Sermon Prepared by Dr. James McCullen
Pilate's Question Revisited
(What Is Truth?)
John 18:37-38
John 18:37-38  NAS
37 Pilate therefore said to Him, "So You are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say {correctly} that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."     38 Pilate said to Him, "What is truth?" And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, "I find no guilt in Him. (NAS)

John 18:37-38   KJV
37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? 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. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.    38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him  no fault at all. (KJV)

Introduction
The President this week admitted he lied. Everyone of us will have to say we have lied, and probably will fall into a lie again sometime. The media has replayed the earlier denials of the President over and over again, and in my opinion this adds to the sadness of this whole event.

This church has been kind to me. For the most part you have given me great support. But if you leave out the sexual overtones of the Presidents conduct. and just limit the story to lying I dare say if I had been caught in such repeated lying I would be fired as the pastor of this church. I am willing to forgive, and if we are asked to forgive we should. We have not been asked.

As a parent, or a grandparent what do you say to these children when someone of such prominence displays character you do not approve of? You teach forgiveness, and you reinforce we get our morality from the scripture regardless of what anyone else does.

Pilate asked WHAT IS TRUTH. I think I will answer that from scripture in several ways. One way is to share what Truth Is Not.
 
 

1.    What Is Truth? What It Is It Is Not. 
A.    The Truth is not words to . . Escape Punishment.     Exod 20:16

16 "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. NAS)

        1.    Most Everyone Here has done this kind of lying.

Illustration
Have you heard of the four teen age boys who came in late to class, and had agreed to say they had a flat tire? The teacher said that will be fine each of you sit in different corners of the room and take the test I have for you. Then she asked which tire went flat.

Application

The boys were just trying to escape punishment. I have been their and so have you. But it is still a lie, and we should seek to correct our action if and when we do this kind of lying.

B.    The Truth is not . . Exaggeration to refine yourself.     Acts 5:8-11
8 And Peter responded to her, "Tell me whether you sold the land for such and such a price?" And she said, "Yes, that was the price." 9 Then Peter {said} to her, "Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they shall carry you out {as well} " 10 And she fell immediately at his feet, and breathed her last; and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 And great fear came upon the whole church, and upon all who heard of these things. (NAS)

Illustration
A s a single person did you ever flirt with the opposite sex? Did you ever in your talk present yourself as a person different that you really are?
 

Illustration Aa Element of truth for a Search Committee

Adam: Good man but problems with his wife. Also one reference told of how his wife and he enjoy walking nude in the woods.

Noah: Former pastorate of 120 years with no converts. Prone to unrealistic building projects.

Joseph: A big thinker, but a braggart, believes in dream-interpreting, and has a prison record.

Moses: A modest and meek man, but poor communicator, even stuttering at times. Sometimes blows his stack and acts rashly. Some say he left an earlier church over a murder charge.

Jeremiah: Emotionally unstable, alarmist, negative, always lamenting things, and reported to have taken a long trip to bury his underwear on the bank of foreign river.

John: Says he is a Baptist, but definitely doesn't dress like one. Has slept in the outdoors for months on end, has a weird diet, and provokes denominational leaders.

Timothy: Too young.

Methuselah: Too old. . . WAY too old!
 

Application

We like that committee sometimes have exagerrated a truth out of context.
 

C.    The Truth is not . . Revenge. Prov 24:17
17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; (NAS)

Rom 12:17
17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. (NAS)
 

D.    The Truth is not . . Slander. Ps 15:1-3
1 O LORD, who may abide in Thy tent? Who may dwell on Thy holy hill? 2 He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart. 3 He does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend; (NAS)

E.    The Truth is not . . Silence. Ezek 33:6 (NAS)
6 'But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman's hand.'

Esth 4:14
14 "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?" (NAS)

F.    The Truth is not . . Tolerance. 1 Cor 5:1-2 (NAS)
1 It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father's wife. 2 And you have become arrogant, and have not mourned instead, in order that the one who had done this deed might be removed from your midst.

Illustration
Rosalie Elliott had made it to the fourth round of a national spelling contest in Washington. The 11-year-old from South Carolina had been asked to spell the word 'avowal'. In her soft southern accent she spelled the word, but the judges were not able to determine if she had used an 'a' or an 'e' as the next to the last letter. They debated among themselves for several minutes as they listened to tape recording play backs. The crucial letter, however, was too accent-blurred to decipher. Finally, the chief judge put the question to the only person who knew the answer. "Was the letter an 'a' or was it an 'e'?" he asked Rosalie. By this time, being surrounded by whispering young spellers, Rosalie knew the correct spelling of the word. Still, without hesitation, she replied that she had misspelled the word and she walked from the stage. The entire audience stood and applauded, including some fifty newspaper reporters. Even in defeat, she was a victor. Indeed, more has been written about Rosalie Elliott over the years than about the "unknown" winner of the event! Being a person of truth, even when it is against us, will bring great honor.     God's Little Devotional Book For Men, Honor Books, 1996, p. 19

Application

We live in a day when half truth is seen as truth. We who are Christians must diligently to be truthful. We must try to return the people of our nation to truthfulness by being examples ourselves.
 
