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THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST
By T. Austin Sparks
LEARNING THE TRUTH
"I AM THE TRUTH"
Now, in this meditation, we come to look at the Lord Jesus more closely as God's object and standard for the Holy Spirit's work in us, this 'other–ness' which He represents, and we have read a number of passages, all of which, as you noted, bear upon truth. Surely those passages in the Gospels must have played a part in the disciples' education.
In the first place there was the statement or declaration made to the Jews, a tremendous thing to be said in the hearing of those disciples. There were Jews who made a profession of believing. The Lord Jesus raises the question of discipleship with them. He said to those Jews who had believed Him (it does not say they had believed on Him), "If ye abide in my word, then are ye truly my disciples; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
They answered back at once with the counter claim, "We are Abraham's seed, and have never yet been in bondage to any man." He presses this matter of the truth, truth in relation to Himself. "If therefore the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." The question of whose seed they were arose, and associated with that the statement "if therefore the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed". Do you follow that? Knowing the truth is knowing the Son. Freedom by the truth is by the knowledge of Him.
Then to the Jews, I presume of the more violent type, He said these words of unparalleled strength: "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father it is your will to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and standeth not in the truth ... he is a liar, and the father thereof ... when he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own." Tremendously strong language, and all on this question of the truth, the truth as bound up with Himself.
Then, when you come to chapter 14, He is with His disciples alone; and Philip says to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us." His reply is, "Have I been so long time with you, and dost thou not know me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father." Another question in the school: "Lord, we know not whither thou goest; how know we the way?" "I am the way, and the truth..." I am the truth. The truth is not some thing; the truth is a Person. Well, all this is in the School of Christ, bearing upon Christ as the Truth.
I do not know how strongly you feel about the matter, but our object surely is that we should come to feel very strongly about these things. How do you feel about the importance of having a true foundation? and after all, the supreme feature in a foundation is truth, that the thing should be well and truly laid. This foundation has to take a fairly heavy responsibility, no less a responsibility than our eternal well-being and destiny, nay, the very vindication of God Himself.
Therefore it must be absolutely true and the truth, and it surely behoves us to make very sure of where we are; in other words, to have done with all our unreality, to finish for ever with anything that is not genuine and utterly true in our position. It is just this that we are going to press and analyze for a little while now. So great are the consequences that we cannot afford to have anything doubtful in our position.
It is like this. You and I are going to face God sometime. We are going to come face to face with God literally in eternity and then the question is going to arise, Has God at any point failed us? Shall we be able, on any detail, to say, Lord, You failed me, You were not true to Your word? Such a position is unthinkable, that ever any being should be able to lay a charge like that at God's door, to have any question as to God's truth, reality, faithfulness.
The Holy Spirit has been sent as the Spirit of truth to guide us into all the truth, so that there shall be no shadow whatever between God and ourselves as to His absolute faithfulness, His truth to Himself, and to all His word. The Holy Spirit has come for that. If that is true, then the Holy Spirit will deal with all disciples in the School of Christ to undercut everything that is not true, that is not genuine, to make every such disciple to stand upon a foundation which can abide before God in the day of His absolute and utter vindication.