Pastor Shane Ham : Holding to the Truth

Unhealthy Faith · 45:36 · Recorded July 24, 2016

Holding To The Truth

John 18:37-38 (NCV) Pilate said, “So you are a king!” Jesus answered, “You are the one saying I am a king. This is why I was born and came into the world: to tell people the truth. And everyone who belongs to the truth listens to me.” Pilate said, “What is truth?”

Philippians 1:9-11 (ESV) And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

John 8:31-32 (NLT) “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

When do I struggle with truth?

When I have a passive attitude about it.

Acts 17:11 (TLB) But the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and gladly listened to the message. They searched the Scriptures day by day to check up on Paul and Silas’ statements to see if they were really so.

When I have a lack of belief in it.

Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV) “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

When I have an active resistance toward it.

Romans 1:18 (NIV) The…wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness.

When I’m a victim of distortion about it.

Galatians 1:7 (NLT) You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ.

Matthew 7:15 (NLT) “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves.”

How do I know what is true?

Psalm 25:5 (ESV) Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

1. Look first to God’s word!

John 17:17 (NLT) Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.

Psalm 119:11, 14, 24, 35, 133,151-152 (NIV) I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you… I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches…Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors… Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward your statutes… Direct my footsteps according to your word… O LORD, all your commands are true…Long ago I learned from your statutes that you established them to last forever.

Appeal to it frequently.

Matthew 12:3, 5; 19:4; 21:16; 22:29 (ESV) He said to them, “Have you not read what David did … Or have you not read in the Law … He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them” … Have you never read, “Out of the mouth of infants” … But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.

Measure by it honestly.

Surrender to it obediently.

Enjoy its benefits thoroughly

2. Ask yourself some key questions.

What am I accepting without searching?
What am I believing without discerning?
What am I changing without thinking?
What am I resisting without yielding?

3. Pay attention to the internal testimony of the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 2:6-7, 10, 12-14 (HCSB) However, we do speak a wisdom among the mature, but not a wisdom of this age, or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. On the contrary, we speak God’s hidden wisdom in a mystery, a wisdom God predestined before the ages for our glory… Now God has revealed ⌊these things⌋ to us by the Spirit… Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who ⌊comes⌋ from God, so that we may understand what has been freely given to us by God. We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people. But the unbeliever does not welcome what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually.

4. Keep your heart close to Jesus!

John 14:6 (NCV) Jesus answered, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. The only way to the Father is through me.”

  • Is there something in the Bible that you struggle to believe is true? Are there times you question the validity or accuracy of your faith? Don’t be fearful or ashamed of this! Share with your group what you struggle with and search the scriptures together. Pray for wisdom and discernment in this area and take the steps Shane laid out in point #1.
  • Have there been times in your faith journey when you were questioned about what you believe and why you believe it? Have you been challenged that your beliefs aren’t true or correct? Did you have a response you felt confident in? 1 Peter 3:15 charges us to always have an answer when we’re asked. Spend time this week preparing an answer to the questions, Why do you believe what you believe? How do you know it’s true?
  • What verse(s) stuck out to you in this week’s message? Why? Is this a familiar verse that you now see in a new way or perhaps something you don’t recall reading before that has surprised you?
  • In point #2 Shane posed four key questions. Take these to prayer this week and ask God to help you see where you are doing one (or more) of these. Share this with a person you trust and commit to accountability as you shed untruth and embrace real truth in that area of your life.
  • Memorize Psalm 119:105 as a family this week. Do a fun activity with your kids to help them understand the Bible is God’s light in our lives. Use flashlights or candles in a dark room to show how light helps us see where we’re going and what’s around us and that the Bible has the power to do that in our lives. Teach them that the Bible is our light in the darkness. The Bible is God’s word to us. By reading and memorizing the Bible we’re able to carry our flashlight with us at all times! God gave us the Bible so that we’ll be able to find our way if we’re willing to accept the guidance the Bible offers.
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