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Building up believers and the New Testament church

Walking in Truth

The Importance of All Truth

Is any truth unimportant? Some may think so. We could easily come up with a list of controversial issues or questions which have divided believers through the centuries. We know that God is against division, so our first thought may be to eliminate the issues. Do they really matter? We may think, "If our hearts are right toward God and toward others, let's not bring up subjects that could hurt the relationship. Let's just love Jesus and one another." On first thought, that may sound like good guidance. But is it really?

Consider the question from a different angle. Would a perfect God give us any truth that is unimportant? Or would God ever omit or overlook anything that is important? I think we could agree that the answer to both questions is no. God is perfect, and perfect in all of His ways. Only sin and men who have been affected by sin can hinder His perfect way.

In this discussion of truth, I am not referring to natural "truths" such as the laws of nature or facts about the world, its people, or its history. I am referring only to spiritual truth: the principles and laws of God that apply to various relationships and the expression of His purpose and plan. (This definition will be expanded later.) Spiritual truth cannot be comprehended by the natural mind or reasoning. We are dealing with spiritual matters, for "God is spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:24). Paul brings this out clearly when writing to the Corinthian church: "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Corinthians 2:14).

I believe we are prone to bypass this truth too easily, but this is often where the problem lies. It is a mixing of the natural and spiritual that creates confusion. But when we allow our minds to be washed and transformed by the Spirit, we are able to see things clearly and "think in God." Then the gray areas clear up and truth becomes clear to us. However, this is not a simple matter, for we must allow God to touch the deepest recess of our hearts, and lay everything down at the feet of Jesus. If we find a matter to be unclear and begin to think that perhaps it's not important anyway, my strong encouragement is to put the matter before Jesus and ask Him to apply His eye salve so we can see clearly. He will not fail us.

This natural illustration came to me recently. Suppose I am building a house. I am building the foundation and am very concerned that it be correct in every way. During that process, someone could come by and offer to sell me a doorknob for the front door. I am not thinking about my front door at that time—I am focused on the foundation. If pressed, I might say, "Look, I don't care about doorknobs right now. The foundation is what is most important, so I am not interested." At that time, that is correct. While building the foundation, I don't have time to think about anything else.

But suppose my house is now finished, and I continue to say, "I am not interested in doorknobs," so I don't install one on the front door. What will happen? (A brother once replied, "You will have an open door policy!") The house may be beautiful, and have a secure foundation, but because I did not install a doorknob, the front door will not stay shut. Every kind of insect and animal will be free to go in and out. The birds can make nests in the house and the rats have a free home. You would think I am very foolish "because I do not care about doorknobs."

This may be a rather silly example, but I think it illustrates what I am trying to communicate. At a certain point in the building of God, it may be proper to concentrate on foundational truth and ignore areas that seem to be less important. We cannot think about everything all at once. But at some point in the building of the house, every truth becomes important. The neglect of any truth will weaken the testimony that God wants. It may seem small, but given time, it will damage or even destroy the building if not corrected. No truth can be neglected without loss. If we want to see the fullness of God revealed through His body, we dare not neglect anything. The Holy Spirit will be faithful to reveal the time and place that each truth needs to be dealt with. Remember, it is God who is building both now and for eternity, and He knows what He is doing.