The Truth and the Lie (Part 2) – Gospel in Life

The Truth and the Lie (Part 2)

Tim Keller |  March 19, 1995

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  • Doctrine
1 John 2:18-27
RS 260-07


This sermon was preached by Timothy J. Keller at Redeemer Presbyterian Church on Mar 19, 1995. Series: 1 John, Part 2 – MP3. Scripture: 1 John 2:18-27

1 John 2:18–27

In 1 John 2, we find four important ideas about Christian beliefs: they exist, they’re important, they can be denied, and they have life. This section of the Bible tells us that these beliefs matter and warns us about people or ideas that might lead us astray. These true beliefs come from God’s special touch, and we’re called to stay close to Him.

1. Beliefs exist

Being a Christian means believing certain things to be true, especially that Jesus is the Christ and God’s Son who became human. Some people think it’s enough just to live a good life, no matter what you believe. But what we believe shapes how we understand what’s good and how we should live. Saying beliefs don’t matter shows a lack of deep thinking. So, having a set of core beliefs is key to being a Christian.

2. Beliefs are important

The church should put beliefs before growth, even if it means losing some members. We must stand up for and speak out the truth, especially when faced with teachings like Gnosticism that deny Jesus is God. Putting truth before growth not only protects the beliefs but also can lead to growth and the preservation of truth.

3. Beliefs can be denied

We need to focus on the central belief that Jesus is God’s Son who became human, lived, died, and rose again to save us. Rejecting this belief isn’t just a mistake, but a conscious lie. How people react to stories that echo the gospel, which J.R.R. Tolkien called “eucatastrophes” (where good wins over evil), shows we instinctively understand this truth. So, denying it is like lying to ourselves.

4. Beliefs have life

God’s special touch helps Christians recognize truth, and this goes beyond just understanding with our brains; God’s Spirit has to make the truth alive in us. You can see this touch when truths deeply change people, showing that truth is their only hope. When Christians take part in the Lord’s Supper, they should welcome this living truth and let the deep truths of Jesus’ death really touch their hearts.



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