 
 

2.    What Is Truth?. . The Opposite A Lie. 
Lie2 (lº) n. 1. A false statement deliberately presented as being true; a falsehood. 2. Something meant to deceive or give a wrong impression. --lie v. lied, lying (lº"¹ng), lies. --intr. 1. To present false information with the intention of deceiving.
2. To convey a false image or impression. --tr. To cause to be in a specific condition or affect in a specific way by telling falsehoods.

A. So What Is Lying? . . Something God Hates. Pro. 6:16-19
16 There are six things which the LORD hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: 17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, 19 A false witness {who} utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers. (NAS)

B.    So What Is Lying? . . Something Initiated by Satan.     John 8:44
44 "You are of {your} father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own {nature;} for he is a liar, and the father of lies. (NAS)

C.    So What Is Lying? Something . . Illustrating Lostness.     Rev 21:8  & 22:15

        1.    Habitual Lying Indicates Lostness. Rev 21:8
8 "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part {will be} in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." (NAS)

Rev 22:15
15 Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying. (NAS)

Application

We are not judging if we simply state the facts of scripture and say examine yourself accordingly. We must seek to be truthful people.
 
 
 

3.    What are the Results of Lying. 

A.    Results of Lying . . God Hates your actions. Pro. 6:16-19
16 There are six things which the LORD hates, . . . A false witness {who} utters lies, . . . " . (NAS)

B. Results of Lying . . God will not hear us. Isa 59:1-2
1 Behold, the LORD'S hand is not so short that it cannot save; neither is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. 2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden {His} face from you, so that He does not hear. (NAS)

C.    Results of Lying . . People Lose Respect for You.     Prov 12:19
19 Truthful lips will be established forever, but a lying tongue is only for a moment. (NAS)
 

Illustration
It's an old, familiar story. A man had been lied about by another man and had been greatly harmed and damaged by the lie. As the man was dying the man who had lied on him was called to his bedside.

When called to his bedside the man who had told the lies on the dying man said, "I realize I did damage to you and I am so sorry I have lied to you. I want you to forgive me." The dying man said, "Yes, I will forgive you for lying on me, but I want you to take my pillow and rip it open, go to the window and empty the pillow of all of the feathers.

Then the man said, "Sir, go now and recover all of the feathers that you have thrown out the window." The man said, "That would be impossible. There's no way I can recover all of those feathers." The dying man said, "Likewise, though I forgive you, there is no way you can recover all of the damage that your lying words have done." Oh, the hearts that have been damaged. Oh, the lives that have been hurt. Oh, the reputations that have been marred by untruthful, slanderous, unkind words that have been spoken. That's the outcome of lying. It's the terrible damage it does.
 
 
 

4.     What Is Truth . . A Cleansing Force.     Ps 51:6-13 
6 Behold, Thou dost desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part Thou wilt make me know wisdom.   7 Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

12 Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, and sustain me with a willing spirit.
13 {Then} I will teach transgressors Thy ways, and sinners will be converted to Thee. (NAS)

A.    We are Cleansed In Learning the Truth.
 

B.    We are Cleansed In . . Loving the Truth
 

C.    We are Cleansed In . . Living the Truth
 

Illustration
Let me ask you to look at the Insert. Here are some simple studies for you to do each day in your home. They will help us to Learn, Love, and Live Truth.
 

MONDAY

Exod 20:16
16 "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. NAS)

Why should you and I refrain from bearing false witness?

Because God Said _____________________________

This verse is part of the - _______________________ ?
 
 

TUESDAY

Matt 15:19-20
19 "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. 20 "These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man." (NAS)

John 8:44
44 "You are of {your} father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own {nature;} for he is a liar, and the father of lies. (NAS)

Where does lying come? _______________________

Who wants us to lie? __________________________
 
 

WEDNESDAY

James 1:13-16
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.     14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. (NAS)

Does God tempt us to do evil? ___________________________

How are we Tempted? _______________________

What gives birth to sin? _______________________
 
 

THURSDAY

John 18:37-38
37 Pilate therefore said to Him, "So You are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say {correctly} that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."      38 Pilate said to Him, "What is truth?" And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, "I find no guilt in Him. (NAS)

When Jesus could have possibly saved His life by telling a lie what did he do?

_____________________________________________

What should in difficult times? ___________________
 
 

FRIDAY

I Jn 1:9
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (NAS)

If we lie; what should we do? ___________________

What will God do? __________________________
 

 
 
 
 
 
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