GBL-11 - How to Know You Know the Truth
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GREAT BIBLE LESSONS
GREAT BIBLE LESSONS
“Great Bible Lessons: Lesson 11”
Introduction by narrator accompanied by a cappella singing: THE
GOSPEL OF CHRIST. Spreading the soul-saving message of Jesus. And
now, Ben Bailey.
The Lord Jesus Christ said, "You shall know the truth, and the truth
will make you free."
How wonderful it is to know that a person can know God's truth, and
that each of us can be free from sin. But the question remains: How do you
know? Are you sure that you know God's truth? How can you know, just as
Jesus said, how can you know that you know the truth?
Today, we're going to look to the word of God to determine how a
person can know he has that truth in his life, and that he's right with God.
Let's think about what does the Bible say about one knowing that he
can know the truth, and how can I be sure? I want to be sure. When I stand
before God's almighty throne, and God is on that throne, about to give
judgment, I want to make sure that I'm right with God, and the Bible says I
Well, how can I know that I know the truth? Friend, as we think about
this idea today, please understand our goal is not to determine if we can
know the truth. You can know the truth. The scripture clearly teaches that.
Ephesians 5:17 Paul said, "Do not be ignorant, but understand the will of
the Lord." Ephesians 3:4 says, when Paul said, "You can understand my
knowledge in the mystery of Christ when you read." And so, we can read
and we can know the truth.
As we began with Jesus said, "You can know the truth, and the truth
will make you free." You can know the truth. Also realize our goal is not to
determine whether our parents or our family or our friends knew the truth.
We're not asking today, did your mama know the truth? Or did your daddy
know the truth? Or did your uncle or some? We're asking do I know the
Here's why this is so important. Romans 14:12 says, "So then each of
us shall give an account of himself to God." I'm responsible for me. I can
only determine whether I know the truth. I know my heart. I know whether
I'm right or not in the sight of God as I read and study His word, and so this
is a personal matter. But friend, realize this also: Our goal is not to debate
what the truth is today. We're convinced, from the scripture, that God's
word already is that truth. Psalm 118:116, the psalmist said, "The entirety
of your word is truth." We believe, beyond a shadow of a doubt that this
book, the Bible, is God's truth. Jesus prayed in John 17:17, to the Father,
"Sanctify them by your truth. Your word is truth."
Our goal today is to discover from the scriptures how a person can be
sure his life is in line with that truth.
Let’s begin by thinking about some things that, if I'm going to know
the truth, first of all, there are some hindrances that I've got to get out of the
way that may keep people from knowing that truth. Number one, as we
think about hindrances that need to be removed before I can know the
truth, the first hindrance is this: believing and practicing what other people
tell you will hinder you from knowing the scripture.
Now, friend, I'm not saying that somebody can't point you in the right
direction, that somebody couldn't show you a script- that's not what we're
saying- but just blindly accepting what somebody says is from God without
checking it for yourself, believing and practicing what men tell you without
checking it in the Bible, that's a big hindrance that has affected millions of
people through the span of time. You see, throughout scripture God warns
us not to put our faith in men and what they tell us. Exodus 23:2 God said
in the long ago, "Do not follow a multitude to do evil." Matthew 7:13-14,
Jesus taught us that ‘wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to
destruction, and many there are who are going down that path.’ Just
because somebody else believes it, just because somebody stands up,
maybe behind a pulpit, maybe even holds a Bible and says, ‘This is what
God wants you to do to be right with him,’ friend, we encourage you today,
don't just believe that person. Check it for yourself in the Bible. Don't just
take what somebody else has told you, whether it is a parent or whether it
be a friend, whether it is some religious person- don't take what other
people tell you to be the truth without first checking it for yourself.
Imagine the multitudes who have been led astray by false teachers
today. Somebody stands up and says, ‘let me give you an example,’
somebody, maybe in a religious setting, stands up and says ‘to be saved,
all you've got to do is say the sinners' prayer,’ and billions of people have
blindly accepted that. Did you know that the sinners' prayer isn't even found
one time in the Bible? Now, friend, that's amazing. They'll say something
like, "Dear Lord Jesus, I now accept you as my savior. I ask you to come
into my heart and save me. In Jesus' name, amen." Where's that at in the
Bible? Friend, you can search your Bible from the first verse of Genesis
one to the last verse of Revelation 22, and you won't find it one time. That
kind of mentality, of not checking for yourself, has hindered a lot of people
from knowing God's truth. Don't let believing and practicing what others tell
you to do hinder you from knowing the truth.
