You would think that Truth and Facts are the same thing. Surely if you know the Truth and you know the Facts you know the same thing. But that’s not so. While the facts and the truth have much in common they are also at times the antithesis of each other.
So I want to stir your faith by getting you to recognise the wonderful superiority of Truth over Facts. Are you ready for that?
Facts are Data
At one level facts are meaningless bits of information. Every discreet piece of data is a fact. The table is flat. The table is brown. The table is new. The table is broken. The table is clean. All these tiny bits of information are facts.
A list of facts sounds like a first grade reader. Bill is a boy. Bill is a big boy. Bill has a dog. Bill hit the ball. And so on it goes.
[Which reminds me of a cute joke about a woman at a social event answering questions about her husband, saying: Bob writes books. Bob writes many books. Bob writes big books. Bob writes books for children.]
Facts Are Interpreted
While we think of facts as something like bedrock that cannot be challenged we can easily see that facts are open to interpretation and misinterpretation. People mix facts with their interpretation of those facts until the same fact can be seen as evidence for opposite claims.
The fact of similarity between species was interpreted by Charles Darwin as evidence for each species evolving from the other. But Behe pointed out that those features had to devolve and re-evolve for each new species which is quite ridiculous. Christians realise that the similarity between the species shows that there was a single designer who utilised the same design concepts in diverse and unrelated species.
In view of the diversity of interpretation given to the facts they become somewhat lame and end up like putty at times, being moulded to suit the ideas of the interpreter, rather than the reality behind the facts.
Truth is Dynamic
While facts are mere data that can be interpreted in different ways, Truth is a living and powerful entity of vastly superior force. Religion and philosophy have done little with facts, but the subject of Truth is a most compelling one.
The Bible asserts that Truth has the power to liberate people. Jesus Christ declared the potency of Truth when He asserted that “the Truth will set you free”!
“And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (Jesus Christ) John 8:32
It cannot be equally said, “You will know the facts and the facts will set you free”, because the facts may lead to various interpretations. The Truth is not subject to personal interpretation.
When people realise the Truth about a situation they are released from misconceptions, fears, doubts, and so on. Truth has a liberating power.
Truth Has Personality
What sets truth far apart from facts, despite the times when a fact appears to be the same as the truth, is that the Truth has personality. Jesus Christ personally declared Himself to be “truth”. So Truth is not a static fact, but a living personality. That’s why the Truth is dynamic, filled with liberating power.
“Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.” (Jesus Christ) John 14:6
The Truth is so awesome. It is an expression of the very personality of Jesus Christ. To know Jesus is to know Truth. To know Jesus is to be set free, because the Truth sets people free.
“If the Son therefore makes you free, you will be free indeed.” (Jesus Christ) John 8:36
Truth Blitzes Facts
The most exciting thing about Truth is that Truth completely blitzes the facts. While the facts can line up with truth and while they can be thought to be equivalent with the truth, they are proven to be empty when they come up against the Truth.
Have I confused you? Let me see if I can unpack that for you.
The facts may be that you have no money and no food. That’s a sad reality that should have you distressed and fearful. But those facts are mere data which can be blown away by the Truth. The Truth is that “my God will supply all my needs” and “let the poor say I am rich” and “with God nothing is impossible”. As you stand on the Truth you can see the facts dispensed with in an instant.
Millions of people have experienced that, and testimonies abound of people who confidently rested on the Truth, despite the facts, and saw God come through time and time again. George Mueller and Heidi Baker are famous examples of this kind of faith.
The facts may be that you have a terminal disease. That’s the sad reality the doctor tells you. But those facts are mere data which can be blitzed by the Truth. The Bible declares that you were healed by the whipping of Jesus (1Peter 2:24). There are thousands of testimonies of people who rejected the facts in order to claim the Truth, and the Truth set them free from the facts.
What is Truth?
Pilate famously asked Jesus “What is truth?” Ironically the one who was truth stood before Pilate. Pilate did not find truth because he did not realise that Truth is a divine personality, not an interpretation of the facts.
Truth is not dependent on the facts. Truth is not a product of man’s powers of deduction. Truth is supernatural and eternal. It is “out of this world” and enters the world as a work of God’s grace. We receive the Truth when we receive Jesus. We find the Truth in God’s Word, because Jesus is also the “Word of God” and the “Word made flesh”.
You can live above the facts and explore the divine possibilities provided by the Truth, when you recognise that Truth is not a “what” but a “who”. Truth is a person. What is true about Jesus is True Truth.
Get to know the truth about Jesus, because when you know the Truth, the Truth sets you free, and you are free indeed!