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Buying the Truth

This article was published in the Presbyterian Standard, Issue No. 38, April-June 2005.

IT is the duty of parents in preparing their children for adult life to give them both a good example and good advice. We are living in a fallen world which contains many dangers for unwary souls. Solomon gave his son the best possible advice when he said to him, "Buy the truth, and sell it not" (Prov.23:23). This is also the counsel of God to sinners everywhere.

There is then such a thing as the truth. To believe in absolute truth is not fashionable today, when everything is said to be relative. But the truth does exist, it is available and it may be known by us. The truth is God's revelation of Himself in His own Word, the Bible. Jesus said: "To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth" (John 18:37). The gospel of salvation through a crucified Redeemer is the truth. How foolish Pilate was when he said, "What is truth?" He knew better. Do not be like him! If we do not believe and confess the truth then what we have in our right hand is bound to be a lie.

We are to buy the truth. This is very important. The gospel is an invaluable commodity and we must make a personal investment in it. The gospel is both free and yet costly. It is free to us as it meets all our need as guilty, hell-deserving sinners. "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price" (Isa.55:1). What grace there is in the Saviour, that our souls should be fully pardoned and cleansed! But the gospel is costly in what it demands of us in return. The Lord Jesus Christ says: "Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me" (Mark 8:34). We are to 'lose' our lives for Christ's sake. This is the price to be paid.

We buy the truth by believing it. You may say that you have the truth because you possess a bible, or because you listen to sermons. The Word is in your hands and even in your ears, but is it in your heart? Has it gripped your mind and conscience? There must be personal faith in Jesus Christ. We must receive and rest upon Him alone in order to be saved from our sins.

Many have made a 'bid' for the truth but have never actually bought it. As he listened to John the Baptist speaking king Herod "did many things, and heard him gladly" (Mark 6:20). Yet soon the same man had this faithful preacher beheaded because of his own love of sinful pleasure. Agrippa 'believed' the prophets, but his love of popularity dissuaded him from truly following Christ. Moses however bought the truth, "Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season" (Heb.11:25). Believing the truth brings wisdom into our souls and direction into our lives.

We must never sell the truth. Many appear to have bought the truth but then they willingly part with it. They abandon the faith and sell their own souls. Lot's wife did this when she turned back, her heart still in sinful Sodom. Judas Iscariot literally sold the truth, even Jesus Christ, for thirty pieces of silver. He did not get a good bargain, for afterwards he went and hanged himself in remorse. Demas forsook the gospel because he loved the world and the things which are in the world. All these individuals professed Christ but they did not possess Him by saving faith. They had no love for the truth.

If the truth is not in us we shall be a prey for the devil. There is in every man what is termed "the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes" (1John 2:16). These things are "not of the Father" and they incline us to walk in ways which are false. We must buy the truth by believing in the only Saviour, Jesus Christ and obey the truth by following Him fully. Then we shall be delivered from every sinful snare and preserved unto life eternal.