The Attributes of God – Truthfulness

Yesterday my family and I read in our after breakfast Bible reading time the section on God’s truthfulness in Chapter 12, “The Character of God: ‘Communicable’ Attributes (Part 1),” of Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology (Zondervan, 1994). Some theologians, including Grudem, understand this attribute to mean both (1) that God is the true God and (2) that all of His knowledge and declarations are true and the standard of truth, but others understand it to mean just the latter. Here I’ll consider just the latter.

That God’s knowledge is true is indicated by Elihu when he refers to God as “him who is perfect in knowledge” (Job 37:16, ESV; all Bible quotations are from the ESV).

That God’s declarations are true has two aspects, that what He says corresponds completely with reality and that He is faithful and reliable in what He promises. Two Bible passages affirming that what God says corresponds completely with reality and two Bible passages affirming that God is faithful and reliable in what He promises are:
– “Every word of God proves true” (Proverbs 30:5a).
– “…God, who never lies…” (Titus 1:2)
– “God is not a 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 do it?” (Numbers 23:19; the speaker is Balaam).
– “And now, O Lord GOD, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant” (2 Samuel 7:28; the speaker is David).

That God’s truthfulness is communicable in part to us should encourage us to grow in knowledge and to always speak the truth. Two Bible passages encouraging the latter are:
– “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another” (Ephesians 4:25).
– “Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices” (Colossians 3:9).

These commands are given because God, being completely truthful, loves truth and hates falsehood. Two Bible passages expressing this are:
– “Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who act faithfully are his delight” (Proverbs 12:22).
– “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).

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