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The truth is here

Since the beginning of time, Satan has tempted us to doubt the existence of truth. In Genesis 3:1 he tempts Eve with the words “Did God actually say … “ and in John 18:38 he speaks through Pilate and asks Jesus and all of us, “What is truth?” The results have been devastating. Today, many people accept the idea that truth is relative. They believe that you can have your truth and I can have my truth and they don’t have to agree.

But the lack of clarity on right and wrong is crippling. Consider, for example, recent elections, the attack on the Capital on Jan. 6 and the debate around masks, vaccines and how best to respond to the worldwide pandemic. Different people have different sincerely held ideas about what is right and wrong, and that lack of clarity is crippling us. People mourn that we can’t agree on how to respond, so they are reluctant to do much. Compare our current situation to that of World War II. People agreed on who the enemy was and businesses, communities and citizens all worked together to defeat a common enemy.

I have great news for you! There is truth — and that truth liberates our hearts from apathy and despair and fills them with hope and joy. The truth is that there is right and wrong. Since the truth can be hard to discern in this broken world God spelled out the truth for us. Here’s what Jesus says about the Bible in John 8:31-32, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” God’s word shows us right and wrong. God’s word shows us the truth that we’re all sinful and broken. That we can’t understand the truth on our own.

But God’s word also shows us the truth that the Son of God died for our sins so that all who believe in him are forgiven and have eternal life. Jesus came to show us how sinful we are, and then he dies for those sins so that we can be made whole. So that we can have life right now. That’s why Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6)

We like to think that we haven’t done anything wrong. Listen to this sobering verdict from 1 John 1:8. “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Denying our own sinfulness is denying the truth and our need for a savior. It only contributes to the current darkness. But look at the next verse. “If we confess our sins, (God) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Embracing the truth brings light and life to our troubled world!

REV. MATTHEW SORENSON is the pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church. He can be reached at pastor@stjohnsfarmville.org.