Secondly, don't let human tradition and personal bias hinder you from
knowing God's truth. I want to give you an example of this from Matthew
chapter 15. There was a group of Jews in Jesus' day known as the
Pharisees, and they were great at their tradition. They had a lot of bias and
prejudice, and yet, Jesus clearly identified this was keeping them from
knowing God's truth. Matthew 15:7 Jesus said, "Hypocrites, well did Isaiah
prophesy about you, saying these people draw near to me with their mouth,
honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me." Why? "In vain do
they worship me, teaching as doctrine the commandments of men."
You know, when you think about these people, they had a lot of
various traditions. You had to wash pitchers at a certain way. You had to
wash up to the elbow. You had to clean things in the right customary way.
They had all these laws and traditions they had made up, and if you didn't
follow that, you weren't right in their sight. They were biased, and they let
human tradition get in the way. Friend we beg you today, one of the things
that will keep more people from knowing the truth is human tradition and
Why do we do the things we do? Sometimes we say, ‘well, that's just
the way we've always done it.’ Friend that won’t work on the judgment day.
We want to make sure that, just because it's tradition, and just because
that's what we like, we want to make sure it's what God says. You know,
thousands of people may be doing things because that's just what they've
always done. Why do we worship God this way? Why do I believe this way
about salvation? Why do I live my life that way? If the answer is ‘that's what
Mom and Dad did,’ or if the answer is ‘that's just what we've always done,’-
friend that may hinder you from knowing the truth of God's word. We want
to be sure that we do it because God wants us to do it.
Then, we also mention this as a hindrance as well: if I put my faith in
the books and the writings of uninspired men that can blind me from
knowing the truth.
There are two great questions that every honest seeker of truth ought
to ask. The first is found in Jeremiah 37:17. An evil king said, "Is there any
word from the Lord?" And Paul repeated those ideas in Romans 5:4 when
he said, "What does the scripture say?" What does God's word say? Is
there any guidance from God on this subject? We need not to put our faith.
Too many people have got faith put in books of men, traditions,
catechisms, manuals, and things likened to that. Well, why do we believe
this way about salvation? Well, let me get out my, no, it won't work. Let me
get out my manual, no, that's not going to be our judge on the final day.
Those books are uninspired books of men, and friend, they're not truth.
God's word is the only source of truth.
As we think about this idea, we really want to emphasize, if we're
going to not be hindered by the books of men, we've got to realize, the
Bible is the only safe and true roadmap that'll get us to heaven. Paul said,
"I'm not ashamed of the gospel of Christ." Why? "It is the power of God
unto salvation." Christians are encouraged in James 1:21 to ‘receive with
meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your soul.’ We're born
again by the word of God, which lives and abides forever. 1 Peter 1:23,
‘Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light. Nobody comes to the Father
except by him.’ The Bible is the only safe and true guide that'll get you to
heaven. Books of men, while they may have some value, don't trust them
alone. Trust the word of God as your only source. Please realize that the
books of men cannot save your soul. Jesus said in Matthew 24:34,
"Heaven and earth will pass away. My word, it'll never pass away."
When I stand before God, what's going to be my judge? John 12:48
Jesus said, "He who rejects me, does not receive my word, has that which
judges him. The word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day." It's
God's word that's going to be our final guide. If for my faith, I have to turn to
books of men, then I probably need to re-examine that, and I need to ask
myself, are these books of men that are uninspired hindering me from
really knowing the truth?
There's a final thing that we want to mention as a hindrance to the
truth today, and it's a big one. Friend, if we've got an unhealthy attachment
to this old world and Satan's allurements, it's going to keep us from really
knowing the truth. James said, in James 4:4 "Adulterers and adulteresses,
do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?
Whoever, therefore, desires to be a friend of the world makes himself
God's enemy." God said, "Do not love the world or the things in the world,"
1 John 2:15-17. If I'm so attached to this world or some practice in this
world or some moral ideology in the world, that may keep me from really
cutting ties and putting my trust, my whole hearted trust in God and His
Now, let's direct our attention to some things that can help us. We
looked at some hindrances, things that'll get in the way from us knowing
the truth, but what is it that will help me to know I know the truth?
Number one: you've got to have a good and honest heart. You've got
to be willing to say, "Lord, what would you have me to do?" Paul is the
great example of that. In Acts 9, Saul of Tarsus is living a life completely
contrary to the will of God. He was there when they stoned Steven, holding
their coats. He's been debating against teachers of the gospel. He's
wreaking havoc on the church, dragging men and women to prison, but
when confronted with the truth, how did Paul respond? "Lord, what would
you have me to do?" Acts 9:4-6. I've got to have the humility of heart to
say, just as Samuel said in 1 Samuel two and three, "Speak, Lord. Your
servant hears." I need the attitude of Isaiah in Isaiah 6, where Isaiah said,
"Here am I. Send me." I want that attitude and that spirit of, ‘I've got a good
and honest heart, no matter what God asks me to do, I'm going to do that.’
