Just what is the basis of truth? How can anyone really know that they are reading and hearing the truth when they go to church or open a Bible? What and/or how do we measure the truth? These are all vital questions and there are answers!
In the Christian faith, the standard of truth sets on the Bible. We know this because Jesus Christ Himself quoted the Scriptures throughout His ministry. In fact, He said:
~John 10:35b … the scripture cannot be broken;
Christ laid the foundation for truth to His disciples and pointed them to it. He was qualified to do so because He was the Word of God, made flesh, so He could convey those words to man. Throughout Christ’s ministry, those words were revealed and recorded by men through the power of His Holy Spirit.
~John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Christ also prayed that His disciples would be set apart and grounded in this truth then pointed them to what was considered to be the truth.
~John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
God’s Word not only is the truth but it contains the only truth for anyone who wishes to find it. It is our plum line – our standard – our tool for measuring everything we hear. The Scriptures are the inspired words of God.
~2 Pet 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.
The Bible alone is our ultimate authority. Jesus Christ quoted it repeatedly to correct the Pharisees. He also quoted Scriptures when He was tempted of the devil in the wilderness. Christ used the Scriptures to ostracize the Pharisees and He also used the Scriptures to battle Satan in the desert. The Bible is the final judge for all of man’s thinking and all of man’s traditions.
Because the Scriptures are the very words of God, we are commanded not to add to it or take away from it. To do so opens the door to error because sinful man is in charge of the change.
~Proverbs 30:6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
~Revelations 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and [from] the things which are written in this book.
Our Bible is the final authority – the ultimate authority of God and it meets all of the Christian’s needs in his walk. All we encounter in life can be measured according to God’s Word.
~2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
In the early church, man-made traditions became the standard for the “religious” and the Word of God lost its place as the only measuring stick. But just as Jesus Christ rebuked the Pharisees for putting tradition on equal ground as the Scriptures, so does God’s Word rebuke those religions today of the same thing.
~Mark 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
This is found in many religions but most prevalent in the Catholic Church where it teaches “Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together and communicate one with the other … And [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God, which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. … As a result the [Catholic] Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence”.
Jesus Christ said that God’s Word is made ineffectual through tradition. There isn’t any tradition that can overpower what the Holy Spirit conveyed through the Holy Scriptures. (2 Peter 1:29) He is the Spirit of truth (John 14:17, John 15:26, John 16:13) and He conveyed God’s words through the Scriptures. Because the Holy Spirit is God, there is no one more qualified to write the truth. Because the Holy Spirit wrote this truth, He is more than qualified to teach this truth to believers – He is the ultimate authority. That is another one of the Holy Spirit’s missions.
~John 16:13-15 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you. 15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you.
Popular religions of the world have their own “standards,” and some even place that standard on their leader. Leaders are all sinners (Romans 3:23), unlike Jesus Christ who knew no sin. (2 Corinthians 5:21) The sinless Saviour used the Scriptures as His plum line to instruct, correct, and lead. Unfortunately, those religions who place their standard on a leader will be sincerely disappointed. These same leaders in church history passed laws/rules which were later dismissed by their current leader. Where is the plum line? What is used to prevent error? How can the common man trust leaders who negate what a leader in history said was from God? Why isn’t it “from God” now? Did their leader from years ago make a mistake? How could he if he was considered infallible? Man cannot and must not be used to BE the standard or the plum line because man is sinful.
~Psalm 14:3 They are all gone aside, they are [all] together become filthy: [there is] none that doeth good, no, not one.
~Psalm 53:3 Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; [there is] none that doeth good, no, not one.
~Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
~Romans 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Only God is qualified to BE our plumb line and standard for truth because He is truth. The Scriptures contain the truth and it is by this truth that we will be judged.
~Psalm 12:6 The words of the LORD [are] pure words: [as] silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
~Psalm 33:4 For the word of the LORD [is] right; and all his works [are done] in truth.
~Psalm 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
~Proverbs 22:21 That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?
~Ecclesiastes 12:10 The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and [that which was] written [was] upright, [even] words of truth.
~Isaiah 39:8 Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, Good [is] the word of the LORD which thou hast spoken. He said moreover, For there shall be peace and truth in my days.
~John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
~John 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
~John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
~2 Corinthians 6:7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
~Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also [trusted], after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
~Colossians 1:5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
~1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received [it] not [as] the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
~2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
~James 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
It is this truth, God’s Word, that Christianity must base all doctrine. Not traditions of men. If there are questions as to whether or not a certain “tradition” be of God, seek the truth in His Word because all truth is contained therein and it is our plumb line.
~Romans 3:4 … yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, …