SINCERITY AND TRUTH
By David J. Riggs
A. John 4:21-24
1. Thus, we are to worship and serve God in sincerity and
a. We are to be sincere; we are to follow the truth.
2. The requirement of spirit and truth was also taught in the
O.T. Joshua 24:14
B. Let's look at some passages which teach the importance of
sincerity and truth.
I. FIRST, CONSIDER PASSAGES REGARDING SINCERITY.
A. Phil. 1:9-11
1. The English word "sincere" comes to us from the Latin and
means literally, "without wax."
a. The word was used among sculptors and potters to
describe a flawless piece of work that hand no "wax
patches" to conceal any defects, such as a crack.
b. The original Greek word carried the same idea and
meant literally, "tested by sunlight."
c. Testing something by sunlight would reveal if there are
2. Christians are tested by fiery trials. 1 Pet. 1:6-7
3. In the early 1970s the firefighters of Fairfax County,
Virginia, received new helmets. They were sharp looking,
colorful, size-adjustable, made of high-impact plastic, and
scuff resistant. There was only one problem with the
helmets: when they were worn near the heat of a fire, they
melted. This, of course, made them useless to firefighters;
they needed helmets that could take the heat.
a. In the same way, we need a faith that can take the heat -
a faith that endures the fire and protects us in the
midst of the blaze. (From 1,001 Contemporary
Illustrations - Adversity)
B. Godly sincerity branches out in different directions.
1. First, and foremost, we are to be sincere in our love toward
Christ. Eph. 6:24
a. Love must be from a pure heart. 1 Tim. 1:5
(1) Consider Nathanael. John 1:47
(a) He was without "guile," without deceit or
hypocrisy. He was a genuine and true
(2) The Scribes and Pharisees were the opposite. Matt.
b. 1 Pet. 3:15 - (See chart below)
(1) SANCTIFY - Isa. 8:13
(2) BE READY - Col. 4:6
(3) REASON FOR HOPE - Heb. 6:18
(4) WITH MEEKNESS & FEAR - 2 Tim. 2:25; Jude 22-23
2. Secondly, we are to be sincere in our love toward our
brethren. 1 Peter 1:22
a. We are to love one another even as Christ loved us.
(1) It is our sincere love for each other that identifies
us as disciples of Christ. 1 John 4:20-21; 2:10;
(2) Someone told the story of the pious church member
who thought he was an outstanding Christian. He
was asked one day to say a few words in the young
people's Bible class. Pompously, he stood before
them and asked, "Why do you think people call me
a Christian?" For a moment there was an
embarrassing silence, then finally one young person
from the back of the room innocently said,
"Because they don't know you!"
b. To truly love is "much easier said than done." 1 John
(1) "Whoever has this world's goods" - Ability.
(2) "And sees his brother in need" - Opportunity.
(3) "And shuts up his heart" - Responsibility.
(a) Thus, ability, plus opportunity, equals
II. CONSIDER PASSAGES REGARDING TRUTH.
A. We should desire truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
truth. (See chart below)
a. Truth comes from God's word. John 17:17
(1) It does not come from some burning sensation,
feelings better felt than told, religion of parents,
traditional practices, etc.
b. False teachers have worked since the beginning. 2 Pet
c. Deceivers and false teachers abound in our time.
(1) Our duty is to know, teach, and follow the truth.
Eph. 4:14-15; Col. 2:8; 1 Tim. 6:20-21
(2) Fossil experts have revised their opinion about an
object found last year in New Mexico. At first they
thought it was a fossilized egg up to 16 million
years old. Now they think it's a stomach stone from
a cow who threw it up five years ago. How did this
misunderstanding arise? Explains a U.S.
government scientist, "Mother Nature fooled us."
(From Servant Magazine, September 1990, p. 4)
(3) Of course, Mother Nature did not fool them
because there is no such person as "Mother
Nature." They were fooled by their own theories
which are based on fantasy rather than truth.
Indeed, "Professing themselves to be wise they
became fools." (Rom. 1:22)
2. THE WHOLE TRUTH
a. Partial truth is very dangerous. Acts 15:1-2,5; Gal.
(1) Rat poison contains less than 1 per cent poison, as
low as .005%. The rest is filler, grains and other
things that rats normally eat, as high as 99.995.
Yet, this small amount of poison is enough to get
the job done.
b. Partial obedience is not acceptable. 1 Sam. 15:20-23
c. We need the whole truth even when it hurts. Acts
(1) While working with a congregation in Kentucky, I
was tempted once not to preach against smoking
because several of the brethren in the congregation
(2) I mustered up the courage to preach against
(a) Some of the smokers received the sermon well
and tried to quit.
(b) However, one older man began to bitterly
oppose me from that point forward. He had
been a heavy smoker all of his life.
3. NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH
a. We don't need the addition of creeds, manuals, decrees
from councils, the book of Mormon, etc.
b. The Scriptures alone are sufficient - 2 Tim 3:16-17
c. Anything else is not only unnecessary, but brings
destruction. Gal. 1:6-9
d. Let us have a genuine love for truth and abide in it.
A. This was written by William Temple:
True worship is:
To quicken the conscience by the holiness of God.
To feed the mind with the truth of God.
To purge the imagination with the beauty of God.
To open the heart to the love of God.
To devote the will to the purpose of God.
B. Of course, modern man has many different ideas regarding what
constitutes acceptable worship, some are good, some are evil.
1. Jesus summed it all up in one simple sentence. John 4:24
2. Our worship must be from the heart and in accord with the
"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to
give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is
in you, with meekness and fear." (1 Pet. 3:15)
SANCTIFY - Isa. 8:13
BE READY - Col. 4:6
REASON FOR HOPE - Heb. 6:18
WITH MEEKNESS & FEAR - 2 Tim. 2:25; Jude 22-23
TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH, AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH
A. God's word - John 17:17
1. Not some burning sensation, feelings better felt than
told, religion of parents, traditional practices, etc.
B. Deceivers and false teachers abound in our time - 1 John 4:1
C. Our duty is to know, teach, and follow the truth - Eph.
4:14-15; Col. 2:8; 1 Tim. 6:20-21
II. THE WHOLE TRUTH
A. Partial truth is more dangerous - Acts 15:1-3; Gal. 5:2-3
B. Partial obedience is not acceptable - 1 Sam. 15:20-23
C. We need the whole truth even when it hurts - Acts 20:26-27
III. NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH
A. We don't need the additions of creeds, manuals, decrees
from councils, etc.
B. The Scriptures alone are sufficient - 2 Tim 3:16-17
C. Anything else is not only unnecessary, but brings destruction.
Concl: Let us have a genuine love for truth and abide in it.