I think it would be an admirable assignment for all of us to take on — to get serious about living out and obeying the truth, T-R-U-T-H, as found in what God says in His Word. The ultimate truth is found in the voice of the Savior.
And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing all right today? Bless your heart, I trust so. I feel fine. Happy in the Lord. Glad to be alive and to serve Him.
I want you to come then with me, if you will, to John chapter 18, “The Lord Jesus said, ‘My Kingdom,'” this is verse 36, “‘Is not of this world.'” And we talked about that a bit the last time we got together and ended up with Romans 14:17, “The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink,” material things, in other words, “But righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.” When you let God run things, you get right. When you let God run things, you have peace. And when you let God run things, you have joy. Hallelujah. That’s a great truth, isn’t it?
Now, I look a little farther down in chapter 18, and Pilate says, “Oh, is that right, are you a king?” I don’t know whether he was speaking sarcastically or not. However, Jesus answered, “Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the Truth. Everyone that is of the Truth heareth My voice.”
And Pilate said, “What is truth?” And he went on out and talked to the crowd. A small thought here: We talk about truth in educational circles as being something for which people search, a kind of a shibboleth that academicians use, that young people are in the university and in the college, in a search for truth. And unfortunately, in our day all across the country and across the world, the idea of the absolute truth has gone out of vogue. And people don’t believe that there should be any absolute, there shouldn’t be any ultimate answers to the questions of the human heart. No absolute right or wrong, it’s all relative. And so, as a result, this idea of the truth is a pretty wobbly concept in most people’s minds.
Time magazine reported, I suppose, oh, it was some years ago now, I remember the quote, however. They were dealing with this matter of situational ethics. And they used the illustration of a young couple sitting in the back seat of a car. And the writer said, “Situational ethics would say, anything is all right providing you don’t do any harm to another person. And that the consequences of what you do will be pleasant and proper.” [chuckle] And then the writer added, with tongue in cheek, “It’s pretty hard to remember all that when you’re in the back seat of a car.” Yes, of course.
God has the right way. He says, “This is the way, walk ye in it.” He says, “Ask for the old paths wherein is the good way, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Don’t be taken in, brother, sister, son, daughter, don’t be taken in by the popular philosophy that you can do what you please as long as you don’t really hurt anybody, and it really doesn’t matter because nothing is really right or wrong except as it affects you and those around you. Pilate said, “What is truth?” Jesus said, “Truth is My voice. Everybody that loves the Truth hears My voice.” “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” His voice is the Word of God, and we expand that not to the written Word as we have it, the Spirit directed before us in the form of God’s inerrant Word, the Bible. Truth, the ultimate truth about human nature and about the cosmos, and about the past and present and future, is found in God’s Word.
No, the Bible isn’t a science book, but it’s scientifically right. It isn’t a history book, but it’s historically accurate. And isn’t a psychology book, but it’s psychologically acute, very sharp. “Everyone that is of the Truth heareth My voice.” Pilate could have had an answer to his question if he had simply listened to and committed himself to Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Many never did.
Now then, I need to ask myself and ask you, how closely do we adhere to His voice, His Word, His Truth, as found now in the Bible and in the promptings of the indwelling Holy Spirit? How closely do we adhere to what He says in determining what we say and do? That, I think, would be an admirable assignment for all of us to take on, to get serious about living out and obeying the Truth, T-R-U-T-H, as found in what God says in His Word. The ultimate truth is found in the voice of the Savior. That’s what He said.
Well, the unsaved mind, Pilate certainly was fulfilling in advance that passage in Corinthians: “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him. Neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned.” He certainly was fulfilling that. He didn’t get it. What is truth? And he was reacting.
Now, Pilate was no dope. He wasn’t a victim of the Peter principle that promotes a person to the highest level of his inability. He was smart, he had to be to get where he was. And he was in an exceedingly touchy situation with a nation of people who were constantly threatening insurrection against the Roman Empire, which they hated. So he had learned how to think and how to make decisions, and you can just see what he’s doing here. Humanly, you ask, “What are the facts,” and that’s what he did. Verse 38, “What have you done? What is truth? What have you done?” Verse 35. Get the facts.
