“Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?”
These familiar words are often addressed to a witness who is preparing to give a testimony in a court of law. As important as the testimony is considered, the person is asked to give an oath affirming the integrity of that which they are about to communicate. “Do you solemnly swear” … In other words, “Do you comprehend the gravity, and thus the need for absolute honesty?”
As the person responds in the affirmative… it is an avowal that the testimony given will be complete: nothing more, nothing less, and nothing inaccurate.
As applied to the Testament of God, as embodied in the Scriptures, the fullness of truth is paramount as well. As God reveals Himself, and His plan of redemption we understand there would be no room for error.… Thus, the components of our question above, applied to the Word of God affirm two key tenets of scriptural fidelity: infallibility and inerrancy.
Infallibility is the affirmation that regarding God and His plan of salvation, no needed (essential) information is lacking, and there are no added “fillers,” or extras – everything we need, nothing we do not need.
Inerrancy communicates that everything presented to us is accurate and true (as delivered in the original manuscripts).
To take away anything, to add anything, to introduce error, to alter truth in any way would be to compromise the Testimony of God.
Jesus affirms the quality of the word of God to sanctify. In John 17:17 Jesus declares both the integrity of the Word, and the fruit of it. Praying over His apostles for their future, He asks, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” In this High Priestly prayer, He acknowledges that the agency of refinement and sanctification is Truth.
For our salvation, for our sanctification, the Bible acts as a rule or a tangible standard of Truth. Christ Himself, as the Word, the Logos, is the Truth. John 14:6 states, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” And certainly, the Spirit of Truth is the Helper who fosters comprehension and application of that truth (John 14:17).
In the not-so-distant past, our original question finished with the statement, “So help you, God?” This question was both asked and responded to while the witness’s hand rested upon the Bible–the ultimate body of Truth, in an effort to assure the highest level of testimony.
The witness was encouraged to deliver integrity, to present all known facts relying upon God’s divine assistance. Those words, “So help you, God?” are not as popular these days in our courts of law. But, God’s integrity does not wane. He cannot lie (Titus 1:2), and His desire is to lead us into His Truth.
As a follower of Christ, I am commanded to abide in that corpus of Truth.
May I do that faithfully… So help me God.
A Special Note:
Hello, I want to thank you for your interest and support of TheShepherdsPen. In light of today’s political climate, and unstable social media, may I ask you to consider subscribing (click here to go to the subscribing page) to TheShepherdsPen.Com to ensure we don’t lose touch? In doing so, normally, you could expect two emails a week from me, one on Saturday, and an “Echo” on Wednesday. I know you have all kinds of things flooding your email boxes, and your time is valuable, so I do thank you for walking a portion of the journey together.