Set forth truth plainly
“On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly, we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:2)
Hopefully not many readers of these devotions have had the experience of standing before a judge and testifying to “tell the truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.” If you have, these brief words give the judge your solemn word that what you will speak about will be the truth. You won’t distort your story to protect the guilty. You won’t exaggerate the story to build up the innocent. You will simply tell the truth.
Temptation abounds in our culture to twist or distort the truth for our own best interest. This is no different for words of the Bible to make its teachings more palatable. We want to justify alternate lifestyles and so deem the Bible’s teaching on marriage “old-fashioned.” Living God’s ways are challenging so we throw them out as “too strict.” To claim that Jesus is the only way to heaven is perceived as narrow-minded and arrogant, so the teaching is meshed into the nicety that there are many paths to God.
Just as a witness in a courtroom would do a disservice to the trial by not telling the truth, so Christians who distort the truth of God do a disservice to people of our generation.
The Apostle Paul had one objective, to “set forth the truth plainly.” How an individual received that was not his primary concern. He just wanted people to know the truth about God.
What is that truth? There are many, but let me commend to your conscience the most important truth. Apart from faith in Jesus, there is no hope of heaven. Why? “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
Each reader must admit, “I am not perfect.” You may try harder, do more good, or feel like you are better than most. The harsh reality is that none of that activity or thinking removes your guilt and sin. There is only one way to stand perfect before a holy God.
Later in his letter to the Corinthians, Paul writes, “God made him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) The reality? Jesus took your sin and gave you his perfection. Believe it. Jesus did this for you! This is the truth!
We pray, dear Jesus, we love to push aside the truth of your Word. We think we know better. Forgive us. Assure us of your love and forgiveness. Lead us always to trust the truth that you and you alone are the Way, the Truth and the Life, and that no one comes to God except through you. Amen.