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Wednesday
Sep302009

Theological Term of the Week

veracity
God’s perfection whereby “all of his knowledge and words are both true and the final standard of truth”1; that perfection of [God’s] being by virtue of which He fully answers to the idea of the Godhead, is perfectly reliable in His revelation, and sees things as they really are”2; also called truthfulness.

  • From scripture:
    God is not man, that he should lie,
    or a son of man, that he should change his mind.
    Has he said, and will he not do it?
    Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
    (Numbers 23:19 ESV)
    So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. (Hebrews 6:17-18 ESV)
  • From The Body of Divinity by Thomas Watson
  • The truth of God, is a great pillar for our faith. Were he not a God of truth—we could not believe him—our faith would be an empty dream. But he is truth itself, and not a word which he has spoken shall fall to the ground.

    The truth of God, is the object of trust. The truth of God is an immovable rock, on which we may venture our salvation. Isa 59:15, “Truth fails,” that is—truth on earth fails—but not truth in heaven. God can as well cease to be God, as cease to be true. Has God said, he “will do good to the soul who seeks him,” and he will “give rest to the weary.” Here is a safe anchor-hold, he will not alter the thing which has gone out of his lips. The truth of the God of heaven is engaged for believers. Can we have better security? The whole earth hangs upon the word of God’s power—and shall not our faith hang upon the word of God’s truth? Where can we rest our faith, but upon God’s faithfulness? There is nothing else we can securely believe in, but the truth of God. To trust in ourselves is to build upon quick sands; but the truth of God is a golden pillar for faith to rest upon. God cannot deny himself. “If we believe not—yet he abides faithful; he cannot deny himself.” Not to believe God’s veracity, is to affront God. “He who believes not, has made God a liar.” A person of honor cannot be more affronted or provoked, than when he is not believed, and called a liar. He who denies God’s truth, says that God’s promise is no better than a forged deed. Can there be a greater affront offered to God?

  • From Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem
  • We might ask what it means to be the true God as opposed to other beings who are not God. It must mean that God in his own being or character is the one who fully conforms to the idea of what God should be: namely, a being who is infinitely perfect in power, in wisdom, in goodness, in lordship over time and space, and so forth. But we may further ask, whose idea of God is this? What idea of God must one conform to in order to be the true God?

    At this point our train of thought becomes somewhat circular, for we must not say that a being must conform to our idea of what God should be like in order to be the true God! We are mere creatures! We cannot define what the true God must be like! So we must say that it is God himself who has the only perfect idea of what the true God should be like. And he himself is the true God because in his being and character he perfectly conforms to his own idea of what the true God should be. In addition, he has implanted in our minds a reflection of his own idea of what the true God must be, and this enables us to recognize him as God.

Learn more:

  1. Richard L. Strauss: Let God Be True!
  2. John Gill: Of the Veracity of God
  3. Wayne Grudem: The Communicable Attributes of God: Wisdom, Truthfulness and Faithfulness (mp3)
  4. From my attributes of God posts: God’s Truthfulness

1Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem
2Systematic Theology, Louis Berkhof

Do you have a a theological term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it.

I’m also interested in any suggestions you have for tweaking my definitions or for additional (or better) articles or sermons/lectures for linking. I’ll give you credit and a link back to your blog if I use your suggestion.

Clicking on the Theological Term graphic at the top of this post will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms organized in alphabetical order or by topic.

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