Jesus clearly identified God’s word- scripture- as being the source of truth: "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (Jn. 17:17). The Psalmist wrote the same message: “Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, And Your law is truth” (Ps. 119:142), and again, “You are near, O LORD, And all Your commandments are truth” (Ps. 119:151). It is because God is the source of scripture (2 Tim. 3:16-17) that we understand scripture to be the source of truth. For that reason, we can rely upon scripture to guide us as to what is right, as to what is truly God’s will; “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path” (Ps. 119:105).
Peter, in his sermon on Pentecost, did not try to persuade the Jews gathered there on that occasion that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior and our Lord, purely on his say-so alone. He noted that he and the other apostles had actually seen Jesus arisen from the grave (vs. 32), but he did not try to persuade the Jews solely on that basis.
Peter did not try to convince the Jews of the deity of Jesus based only upon the miracles that He performed. He reminded them of the “miracles, wonders and signs” that Jesus had performed in the open and that were known of by the Jews themselves (vs. 22), but that was not the extent of Peter’s reasoning.
While Peter affirmed that the apostles had indeed seen the risen Savior, and while he reminded the Jews of the abundance of miracles that Jesus had performed during His public ministry, demonstrating the power and authority of God behind what He taught, probably Peter’s strongest appeal was based on scripture. Of the 26 verses that cover that portion of Peter’s sermon recorded in Acts 2:14-39, ten of them are direct quotes from Old Testament scripture. We can believe in Jesus because He fulfilled the scriptures that prophesied of Him!
When it comes to what we believe and teach and practice as Christians, our source for determining the truth is scripture. God has communicated His will to us through His word. We teach what we teach as to salvation because that is what scripture teaches about salvation. We worship the way we worship because that is how we are taught in scripture to worship. We strive to maintain the structure of the church that we do because that is the structure taught in scripture. We believe what we believe as to eternity, Heaven and Hell because that is what is revealed on those subjects in scripture.
Too many people do not think carefully enough as to why they believe what they believe. Too many do not give enough consideration as to how they are living their lives as compared to how the Bible teaches us to live. Too many people give too much emphasis as to how they feel about something rather than as to what God’s word says. When we live by the teachings of God’s word, rightly applied, we know we are right. In this day and age of such skepticism in regards to truth, we can be assured that we are living in the truth if we live by the teachings of the Bible. God’s word is our guide book, our source for truth…
Gary L. Hutchens