Living and True
Posted under The Rectory Bulletin | Westminster Confession of Faith
“But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King.” (Jeremiah 10:10)
“For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” (1 Thessalonians 1:9–10)
At Jesus’s trial, Pontius Pilate utters the telling question: "what is truth?" (John 18:38). It’s a question which still echoes through the lecture halls of universities, and the comment pages of newspapers. More often than not you find that people no longer find the question relevant. There is, they insist, no such thing as absolute truth. It’s all relative, what’s true for me might not be true for you. As Oprah Winfrey might ask, “what is your truth”?
What, indeed, is truth?
We find in both old and new testaments an insistence that God is true. This plays out in two main ways. First of all, he is true in the sense that he exists, in contrast to the false gods. Unlike them, he is the “living God” and not simply an inert idol. He lives, and is active. He hears and answers prayer. Whilst we might forget about God between Sundays, he nonetheless exists.
There is more, though. God is true in that he does not lie. As Jesus says of himself: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). God is truth, and since he created the heavens and the earth he alone has the power and authority to define what truth actually is. You might go as far as to say that something is true, if it agrees with the God who is truth. He is the measure by which we discern what is, and what is not, true. This is why the idea of “my truth” simply cannot work. Truth is not defined by us, or our feelings in a matter. Gravity exists whether we want it to or not.
God is the “living and true God”. The more you align ourselves with him, the more you experience life and truth.