That's really what Jesus' mother said in a very beautiful verse. In John 2:5
Mary said to the servants, as Jesus is about to perform the first miracle in
Canaan of Galilee, Mary turns to the servants and says, "Whatever he,
Jesus, says to you, do it." I've got to have that good and honest heart, that
good soil that receives the word of God, takes root in it, and produces and
bears fruit unto God. And so, do you have a good and honest heart? Are
you really willing to say, "Lord, what do you want me to do?"
Secondly things that will help us to know the truth is to be ready to
prove and test everything you hear. Now, this is directly connected in some
way to not believing and practicing what others tell us to do. My friend, we
want to emphasize that a big help to make sure you know God's truth is to
test and to prove everything you hear, and did you know that the Bible
actually commands that? 1 Thessalonians 5:21 the Bible says, "Prove all
things. Hold fast to that which is good." How do we know it's good? If we
proved it. How do you prove it? By the word of God.
Here's the practical application of what we're talking about.
Somebody stands up and teaches something publicly on a religious
subject, whether it's about God or about Jesus or about salvation-when we
hear that, we hear it with a readiness of mind. If it's God's word, I'm going
to accept it. Friend, I'm going to prove it first. I'm reminded of the example
of Acts 17:11. The Bible says that ‘the Bereans were more noble than
those in Thessalonica,’ why? ‘They received the word with all readiness,’
and listen to this now, ‘and they searched the scriptures daily to see if
these things were so.’
We beg you today- when you hear something taught and someone
says this is God's word, this is what the Bible says, this is what you've got
to do to be saved- check it for yourself. You cannot know the truth until
you've checked it for yourself. You can buy into it. You can be duped into
thinking that, but you cannot honestly say I am sure this is God's truth until
you've seen it with your own eyes and been convicted of it. Again this is not
a bad thing. Somebody who's teaching the Bible will never try to discredit
and get mad about you checking what they say. In fact, again, the Bible
tells us to check the teacher, right? 1 John 4:1 ‘test the spirits to see
whether they're of God,’ why? ‘Many false prophets have gone out into the
Let me give you some examples of things that are so plainly taught
today, and yet are so clearly taught against in the Bible.
Let's say someone says the head of the church today is the Pope.
The Pope is God's spokesman on earth today. A lot of people believe that.
A lot of people have bought into that. Is that true? Have you checked that in
the Bible? Where does the Bible say that the Pope is the Holy Father and
that he is God's spokesman today?
My friend the Bible clearly teaches that's just not the case. Listen to
this one verse, Matthew 23:9, Jesus said, "Call no man father." What? "Call
no man father," and yet the people look up to that man and they say ‘holy
father,’ and they call him that. Who's God's spokesman today? “God has in
these last days, spoken to us by His son.” There's God's spokesman.
Hebrews 1:1 says ‘Jesus is God's final spokesman today,’ and we've got
the words of Jesus and the Holy Spirit in the Bible. Something just plain like
that is clearly taught against in scripture. Check it for yourself. Think about
this as well.
Someone says, ‘you know, it's okay today, we live in a more liberated
society, and it is okay today for women to preach and stand up and speak
in a mixed assembly of both men and women.’ Really? Have you checked
what the Bible says on that? Let's prove it. Let's test it. Let's check and see
if it's okay for a woman today to stand up and preach in a mixed assembly.
1 Timothy 2, here's what the word of God says in verse number 11 and 12:
Paul says, "Let a woman learn in all silence with all submission." Now,
listen to this, "And I do no permit a woman to teach or to be in authority
over a man." 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, "Let your women keep silent in the
We've taken a very popular doctrine, especially in our day and age
today, where men will say it is perfectly fine for a woman to stand up in a
mixed assembly and preach, and then we heard Paul say, by inspiration, "I
do not permit a woman to teach or be in authority over a man." Paul later
would say, in 1 Corinthians 14:37, "If any man thinks himself to be a
prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge the things that I write to you."
