Shepherds Conference 2024 General Session 2

March 6, 11:00 a.m. 
Speaker: Mike Riccardi
Topic: The Triumph of Truth
Passage: Romans 9:10–28 


Message Summary: 

There has been historically and there is today widespread confusion on the concept of truth itself. In every era of human history, people have wrestled with the nature of truth. 

Different eras have held different understandings relating to truth. Premodernism held that truth could be known by divine revelation. Later, the Modernist movement asserted that truth could be known through rigorous testing of the natural world and making rational deductions. 

And now in the current movement of Postmodernism, people are increasingly doubtful that absolute truth can be known at all. Within this worldview, all truth claims basically boil down to opinions.

When you look at the world today, it doesn’t seem that truth is triumphing.

The Vital Importance of Truth

If there is no objective standard by which we can measure truth claims, both morality and reality descend into pure subjectivism and the result is absurdity. The choice has always been between the God of the Bible or absurdity. Our culture has long ago rejected the triune God of the Bible and they are coming down now to the end of the slide of absurdity.

There is no greater example of this than in the transgender movement. There is no more brazen denial of reality than to suggest that a man can be a woman if he feels like it. 

Our society is eager to embrace transgenderism because it is eager to deny the absolute truth and objective standard of morality that are incompatible with transgenderism. People reject the truth not for intellectual reasons but for moral reasons. Because if they were forced to admit that there is an objective standard of truth, they would be forced to recognize that they are accountable to the God of truth.

The modern culture shouts at us that we're not loving when we speak biblical truth. But love does not rejoice in unrighteousness (1 Cor 13:6). A culture that revels in unrighteousness and rejects the existence of truth can have absolutely no idea what love is. 

Love and truth are inextricably bound together. They’re bound in the nature of God, and they're bound inextricably as the sphere in which the Christian life exists. You can’t separate love from truth. Any society that rejects the truth will not only find itself unloving but in chaos.

We love like Jesus loves when we warn of sin’s mortal danger and proclaim the gospel of truth by which sinners can be rescued. Don’t be deterred from lovingly issuing those warnings and proclaiming that gospel. 

We are here to be the salt and light of the earth—to shine forth the light of the truth in a world that is full of darkness. We need to be equipped with the Word of God to sound forth through the world a clear answer to the question, “What is truth?”

5 Pillars of the Truth of the Christian Worldview

1. The Value of Truth

Absolute truth is essential to the Christian worldview. Truth is inestimably valuable. 

So essential is the truth that Christ summarizes His reason for coming to earth saying he came "to testify of the truth" (John 18:37). The people of God are defined as those who are of the truth (1 John 3:19; 2 Cor 13:18).

You must be one who loves the truth. 

2. The God of Truth.

The triune God is the God of truth. He is the living and true God, incapable of erring, who knows all things as they are (Isaiah 65:16). He is the God who cannot lie and who is unfailingly faithful (Ps 31:5). 

Truth is that which is consistent with the triune God of truth. The culture is in chaos because its people have rejected God from being Lord over them and have embraced a lie in His place.

3. The Word of Truth

God has graciously revealed His mind through Scripture. Because God is truth and He cannot lie, His words are the Word of truth. Both individually and collectively, we must confess John 17:17, "Your Word is truth."

God’s Word is the truth itself. It is the measure of every truth claim

Truth is that which is consistent with the inerrant Word of God as revealed in the inerrant and sufficient Scriptures. The culture is in chaos because it has rejected God's unchanging Word and has exalted in its place man's own twisted reasoning and fluctuating feelings.

4. The Gospel of Truth 

The central message communicated in the Bible is the gospel of truth. It is the gospel of Jesus Christ— of forgiveness of sins by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, apart from works. 

The gospel of your salvation is the message of the truth (Col 1:5–6; Jas 1:18) Every other proposed way to God stands opposed to the truth. 

Truth is that which is consistent with the gospel of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. The culture is in chaos because it has rejected this wonderful news. 

5. The Reality of Truth 

Nothing can be true which manifestly contradicts that which is real. The truth represents what has actually happened. It is consistent with reality as it is.

Truth is not variable from person to person or society to society because reality is not variable from person to person or society to society. We all inhabit the same world made by the same God, who governs providence by the same inviolable laws of nature and logic.

God is God and we are not. His moral law as revealed in the Bible is the rule of our lives. If we disobey, we are liable to His judgment. The only way of escape is faith in Jesus Christ. Someone may not believe those facts, but the truth is true no matter who believes it

Truth is that which corresponds to reality. The culture is in chaos because it has rejected reality and embraced that which is subjectivist fantasy and self-determination. 


Our culture has exchanged the truth of God for a lie and God has given them over to a debased mind (Rom 1:25–32). If our society has come under this judgment, we must come under the prescription: proclaim the gospel (Rom 1:16–17).

God still opens the blinded minds of the unbelieving by the proclamation of the Word of truth. Faith comes not by philosophical speculation or cantankerous bickering, but by hearing the message concerning Christ and being renewed by the Spirit of God.

So do not retreat from this culture. Engage it. Have the difficult, annoying conversations, answer the hard questions, and equip your people to do the same.

Be salt and light. Proclaim the truth—the truth of God, the truth of God’s Word, the truth of the Gospel. Truth will triumph in the end. Do all for the truth.