

Jeremiah prayed, “ Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you” Jer. 32:17.

God is addressed as the Almighty in the Scriptures 56 times.

The first one is Gen. 17:1. When Abraham was 99 years old the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty.”

The last one is Rev. 21:22 “I did not see a temple in the city because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.”

Thirty-one of the references are found in one Bible book. As far as I am concerned, it is probably the most insightful book in the Bible as far as understanding God’s eternal plan and His power to carry out that plan.

It is, of course, the book of Job.

As God triumphs over Satan, over every misunderstanding of the truth and misrepresentation of the truth, so God always ultimately triumphs.

A great text:

“And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude and as the voice of many waters and as the voice of mighty thunderings saying, Alleluia; for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth” Rev. 19:6 A.V.

Almighty and omnipotent are from the same Greek word and so are interchangeable.

God’s ability to do more than He actually does.

God doesn’t just possess the power to do what He has done and is doing. He is able to do more than this.

“God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham” Matt.3:9.

God refrains from doing things, not because He doesn’t have the power but because He is acting according to His knowledge and wisdom.

God’s inability to do certain things.

The words of a chorus we used to sing highlight this truth.

“God can do anything, anything, anything God can do anything but fail.”

That concept sows the seed of this very important and misunderstood truth. There are many things that God cannot do.

1. God cannot lie. Tit 1:2 “God who does not lie.”

“The ability to lie is a liability.” (Stanley Jones)

Heb. 6:18 “It is impossible for God to lie.”

2. God cannot deny Himself. 2 Tim. 2:13 “God cannot disown Himself”; “cannot deny Himself.”

3. God cannot act in any way that would be out of character with His Person. No matter how badly we treat God, God will never treat us in a similar way. He will always discipline us and judge us but He will never leave an inconsistency whereby we can accuse Him of treating us unfairly.

4. God cannot be tempted with evil. God cannot sin, Jas. 1:13.

5. God cannot cease to exist. “I AM THAT I AM” Ex. 3:14

6. God cannot change. Mal. 3:6 “I the Lord do not change.”

7. God cannot ‘bless our mess.’ Many Christians ask God to do something that He cannot do. It is not because He hasn’t power to do it but He dare not do it. If He did He would no longer be consistent with His character, He would no longer be truthful and He would no longer be acting in wisdom.

8. God’s blessing is always conditional. The glory only came to the Temple when all the conditions were fulfilled. God can only give us His blessing, His Presence, when we clear the mess out of our hearts and lives.

How truthful and honest am I today? Have we cleared the mess in order to release God’s almighty power to work in our lives.

John Matthews