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  Valiant for the Truth   “Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people! Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! for they be all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men. And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the LORD. Take ye heed every one of his neighbour, and trust ye not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour will walk with slanders. And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity. Thine habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know me, saith the LORD. Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will melt them, and try them; for how shall I do for the daughter of my people? Their tongue is as an arrow shot out; it speaketh deceit: one speaketh peaceably to his neighbour with his mouth, but in heart he layeth his wait.” (Jeremiah 9:1-8)   I want to talk about “truth” today. I especially want to talk about the need that we have to be “Valiant for the Truth.” In our text passage, we find out that this principle is addressed, but from a negative perspective. Jeremiah found, in his time and place, that the people of Judah were not valiant for the truth upon the earth. It was his hope, and the desire of the Lord, that the People of Judah and Jerusalem would contend for the truth of God and God’s Word, and that they would valiantly stand up for what was right and just in the Sight of God. Instead, the people amongst whom Jeremiah lived – the people that he ministered to – were liars, and deceivers, and men who would twist the truth and contort the Words of God for their own benefit. Our text tells us that the people had bent tongues that shot out dangerous words. (See v. 3, 8.) Does this sound familiar? Is not this the same attitude of the people amongst whom we live today? Doesn’t this seem to be a good description of the people and society that we are a part of today?   Sadly, I believe that some of this attitude will rub off (and has done so) on the Christians of our day and age. We do not highly esteem righteousness and honesty and truth today. We have partaken of the sins of the people, and we have, in many ways, compromised our own Christianity in favor of a more worldly existence.   But, I do not want to speak from a negative perspective today. Instead, I want to be an encouragement to you (and me), and remind us all to be strong, upright, and brave. I want us to look at this principle from a positive aspect today. I want us to exhort ourselves and others to be “Valiant for the Truth.” Even if the world and apostate Christianity will continue in sin, deceit, and lies; let us, the people of God, be diligent, wise, and valiant for the truth.   The word “valiant” can be defined as, brave and steadfast. Or, we can define the word this way: marked by, exhibiting, or carried out with courage or determination: heroic. Another synonym for “valiant” would be bold. These might be words (or meanings) which we might not normally apply to the faithful servants of God; but, when it comes to the matter of right and wrong; when it comes to the matter of justice; when it comes to the matter of righteousness; when it comes to the matters of God’s Word; we, the children of God must be brave, courageous, determined, and steadfast in standing up for God’s Word and His Ways and His Righteousness. Jude said, “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 1:3)   Let’s consider three ways in which we should be “Valiant for the Truth.”   Brave to Proclaim the Truth   Those who are the Children of God in our day and age, must demonstrate bravery. If we are to properly serve God, if we are to properly contend for His Word and the faith that is delivered unto us; then, we must be brave and courageous. Those who follow after God must be brave to proclaim the truth. We should share this truth with others! We should cry out the Will and the Word of God to the world! Others must hear, so that they will be saved; others must hear so that they will obey the Word; others must hear so that the Will of God will be made known in the hearts and minds of the people.   Of course, it is a dangerous thing to proclaim the truth of God’s Word in the world that we live in today. There are many who oppose us; and there are dangers and distresses that will certainly confront us. This is why we must be valiant. This is why we must be brave. Jeremiah lived in a dangerous time, and yet he went about proclaiming the Word of God. “Thus saith the LORD, Go and get a potter's earthen bottle, and take of the ancients of the people, and of the ancients of the priests; And go forth unto the valley of the son of Hinnom, which is by the entry of the east gate, and proclaim there the words that I shall tell thee, And say, Hear ye the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem; Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, the which whosoever heareth, his ears shall tingle.” (Jeremiah 19:1-3) He would be persecuted because of the words and the truths which he proclaimed, yet he was courageous and determined and brave in the way in which he fulfilled God’s will and purpose for him and his ministry. Though men would attack him and evils would assail him, he was still brave to proclaim the words and truths that Israel and Judah needed to hear.   Maybe we should be brave and valiant for the Word of God in our day and time. Maybe we should proclaim the message that Jeremiah proclaimed: “The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Stand in the gate of the LORD'S house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these. For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour; If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt: Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.” (Jeremiah 7:1-7) Certainly, our Nation and our People are in need of a change. We need to amend our ways and our doings. Innocent blood is shed through abortion and murders; other gods are worshipped – even the gods of self and nature; judgment, justice, and truth are fallen in the street, and lying words are proclaimed as the truth.   And yet, we must be brave. We must withstand the evils of this day, and we must boldly preach the Word of God and the Justice and Truth which come from Heaven. Men have grown, if possible, even more wicked. Evil has waxed greater. Yet, the truth that comes from God – the Truth that is proclaimed in the Holy Scriptures – will never change.   Jesus Christ proclaimed truth wherever He went, during His earthly ministry. The Pharisees might have had ill intent for Him when they spoke these words, but they were right in what they said: “…Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth…” (Mark 12:14) Though the Pharisees and the others did not yet acknowledge Him, Jesus Christ was (and is) the personification of the Truth! He is the Word of God Incarnate!  