Wednesday January 25
The Spirit of Truth
Read John 14:6 and 17:17. What is the meaning of truth in these passages?
In the Gospel of John, the word truth is a key term. Our contemporary understanding of truth often is very abstract and theoretical. In the Western world it has been shaped by Greek philosophy. However, in the Bible, and particularly in John’s Gospel, truth carries a rather personal and specific meaning: Jesus is the truth (John 14:6). While God’s Written Word is truthful (compare with John 17:17, Ps. 119:142), God’s truth is revealed in a supreme way in the person of Jesus Christ. A true knowledge of God is given to us in Jesus, of whom the Scriptures speak, because God has revealed Himself through Him.
Read John 15:26 and 16:13. What function does the Holy Spirit have as the Spirit of truth?
In John 16:13 we are told that the Spirit of truth will guide us into all truth. He does this by pointing to Jesus Christ and by helping us to remember what Jesus has said (John 15:26) and done for us. The truth into which the Holy Spirit leads us is very personal: He lifts up Jesus and leads us into a living and faithful relationship with Him. When Jesus talked with the woman of Samaria, He said that God must be worshiped in spirit and truth (John 4:24). When we ask for the leading of the Holy Spirit, He will lead us to Jesus, who is the way and the truth and the life (John 14:6).
Truth in the Bible is no abstract thing or theory, such as often appears in philosophy. Truth encompasses a deeply personal and faithful relationship to our Creator and Redeemer, who is called “the God of all truth” (compare with Deut. 32:4, Ps. 31:5). Thus the Holy Spirit is aptly called the “Spirit of truth” (John 14:17, NASB; John 16:13, NASB), who is sent to us from God the Father (John 15:26), indicating not only His personal character but also His divinity.
We do tend to think of truth in terms of propositions, such as the logical concept known as modus ponens. “If A, then B. A, therefore B.” And no question, a lot of what we understand as truth we understand as propositions. How, though, do you understand the idea of truth as a Person? Bring your answer to class on Sabbath.