By Paul Smithson
From money to diamonds, almost everything of value has been counterfeited. The U.S. Secret Service reported it confiscated $25 million worth of counterfeit bills in one year alone. I wonder how many people have bought cubic zirconium for the real thing? In a world of counterfeit substitutes, when it comes to God’s truth and the blessings that only it can provide, we must be sure that we do as Solomon declared– “Buy the truth, and sell it not” (Prov. 23:23).
What is the value of truth? Truth is the answer to the highest form of freedom. When we think of things of great value, certainly we think of the value of freedom. What prices men have paid for freedom. Just think of the hundreds of thousands that have died fighting for, or fleeing to, freedom. Yet, what greater enslavement has been known to man that the bondage of sin and death? We all, when we succumb to the temptation of Satan, find ourselves in the chains of captivity separated from God (Rom. 3:23; Isa. 59:2). It is only the Lord’s truth that can break those bonds. “If you abide in My word then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” (Jn. 8:3; cf. Heb. 2:14-15). That is the value of truth! No one desires to be in bondage, especially spiritual bondage, for to die in that bondage is to be eternally lost. It is God’s truth alone that makes us free and we can have the freedom it provides if we are willing to pay the price.
Truth’s value cannot be measured with dollars and cents, nor can it be bought with the works of righteousness which we have done (Tit. 3:5). Salvation from sin is a free gift of God through the sacrifice of Jesus. The Scriptures teach, however, that there are obligations we must meet, sacrifices we must make, to obtain the benefits and blessings of truth.
Many in our society are looking for the cheapest and easiest way out, even when it comes to religion. Some people want to be called a Christian by taking just enough of the Bible to ease their conscience, but not enough to condemn their wickedness, so they accept a counterfeit truth. There are many in pulpits throughout the world who offer a counterfeit truth. Some people are willing to accept the ideas and opinions of men as a substitute for the truth. Yet, only the truth can save (cf. Gal. 1:6-ff).
There are some things for which there are adequate substitutes. For example, one may buy a generic brand of salt instead of the more expensive brand name. One may buy an oil filter at a department store that is just as good as the ones obtained from the auto dealer for a cheaper price. But what may be done with food or auto parts cannot be done with God’s truth. There is no substitute for the truth. Truth cannot be bought on bluelight specials or with bonus-cards and coupons. There is but one Truth and there is but one price by which it can be obtained. Jesus declared the price of truth saying, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (Matt. 16:24). To obtain the freedom of truth is to become a committed disciple of Jesus whatever the sacrifice. The price of truth is the price of self denial, to surrender your all to the Lord, to do His will at all cost. The price of truth involves turning from past sins (Rom. 6:3-11). It will cost you your pride and worldly friends who won’t except your change in life. It will require your time to serve in the Lord’s kingdom. The occasion arose for many throughout the centuries when truth cost them their lives as they stood for it.
The question is whether or not you are willing to make the commitment of paying the required price for truth and what it can provide. Just ask yourself, “How valuable is salvation”? Is it worth giving your all, your heart, soul, and mind to the Lord? Jesus said it is. He compared the kingdom of heaven to a treasure hidden in the field which a man found and hid and from joy over it he went and sold all that he had that he might buy that field. He also compared the kingdom of heaven to a merchant seeking fine pearls, who upon finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it (Mt. 13:44-ff). Was the price these men had to pay worth what they acquired? Yes! It cost them everything but it was worth it. Jesus says, such is the kingdom of heaven.
The truth carries a substantial price. It calls for our complete submission and allegiance to the Lord throughout life. But the price, even though it may call for the suffering of persecutions, is far less important that the benefits of truth (cf. 2 Cor. 4:17).
Are you willing the “Buy the truth and sell it not?”