Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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Can We KNOW We Are Right?

We live in a postmodern age, one that has rejected the idea of absolute and verifiable truth. In the minds of many, the only intolerable contention is that we may know truth. Is this right? Is it possible to know (be certain) that we are right? The answer is most certainly yes!

To be clear, we are not maintaining that we have obtained perfect and complete knowledge of God’s word. The process of maturity is an ongoing one. However, an answer to this question will give us confidence as we seek to defend the truth against the various errors we confront. If we are given the charge to “contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3), it logically follows that said faith is verifiable and knowable.

The Bible certainly affirms this truth. Samuel claimed to know the truth, and to have the ability to declare it correctly to the people of Israel. He said, “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and the right way. Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you. But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king” (1 Samuel 12:23-25). Notice the warning concerning those who learned the truth, and disobeyed it: “you shall be swept away.”

The above text also gives us some idea of how we can know that we know that we are right. First, there must be a fear of the Lord. All of the apostasies of history came about either because men did not understand, or did not respect the authority of God. A fear of the Lord will cause a man to submit to His teaching, His will, His statutes. “Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

Second, we are to “serve Him in truth with all our heart.” True devotion to God and His word is necessary for us to know the right way. As the writer of the book of Proverbs exhorts, “Buy the truth, and do not sell it, also wisdom and instruction and understanding” (Proverbs 23:23). Often religious people profess their love for God’s word until that word conflicts with their own prejudices or beliefs. While they profess a love, they “sell” the truth when it no longer suits them. Instead, we must be willing to go wherever the truth takes us, subjugating our own will to His.

The only way we can know we are right is by testing ourselves by the sole standard, the word of God. Rather than relying upon our own feelings, opinions or traditions, we must trust in His revealed will. We should have the same view of God’s word as that expressed by the Psalmist, “Therefore all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right; I hate every false way” (Psalm 119:128). In the same Psalm he wrote, “The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever” (vs. 160).

So long as we test all doctrines and practices against that word, we will remain true to Him. It is when we ignore, corrupt or refuse God’s word that we begin to do wrong. Paul wrote, “Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22). To abstain from evil and hold fast what is good, it is necessary to “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). To embrace God’s word as authoritative is the key.

We can know God’s plan for our salvation because God has revealed it to us. We can know which church is the right church because God described it in detail. We can know the right way to worship Him because He has shown us what is true worship. We can know what is sin, and what is righteousness because of the principles and statements contained in His will for us.

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Colossians 3:17). Yes, we can know we are right!