by Mike Ratliff
33 So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world— to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him. (John 18:33-38 ESV)
In the passage I placed a the top of this post, we see where Jesus, as He was being questioned by Pilate, made the statement that He came into the world to bear witness to the truth. Then He made the following statement, “Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” Of course Pilate made the following sarcastic response, “What is truth?”
What does this exchange mean? Is there anything we need to learn from this? Jesus made other statements about the purpose of His coming, such as, “I came to seek and save that which is lost.” Whatever other things Christ came into this world to accomplish, it is all wrapped up in His statement to Pilate. When Jesus said that He came to bear witness to the truth, what did He mean? The following statement is from the commentary of John Gill on this passage.
“The end of Christ’s being born, which was of a virgin, in a very miraculous manner, and of his coming into the world, which was by the assumption of human nature, among many other things, was to bear testimony to truth in general; to the whole Gospel, the word of truth, and every branch of it, which he brought with him, constantly preached in life, and confirmed by his death; and particularly to this truth, that he was a King, and had a kingdom in a spiritual sense” – John Gill
In other words, Christ’s coming, life, death, burial, resurrection and ascension accomplished the work of establishing His Kingdom, bought or redeemed His people from sin, defeated Satan and his kingdom, and set into motion all of the events that must take place for His Kingdom to be completed unto eternal perfection. The Gospel contains all of this. The Gospel is the truth. Who hears this truth? Jesus said that everyone who is of truth hears His voice.
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27-30 ESV)
God’s people, genuine Christians, are Christ’s sheep. They hear His voice. He knows them and they follow Him. He gives them eternal life and they will never perish nor can the enemy snatch them out of His hand. God the Father gave them to Christ and He is greater than all. In other words, all genuine believers are eternally saved and, knowing this truth, must never fear losing their salvation or ever being separated from God.
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31-39 ESV)
Physical death or suffering in this life is not excluded from the experience of genuine beleivers, but separation from God is. Ultimate victory over all these things is promised. No evil that the world or our enemy can cause will lessen God’s love and eternal protection of His sheep.
What is truth? God is sovereign. God is omnipotent. God is omniscient. God is omnipresent. God is immutable. God is Holy. God is Righteous. God is Just. God is Love. God is gracious. God loves His people. God sent His beloved Son to this Earth as the God-Man. He lived a perfect life, fulfilling the Law of God thereby becoming the perfect sacrifice that when carried out paid the price for the sin of all of God’s elect.
29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. (Romans 8:29-30 ESV)
The calling of God’s people caused them to believe and repent. God then justifies them by faith and their glorification awaits in eternity.
I have been accused of not being able to hear God’s voice because I refuse to listen to heretical teachings about works righteousness. I have been accused of being full of pride because I won’t discuss the possibility that God is not sovereign over the will of Man.Those types of attacks can be mind numbing. In fact, there are times during them that I find myself somewhat paralyzed for several days. However, God is good and He always provides some good brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for me during these firefights. Also, these same brethren give me godly counsel full of wisdom and discernment. Of course I pray for this as well. In the end, my conviction to never give in, to stand and not be defeated by these attacks through the power of God by His grace, override my desire to allow unlimited discussion in the post(s) being zeroed in on by my accuser(s). We should not be surprised that the seed our enemy hates the truth just as he does and when I post anything about our Lord fulfilling the Law I can expect that sort of thing.
What is truth? Jesus Christ came to this world and was completely victorious over our enemy and the power of death. No matter how much our enemy wants us to remain in the dark about these truths, no matter how persuasive he is, no matter how bad we feel while being oppressed, no matter what names we are called, no matter how we are persecuted or killed, no matter what — Jesus Christ is Lord and our enemy is defeated with little time left. We must be vigilant. We must not give in to him and his seed even if they go out their way to make it appear that we are the ones being unreasonable.
Soli Deo Gloria!