The Word of Truth was spoken at the beginning of time. It was spoken as a command, “Let there be…” The result was Creation. Interesting, to say the least! The Word of Truth was spoken by the Father to His Son, “For I have not spoken on my own authority… What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me” (John 12:49, 50). Here again, it was spoken as a command: “The Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment – what to say and what to speak” (John 12:49). The Word of Truth was spoken by the Father to the Son, then to the twelve apostles who were guided, no less, by the Spirit of Truth. John 16:13-14 says, “When the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak.” The authority clearly resides within the hands of the Father. Ultimately, the Word is the Word of the Father, the Word of God, the Word of Jehovah God.
For this very reason, we, as the created being, do not have any right or liberty to tamper with the Word. We do as the Son did; we do as the Spirit did; we do as the apostles did; and we listen, obey, and teach others to obey everything that is commanded (Matthew 28:18-20). If ever there was a “Do not mess with exclusion zone,” this would be it!
The Word cannot be altered by us (Revelation 22:18-20; Deuteronomy 4:2-3) and God Himself will not alter it: “I will not violate my covenant, or alter the Word that went forth from my lips” (Psalms 89:34, cf Titus 1:2).
The Truth needs only to be rightly handled or rightly divided (2 Timothy 2:15) as we pass it on and teach it. The idea behind the Greek here is that of cutting a straight path like a plough and a furrow – the line needs to be as straight as an arrow. We, as women, may sometimes feel tempted to sugar-coat the word in order to make it more palatable. We might be tempted to paraphrase it in order to make it more digestible. We might even be tempted to pick and choose that which we personally find attractive, ignoring that which is difficult and hard, in order to make us all feel comfortable and at ease with where we are at spiritually.
The Son of God said this to the Jewish believers: “If you continue in my Word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32). These people already believe. Clearly, it is not enough just to be a believer. We are told to continue/ abide in the Word. The Greek word for continue is MENO and means “abide, live, dwell.” The action is continuous– continuous until the day we leave this earth. It involves reading, studying, memorizing, digging, and meditating. Being a student of the Word is who we need to be. It is how we need to be identified.
We are told that if we abide in the Word, then we will know the Truth. “If” is a conditional word and means we have a choice. In other words, if we continue in the word then the result will be that we will know the Truth. In similar manner, if we do not continue in the Word then the result will be that we will not know the Truth. Is the Truth knowable then? Absolutely, it is! The Lord says it is, so it is. We can park on it. We can stand on it. We can know the truth if we live, abide, dwell, and continue in it. That is good news, sisters! The other important and compelling fact is that there is only one way of knowing the truth. It is not through self-help books, motivational books, “How to be a good…” this or that books etc., etc., but by continuing in the word. This is the only way. Let’s ponder the question, “Are we really women of the word?” Am I a woman of the word? Does the word and the truth define who I am? Before we answer this, let me encourage us all to be honest– brutally honest. Are we recognized by others, as women of the word? And finally, do we really, truly believe and are we really, truly convicted of the fact that we have the truth?
By Fiona Smith
Fiona and her husband serve with the Hermleigh church of Christ in Hermleigh, TX. She is a homeschooling mother to their children and holds a BA with honors in English and History, and an MA in American History and Literature from Nottingham University in England. They have served as missionaries in England, Italy, and America.