Articles

Articles

The True Man

The True Man

(Kent Heaton)

The Jews had a hard time accepting the man from Nazareth as a person of worth and consideration. They never denied His miracles but constantly battled Jesus over His teachings. In John 7 they could not get past the problem of His education. “Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught. And the Jews marveled, saying, ‘How does this Man know letters, having never studied?’ Jesus answered them and said, ‘My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him’” (John 7:14-18). The teachings of Jesus astonished the people (Matthew 7:28-29). He was the son of a carpenter and unlearned but taught with such authority the Jewish leaders could never trap Him in His teachings.

Throughout the ministry of Jesus, He affirmed His teaching was not His own but from the Father. Every word He spoke came from the Father above. Later Jesus would tell the Jews, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things” (John 8:28). The Son of God established that all truth came from the Father and not Himself. The true man is one who teaches what the Father has said. If Jesus would tell the multitudes His teaching was His own apart from God He would glorify Himself apart from the Father. Jesus knew His mission was not His own but His Father’s.

The temptation of the pride of life would weigh heavy upon Jesus in His work. He was adored by the multitudes when He turned five loaves of bread and two fishes into a banquet for over five thousand people (John 6:1-14). “Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone” (John 6:15). Satan tempted Jesus with the pride of life in Matthew 4:8-9 offering Him the kingdoms of the world. The Lord retorted to the devil that worship belongs only to the Lord and to Him alone (Matthew 4:10). He knew that all He did was for the glory of the Father and not Himself. It was imperative that all men know the teachings of Jesus were the words of the Father.

Jesus established a pattern for truth that comes from the throne of God. Standing before Pilate, the Son of God was asked, “What is truth” (John 18:38)? The answer is not found in the wisdom of men but the authority of the Father. All of the teachings of Jesus came from the mind of God and establishing truth must come from the mind of God alone. Creation is established upon the word of God as written by Moses (Genesis 1-2). Righteousness finds its character in how the Father defines what is right and wrong (Genesis 3). The consequence of disobeying the word of God is demonstrated by the flood in Genesis 6-7. Found in the flood is the grace of God and the need for obedience by man. The nation of Israel shows the nature of what is right as the Old Testament unfolds their history and final rebellion and punishment. The law of God glories the Father. The law of man glorifies man.

Religious error comes from men establishing their own law of truth exalting the wisdom of creation over the Creator. No religion would stand if they appealed only to the law of God. The word of God is the sole foundation for authority and whether a person agrees or disagrees with the Bible it does not change what is true. A person can believe the world is flat but that will not change the truth. Churches today can peddle their goods of religious zeal and fervor but without truth it is vain. Jesus told the woman at the well that “the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:23-24).

“What must I do to be saved” can only be answered from a diligent study of the word of God. The man who is true is the one who will seek only the word of God for his answer. Worship cannot be based upon a “feel good” religion of popular ideals that excite the senses of the spirit. Worship must be according to what the Bible directs. Marriage is confirmed by the words of God and divorce is explained only through the word of God. Morality can never be measured by the whims of societal placations. “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:17). Too many Bible studies are studies without the Bible. The opinions of men and norms of worldly minded experts begin to define what truth is appealing to the multitudes who desire to live as a law to themselves. There is only one body of truth and that comes from the Father above.

Jesus said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me” (John 7:16). No man should take a lesser stand than Jesus. Peter exhorts the early disciples, “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever” (1 Peter 4:11). The apostle echoes the words of his teacher. God must be glorified in our teaching regardless of what men say or do. Paul told Timothy to “Preach the word” (2 Timothy 4:2). What else is there?