The minute you begin to add to the Gospel, you are actually subtracting from it. This week, Pastor Lutzer speaks to us about the truth that belongs only to the Father.
“Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.”
- John 17:17–19
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Transcript: Hi, welcome to Five Minutes With Pastor Lutzer. So glad that you have joined us today, because we are discussing the attributes of God—the mysterious, wonderful attributes of God. There is no subject that we should contemplate with so much reverence and thought as the knowledge of God.
Jesus prayed that we might know the Father, the only true God. That’s why we’ve been emphasizing truth. Today’s verse is actually the 19th verse of John 17 where Jesus prays for us and says, “Sanctify them by Thy truth—Thy word is truth.” If you were with us in previous sessions, you know that there are three characteristics of truth: universality, consistency, and eternality. And that is the truth that Jesus is talking about.
Have you ever asked, why is it that the early Christians when Alexander Severus—he was the Emperor who decided to finally give the Christians some freedom from persecution. And he said, “You know, after all these persecutions, we’re gonna put up a niche for Jesus in the pantheon of gods in Rome.” But the Christians objected. They said that Jesus doesn’t belong in the pantheon. And the reason that He doesn’t is because He is above all those other Roman gods, and above all other gods. You can’t put Him on the same shelf as the Roman gods. They understood something, that Jesus Christ represented what Francis Schaeffer used to call “true truth.” And that meant that Christianity could not be combined with other religions.
You know, every once in a while you find somebody who says, “Oh, I’m moving beyond Christianity to something else.” Let me be very clear. When you move beyond Christianity, you leave Christianity behind. The minute you begin to add to it, you’re actually subtracting from it, because it is, as again Francis Schaeffer would say, true truth. So you don’t get beyond it, and you don’t combine it with other religions.
At the Parliament of World Religions, which I attended back in 1993, there was an illustration given. It was of a wheel, and all the religions of the world are represented by the spokes, and they all come together in the hub, which the leader called the Clear Blue of Sky. Well isn’t that interesting? So all the religions converge.
But do you know that truth cannot do what the spokes of a wheel can do. You can take spokes and throw them together however you wish, but if those spokes represent truth they should be parallel—parallel like train tracks through all of eternity—because truth is eternal.
And Jesus said here, very clearly, that truth has power. Elsewhere He said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” “Sanctify them by the truth.” And that’s how we are sanctified: by the truth of the Word of God. Truth: a wonderful commodity—a wonderful commodity that belongs to God the Father and should belong to us.
Many years ago—and this story has been told in different forms—but a young man said to his music teacher, “Well, what’s the good word for the day?” The old man got up from his chair and walked across the room and got his tuning fork, and hit it, and said, “That is an A.” That was an A 5,000 years ago; that will be an A 5,000 years from now;” and, we might add to that, it will be an A in Central America and the Middle East and the Far East, an A is an A. And the old man said, “The soloist misses the notes, the tenor cannot hit the high notes, the piano in the basement is out of tune; but that is an A.”
Well my friend, today when you hold the Bible in your hands, the Word of Truth that we’ve been talking about, That is an A—in the midst of a nation and a country and a society where everything is in flux.
So glad that you have joined us today. Let me encourage you today to go with God, and be sure to join us again next time.