Thoughts of a Norfolk Pastor
The Pastor's Personal Page
It is correct to say that pride should not be part of our Christian character, however, I am proud to say that I was born and bread in the county of Norfolk, in fact, when people ask about my place of birth, I tell them that I was born on the Neatherd Moor, an open streach of common land to the north of East Dereham town centre. Some would say that is being econmic with the truth,but it is true that I was born in one of the two bay windowed cottages opposite the pond on the moor.
Although down the years my secular work took me and my family away, firstly to Essex, and then to Suffolk, after about 20 years of being in excile my wife and I, with our youngest daughter, returned to the county.
Once a Norfolkman, always a Norfolkman
"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free"
Truth is not simply something to be known; it is something to be done (John 8:31). It is the knowledge and the experience of true reality as opposed to false reality. It is truth in "the inward parts" (cp. Psalm 51:6; Ephesians. 5:9). It is diametrically opposed to sham and hypocrisy.
Truth permits no compromise with evil. It even abstains from the appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians. 5:22). It is a regard for truth in every respect: believing it, reverencing it, speaking it, acting it, hoping in it, and rejoicing in it. Such truthful behaviour frees a person from all the bondages and impediments of life.
In verse 32 of the 8 chapter of his gospel John makes this comment: “And ye shall know the truth”. Who will know the truth, and what does it mean?
Those who shall know the truth are those who have accepted the truth in Jesus Christ; … they shall know the truth of the gospel, the truth as it is in Jesus Christ; … it means that they shall have a larger and deeper knowledge and understanding of it.
The Apostle Paul tells us that there are others who are: “ever learning, and never come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7). However, the Spirit of truth should lead them into all truth, and also cause them to grow and increase in gospel light and understanding.
The point that is being made here is that they should know more of Him (Jesus Christ). As John Gill states: “know more of the dignity of His person, of the nature of His offices, of the efficacy of His blood, the Excellency of His righteousness, and the fullness of His grace, and that for themselves”. (Page 208 “An Exposition of the Gospel According to John”. Newport Commentary Series, published by the Particular Baptist Press)
However, there is a difference between telling someone about the truth and living the truth before them. The one who lives the truth literally becomes the truth; this is seen in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
1. Jesus Christ is the Embodiment of truth (John 14:6). He is the picture of truth. God not only talks to man about Himself, God shows man what He is like in the person of Jesus Christ. Man can look at Jesus Christ and see a perfect picture of the truth of God.
2. Jesus Christ is the Communicator of truth. He Himself … His Person and His Life … makes things perfectly clear. He reveals the ultimate source and meaning and end of all things. He reveals the truth of man himself and of the world surrounding man. He shows man the right way to the truth, and He enables man to choose the right way to the truth.
3. Jesus Christ is the Liberator of truth (John 8:32; John 15:3). He sets men free from the great gulf (estrangement) which exists between man and God, between man and his world, and between man and man. He sets man free from the frustrations which he constantly experiences. He frees man from the fears and weaknesses and defects that plague him. Jesus Christ is the only lasting Liberator on earth.
Jesus was born from above or from heaven; that is, He was born of God, as well as of Mary. Therefore, Jesus is not only Man, but He is also God. He is the God-
Think of it this way. A man is born of the earth, from beneath: he is born of his father and his mother. Both are of this earth, of human flesh only. Therefore, a man is only a man; he is only human flesh and blood just like his mother and father.
However, this is not true with Jesus. Jesus is Man, but He is also God. He is Man through the flesh of His mother, and He is the eternal Son of God by the miraculous act of the Holy Spirit through Mary. God incarnated His Son in human flesh and sent Him into the world through a young virgin girl who, despite the difficult circumstances of the situation, became submissive to His will.
This means something critical. The only messiah and utopia that man can find is of this world, of the physical dimension. Therefore, man's messiah and utopia fail; they waste away, deteriorate, decay, and die. But not Christ and His promise of the heavenly state; Jesus Christ is "from heaven," from the spiritual world and eternal dimension. Therefore, He and His promise last forever.
God's Word is Truth, and as we have seen Jesus Christ Himself claimed to be the Word and the Truth. To distinguish between the two, God's Word is the Written Truth, and Jesus Christ is the Living Truth.
2. The truth sets men free from the bondages of sin. Man no longer has to grasp after the power to overcome; nor does he have to struggle against the weight of guilt. The search for deliverance and for the power to conquer, to overcome, to attain, and to live is now over. It is all found in Jesus Christ.
3. The truth sets men free from the bondage of death. Man no longer has to be subjected to the fear of death. Jesus Christ—by His death and resurrection—has now conquered death (Hebrews 2:14-
5. The truth sets men free to be saved to the uttermost. Existence, love, joy, peace, satisfaction, pleasure, hopes—nothing has to be incomplete any longer. No good thing ever again has to be denied man. Jesus Christ, the Truth, is able to save man to the uttermost—completely, perfectly, finally, and for eternity. All a person has to do is to come to Christ for salvation, for Christ lives forever to intercede for every man.
Discover the truth for yourself! … Amidst all the voices in the world calling out for our attention today, Jesus Christ clearly states: “I AM the way, the truth, and the life” (John14:6). His is the only voice to which we should listen.