What’s the difference between truth, untruth, and a lie? Here’s a quick breakdown. To make an accurate statement about something or someone is telling the truth. To unknowingly make an inaccurate statement about something or someone is sharing an untruth. To deliberately and/or deceptively make a false statement about something or someone is considered a lie.

It seems simple enough. However, those lines have become distorted with so much dishonesty in our society. This problem is compounded when people treat theories as truth, and human wisdom as infallible. History is replete with examples of widely accepted beliefs that were once considered true yet are now known to be false (i.e. the earth isn’t flat, the sun and stars don’t revolve around the earth, and celery is not a delicious vegetable!).

How do we determine truth? Majority opinion does not determine truth. The majority can be wrong. Personal convictions do not determine truth. Personal convictions are exactly that…personal. In other areas, the research of academia and the printed findings of science have been shown to be false on many occasions. Maybe another question might be, “Is truth that important?”

The short answer is…yes! Truth is important because there are consequences for being wrong. Giving someone the wrong amount of a medication can harm them. Making wrong financial decisions can impoverish a family. Boarding the wrong plane will take you where you don’t want to go. In I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, Frank Turek states, “We demand the truth for almost every facet of life that affects our money, relationships, safety, or health…yet many of us say we aren’t interested in truth when it comes to morality or religion.” Ravi Zacharias, a Christian apologist, stated, “The fact is, the truth matters-especially when you’re on the receiving end of a lie.”

Nowhere is truth more important than in the realm of faith. During the closing hours of His life, Jesus was brought before Pontius Pilate. Jesus had been accused of sedition and treason against Rome. The crowds insisted that He be put to death. Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). His question has reverberated throughout history. What is truth? Ironically, Pilate was looking directly at Truth personified, and he didn’t know it (John 14:6).

Jesus said in John 14:6 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” Jesus also said, “Your word is truth” (John 17:17). Put those two claims together. Jesus is truth and the Word of God is truth. Here’s why that’s relevant for truth seekers. For the person who has placed faith in Christ, he or she can measure the claims of the world against the claims of Scripture and character of Christ. We have a standard for determining truth, untruth, and lies.

Someone might wonder, “How can we trust that Jesus is truthful?” That’s a great question. Jesus’ claims were validated when He rose from the dead. According to Romans 1:4, Jesus “was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead…” The resurrection proved the divinity of Jesus. Jesus is God. Simply put, if you’re trying to decide who’s right or who’s wrong, listen to the one who got up from the dead.

How do we know if the Bible is true? For centuries, people have tried to discredit the Bible and claim that it’s filled with inaccuracies. There have been attempts to pit science against the Bible, reason against the Bible, and the fickle leanings of society against the Bible. With every attempt, the Bible has proven itself trustworthy and steady. There are many wonderful articles and books that describe these attacks and the reliability of Scripture. If you’re interested in specifics, do a computer search titled “Is the Bible reliable?”

How does any of this conversation affect you? Life forces each of us to decide what is true, untrue, or a lie. There are consequences for being wrong. No one wants to be lied to, and no one wants to foolishly follow a lie. God has made a way for people to know truth, follow truth, and even be in relationship with truth. It all starts with Jesus.

Jesus is truth embodied. For those who have placed faith in Christ as Lord and Savior, He promised that He would send “the Spirit of truth” to be with us and in us (John 14:16-17). Jesus went on to tell us that “the Spirit of truth…will guide you into all truth…” (John 16:13). We can trust that as we read the Word of truth (the Bible), while being in relationship with the embodiment of truth (Jesus), that we are led into all truth by the Holy Spirit.

Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44). Jesus is the truth (John 14:6). Satan tries to deceive us; Jesus came to redeem us and set us free. You can know the truth. It all starts by knowing Jesus.

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