How Do We Learn Truth?

Biblical Authority Devotional: Infallibility and Inerrancy of Scripture, Part 10

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How is one supposed to decipher truth so that we are not “carried about by every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14)?

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. (John 16:13, ESV)

Today’s big question: how do we learn truth?

The inerrant Word of God is truth (John 17:17). Yet as we study Scripture, there are so many interpretations and opinions of Scripture—all claiming to be the truth—that it is easy to lose focus on the real truth. How is one supposed to decipher truth so that we are not “carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14)? The answer is clearly stated in Scripture.

The Holy Spirit (who lives within all Christians) guides each of us to the truth. However, this does not mean we can lay back and have truth presented to us on a silver platter. There are some critical principles found in Scripture that we should follow in our search for God’s truth.

One such principle can be found in Scripture, which states, “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Colossians 1:9, ESV). As Scripture states, “You do not have because you do not ask” (James 4:2). We need to be in constant prayer as we study Scripture that we will be guided to the truth by the Holy Spirit.

The Bereans set a good example of comparing any teachings they received to Scripture: “They received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so” (Acts 17:11, ESV). We can apply the Bereans’ example even to this devotional. You should make sure that this devotional I have written is scriptural and not based on my opinion (e.g., checking the references I put in, reading other passages of Scripture I did not reference, etc.) Even as we are reading from Scripture, the best interpretation for Scripture is itself, because it is the inerrant Word of God!

We are all still fallible human beings that are prone to error, which is why we need to continually strive to follow the these principles—making sure that everything we are hearing, reading, and learning is scriptural—and to prayerfully seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance. These principles are not necessarily an exhaustive list, so I would suggest that you study Scripture for more principles that you may be able to find—as well as looking for the principles I mentioned. Remember as you study God’s Word to prayerfully seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance for the revealing of the truth.

Today’s big idea: while prayerfully relying on the Holy Spirit, we can learn the truth of God’s Word.

What to pray: ask God for the Holy Spirit’s guidance for the truth.

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