"I Am The Truth"
When I was nineteen years old Bro. Henry Mahan came to my hometown for a series of meetings, and I went to hear him. I remember distinctly some of the messages he preached. How blessed of God they were to my heart! I also remember a statement he made, which seemed to me to be out of order and confusing. He said, to the congregation, "You don't arrive at Christ through doctrine. You arrive at doctrine through Christ." As a young theology student, with what I proudly assumed was a head full of knowledge, I thought, "That is not right. A man has to know doctrinal truth before he can know Christ."
Today, I understand the meaning of my dear friend's words. And I see their importance. "YOU DON'T ARRIVE AT CHRIST THROUGH DOCTRINE. YOU ARRIVE AT DOCTRINE THROUGH CHRIST." That is exactly what the Lord Jesus said when he declared, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." Christ is the Way to God. Without him there is no going. Christ is the Truth of God. Without him there is no knowing. And Christ is the Life. Without him there is no living. If you would go to God, you must be in THE WAY, which is Christ. If you would have eternal life, the gift of God, you must have THE LIFE, which is Christ. If you would know the truth of God, you must know THE TRUTH, which is Christ.
All divine truth, all spiritual knowledge, comes to men only by divine revelation. And God reveals his truth to faith. We know and understand the truth of God only by believing the testimony of God (Heb. 11:3). And that begins with believing the Son of God. "He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true" (John ).
True gospel knowledge, true doctrinal knowledge is not the result of diligent study and precise reasoning. It is not a position we come to by following a path of precise, intelligent logic. Rather it is that which we know and understand through faith, by reading, hearing and believing the Word of God. Believing Christ, we be- lieve everything revealed in and by Christ, no matter how inconsistent his revelation may be to man's per- verted reason and experience. And believing, we under- stand. Knowledge is given to those who believe. "You don't arrive at Christ through doctrine. You arrive at doctrine through Christ,"who declares,"I AM THE TRUTH."