There’s a story in the Old Testament of the prophet Elijah going to the house of a widow in the town of Zarephath (1 Kings 17:8-24). While he is staying at the house the widow’s son becomes sick and dies. The woman basically cries out against Elijah, who takes the boy up to his room and cries out to God. The boy returns to life. Elijah brings the boy back to his mother and she says, “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.”
Now I know your word is true, she said. When? After the boy was brought back from death unto life. This story simply goes to show that the evidence of truth is life… real, spiritual, resurrection life.
Most people look for truth in the realm of arguments and reason and proof-texting. “Such-and-such is true because so-and-so said it is!” But even in the field of evangelical Christianity this kind of view is sorely lacking. You can take all the “truth” there is in the Bible and unload it on a person and kill them dead on the spot. If you don’t believe me, ask Paul. I’m only alluding to what he said in 2 Corinthians 3:6:
“The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
Moses brought truth down from the moutain, but the people weren’t up to par so three thousand of them died on the spot. Now don’t get me wrong-the problem, as Paul says, was not with the law but with them-but hear what I’m saying. The law came by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. During the inaguration of the ministry of condemnation 3000 people died, but on the opening day of the ministry of the Spirit (Acts 2) 3000 people were made alive!
My point is, it is not just truth we need in a purely academic or textual sense. We need truth in the Spirit. If you’re not convinced of this then go on Facebook and read certain people’s status updates, or go to certain churches on Sunday morning and listen to the guy behind the pulpit. Brothers and sisters every day are using the scripture like a sword to slice one another up, all in the name of standing for the truth!
Hopefully you get what I’m saying. The evidence, or outcome of truth is spiritual life. When the word in your mouth is truth, and that truth is more than a mere theory to you but something that is wrought into your very being, then you will impart something of spiritual life to those you come in contact with. This is the meaning of the story in 1 Kings, and it is the essence of the ministry of the Spirit which Paul writes about in 2 Corinthians.
May the Lord make every one of us, through whatever means necessary, ministers of the Spirit of life!