His ministry on this earth was a reflection of that Truth and Word of God. I suppose that this is an attitude that we need to have – to disregard our own person, or the dangers that we might face, in favor of the truth. To have no regard for the person or place of those we minister to; to have no special regard for their power or prestige, but to give them the unadulterated truth of God’s Word. Rich or poor; young or old; Jew or Gentile; all need to have the Truth proclaimed unto them.   John the Baptist was like this as well: “For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife. For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her. And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet. But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod. Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask. And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger. And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath's sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her. And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison. And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother.” (Matthew 14:3-11) John the Baptist was “Brave to Proclaim the Truth,” and in the end, it cost him his mortal life. But, I am sure, that he was willing to die for the truth, and he did not count his life too dear. This attitude must be ours as well. We must be brave in the face of danger. We must be bold in the face of rebuke. Regardless of the cost, the truth must be proclaimed. Either we will proclaim the truth, or the Lord will raise up someone else to do so. The world must (and will) hear the truth.   Stalwart to Pursue the Truth   In order to be “Valiant for the Truth,” God requires more than just an occasional adherence to His Word, and He expects more than just a partial commitment to Him and His Ways. If we want to demonstrate an acceptable valiance in God’s service, we must follow after the truth of God’s Word, we must earnestly and consistently pursue truth and God’s judgment and justice.  It is not enough to proclaim this truth to others. We, ourselves, must take part in this pursuit of truth. We, ourselves, must love the truth of God’s Word, and always desire a deeper and more thorough understanding of God’s Word and His Will for us in our lives.   This will require steadfastness on our part. This will demand persistence on our part. This will demand a continual desire to please God, and to follow Jesus Christ. Our zeal will leave us from time to time. The fervor and the energy we once had may dissipate or lessen from time to time. But, we must continue and pursue in a valiant and stalwart manner. This is an attitude that is not much seen in Christianity today! And yet, we have the opportunity (and requirement) given to us of God, that we should be strong and unmovable in our belief and trust in His Word, and that we should be examples of consistency and determination in our service unto God and our pursuit of the truth.   The Apostle Paul told the Corinthians, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58) I believe that Paul’s words, and his encouragement to the Corinthians, is very similar to the precept that we are in consideration of today: to be “Valiant for the Truth.” There is always something more to be done. There is always another attack to defend against. There is always another temptation to resist. There is always another tribulation to overcome. There is always another sin to condemn. To be steadfast and stalwart is necessary, if a person wants to properly serve the Lord and contend for the truth of God’s Word.   We read in the Epistle to the Colossians, “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;” (Colossians 1:23) “Valiant for the Truth,” means that we continue in the faith grounded and settled. Don’t forsake the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! David once said, “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” (Psalms 55:22) We have a certainty and a confidence because of God and His power and His promises.   “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.” (Hebrews 3:12-15) Here is a simple truth: Sin is deceitful, but God’s Word is True. We need to be stalwart in pursuit of, and belief in, the Word of God and the Truth that is found in the Holy Scriptures.   Noble to Portray the Truth   So, in regards to the “Truth,” we must “Proclaim” and “Pursue.” And, in my final observation today, let’s notice that we ought to “Portray” the “Truth.”   I want you to know that those who are “Valiant for the Truth” are persons who have allied themselves to a higher purpose, and who have identified themselves with a better and more excellent cause. Therefore, it is our duty and privilege to portray a life and an existence that is separate from the world, and a life that is consecrated unto the service and calling of God. We must not dirty ourselves with the lies and deceits and injustices of the world! Instead, we must put on display – for the world of men to see – a life that shows forth the honest and upright and just character of the true sons and daughters of God! Unlike the wicked Jews of Jeremiah’s generation, we ought not take that which is good, and turn it into something that is evil! “For of old time I have broken thy yoke, and burst thy bands; and thou saidst, I will not transgress; when upon every high hill and under every green tree thou wanderest, playing the harlot. Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me? For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord GOD.” (Jeremiah 2:20-22)   A nominal Christian may not have a need for nobility – for he will probably not have many noble and pure thoughts. However, a dedicated Christian – a child of God who is “Valiant for the Truth” – ought to have every motivation to live an upright and pure life. It is not that we are “noble” in ourselves; but, it is that we have been brought into the Family of God, and we have been brought into a familial relationship with Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven. Shouldn’t our daily lives on this earth, show some respect for such a relationship that we have with God our Father and our dear Saviour, Jesus Christ? How can we casually indulge in sin; or, how can we indifferently serve our God, when we consider how dear and wonderful He is, and the relationship that we now have with Him? The writer to the Hebrews said, “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” (Hebrews 6:1-10) I would that you and I would live lives that would show forth better things, and things that accompany salvation. Oh, that we would live lives that would not be a disappointment to the expectations that God has for us!   The life of a Christian should reflect a certain nobility, for our spiritual lives are not of this mortal realm. The Holy Spirit has now taken up habitation within us. We ought not tarnish the lovely Name of Christ with evil associations and wicked intentions! Instead, let us devote ourselves and our lives to holy things, and to good and righteous endeavors. To nobly portray the truth of God’s Word to the world. “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)  


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