Paul's writing, he said, "These are the commands of God." You know, to
make sure you know the truth; you've got to be committed to studying the
scripture for yourself. Study and listen to these words. “Study to show
yourself approved unto God,” 2 Timothy 2:15. "Search the scriptures daily,"
Now, we say okay, that's good and well, but how do you really study
the scriptures for yourself? Let me give you a pattern on how people did
that in the Bible that's a great way for us today. Acts 17:11, the Bible says
of the Bereans, "these were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica,
in that they received the word with all readiness and searched the
scriptures daily to see if these things were so."
How do you study for yourself? Friend, there's no doubt. You've got
to have a readiness of mind. I've got to be open-minded enough that I'm
willing, if it is God's truth, to accept it. You've got to have that readiness of
heart and readiness of mind that if God says it-I'm willing to do it. You can't
be blind in accepting what people say without checking it, and we've got to
realize there is an authority. There is a guide by which we're going to check
everything, and that is the word of God. Are you willing to show by your
actions that not only do I accept that as truth, but I'm going to accept it if I
first see it in the word of God?
Let me give you a couple of other examples. Sometimes people will
say the Bible teaches that baptism is just an outward sign and that you're
already saved. People say baptism's not essential to salvation. You're
saved before you're baptized. You're baptized sometime later, and baptism
is not essential to salvation. How do you know the truth on that? Are you
sure you know God's truth on that?
Friend, did you know that's not what the Bible teaches? Did you
know that the Bible teaches baptism is essential to salvation? That baptism
is a part of God's commands that you must do to be saved? Nowhere in the
Bible does it say it's an outward sign of an inward grace. That's man's
words, not God's. Listen to what the Bible does say. Jesus said, "He that
believes and is baptized will be saved." Jesus did not say he that believes
will be saved. He said, "He that believes and is baptized will be saved."
John 3:5 Jesus said, "Unless a man is born of water and the spirit, he
cannot enter the kingdom of God."
Think back to Saul of Tarsus, that man with the good and honest
heart who said, in Acts 9:4-6 "Lord, what would you have me to do?" He
was told go in the city. ‘It'll be told you what you must do.’ Saul recounts his
conversion, and we find out what was essential for him. Acts 22:16, a man
by the name of Ananias brings the gospel to Saul, and he says, "Saul,
Saul, why are you waiting?" Listen to this. "Arise and be baptized, and
wash away your sins." At what points are sins forgiven? Acts 2:38 says,
"Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins."
Someone says ‘okay, but the Bible never says baptism saves us.’
That's not true. Here's man's doctrine. Man's doctrine says baptism does
not save. You know what the Bible says? 1 Peter 3:21 says “baptism does
now also save us.” Let's look at those. Here's how we illustrate. How do
you know you know the truth? Man says baptism doesn't save. Okay, I'm
going to get my Bible out and see what does the Bible say about that?
“Baptism does now also save us.”
I can know the truth on that subject, but I've got to have a good,
honest heart. I've got to maybe do away with some prejudice and bias. I've
got to stop listening to uninspired teachings and books of men, and put my
trust and hope in the word of God.
We began with the words of Jesus, such a beautiful statement, “You
can know the truth, and the truth, it will make you free.” Our question to you
today is- are you sure you know the truth? Are you committed to having
that good and honest heart that says ‘whatever God's word says, I'm going
to do it’? If so, are you willing to change your life and turn from the things
that are wrong, and turn to God, known as repentance? Luke 13:3. Would
you be willing to put your faith in Christ and really believe that he is the son
of God? John 8:24. Would you confess his name before men? Romans
10:10. Would you do what they were told to do in the first century, arise and
be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord?
Friend, our prayer and hope today is -get your Bible and check it for
yourself. Read the scripture for yourself.
The only way I can know that I'm right or wrong in the sight of God is
if I see it with my own eyes. If I study it, if I search it, I can know for a fact. I
don't have to listen to anything else, if the Bible says it, it's true already. I
believe it. I know it's true, and I can know that I'm right with God.
Our hope and prayer today is that you will know you know the truth by
giving the word of God first place in your life.
Study Questions for: “Great Bible Lessons: Lesson 11”
1. According to Romans 14:12, what will each of us do?
2. According to Ephesians 5:17, what must we understand?
3. What does Psalm 118:116 say about God’s word?
4. In Jesus’ prayer in John 17:17, what did He say was truth?
5. In Exodus 23:2, what does God tell us not to follow?
6. In Matthew 7:13-14 what did Jesus teach us about the path of many?
7. What was wrong with what the people were doing in Matthew 15:7?
8. What great question is asked in Jeremiah 37:17 and Romans 5:4?
9. According to James 1:21, what should we receive with meekness?
10. According to 1 Peter 1:23, how can we get to the Lord?