I asked Dr. John Walvoord, who for many years was president of Dallas Theological Seminary. Now, I guess, chancellor or something, whatever. He’s still there. I said, “John, you have such a gift at administration and things seemed to go so well through the years. What’s the secret?” And he leaned back and smiled. “Well,” he said, “I tell my people every problem will yield to more facts. And if they can’t agree on things and there’s a problem, I send them back to do some more homework and get some more facts.” A pretty good idea. Thomas Watson gave a definition of successful staff work that I received gratefully from my friend, Jack Norton. And just to over-simplify it, Mr. Watson said, “Don’t come to your boss with questions, come with answers.” That means get the facts. Don’t come with one answer, come with alternate answers. And then, don’t come with just alternate answers, but cost each one out. And then pick one on which you’re willing to risk your job and then go talk to your boss.
That’s pretty good staff work. I used to read that to the folks at the college every so often. [chuckle] They would groan and go away and hopefully remember it. What are the facts? That was his first question. Well, then, he had to think what are the options. “You have a custom,” he said, “That I should release unto you one at the Passover. Will you, therefore, I release unto you the King of the Jews?” “No,” they said, “We want Barabbas.” He asked, “What are the options?” Then, he had to realize, “What are the limits of my own ability?” And that takes you into chapter 19 verses 1-12. He tried everything he could. He scourged the Lord Jesus, I think, largely to prove that he was in charge and that this was indeed a court of law, and that this Man was indeed accused of something anyway, and that scourging might bring the truth out of Him. And the crown of thorns was placed upon His brow, tearing the flesh of His scalp, and He was bleeding then profusely as a result. Purple robe, hail, King of the Jews. Slapped him with their hands. Then he said, “Behold, I’ll bring Him forth.” And he brought Him out to the crowd. A pitiful figure now, bleeding, bruised, beaten, purple robe, all of that. And he said, “Behold, the Man.”
Well, that did nothing but further infuriate them. And they cried out, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Now, when they said, “He made Himself the Son of God,” that made Pilate, it says in verse 8 of John 19, “The more afraid,” he was afraid already. That’s the key to his vacillation. He was afraid, afraid of the crowd, afraid of what might happen. Afraid, it develops later on, of his own position, whether or not he was secure, because he inherited, been feuding, we read in Luke.
So he went back in and talked some more with the Lord Jesus, who told him, “You couldn’t have any power anyway unless it were given thee from above.” So it says in verse 12, “From thenceforth, Pilate sought to release Him, but the people cried out, saying, ‘If thou… ‘” Now, this was their final leverage and it worked… “‘If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend.'” At that point, he said, “Okay, that’s it. What are the limits of my ability to decide?” He went through all of that. “And what are the results as it may apply to my career?” He thought about that, and it made him decide. He said, “I’m gonna keep in with Herod. I’m gonna keep in with Rome. That’s where my career is. This Galilean may die but I have to keep going.” And he made the decision.
The unsaved mind always come up short. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus,” said Paul. He didn’t grab at His own status. “He considered not being equal to God, a thing to be grasped at, but made Himself of no reputation, and took on the form of a servant, who became obedient unto death.”
Oh, the mind of Christ, rather than the purely human mind. It’s not wrong to look for the facts. It’s not wrong to consider the options. It’s not wrong to consider alternate choices. You and I who are in business do it every day. But it’s a dreadful mistake to take any of these courses of thought or action without the Lordship of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:5, “Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” Oh, let Jesus be Lord, let the Kingdom of God be real so that you will know, you and I and all of us who love Jesus, what Truth really is and we’ll be obeying it.
Dear Heavenly Father, today, oh may we be obeying Thee and Thy Truth, in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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