What is Truth and How Can We Know it For Ourselves?

knowing the truth

The Passage

1 John 2:20-23

20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. 21 I have not written to you because you don’t know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar, if not the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This one is the antichrist: the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; he who confesses the Son has the Father as well.

24 What you have heard from the beginning is to remain in you. If what you have heard from the beginning remains in you, then you will remain in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he himself made to us: eternal life.

 What is this “truth” John speaks of? How can we know the truth? (verses 20-21)

John talks about what we know in Christ in the previous verses. Read them here. To know Jesus is to know Truth Himself. John wrote of the truth that we are sinners, but Christ has come to be our Rescuer and Complete Forgiver. (1 John 1:9-2:2) John says the truth is that God is perfect love and when we walk with Him, we learn to love like Him. (1 John 2:3-6)


We have been forgiven (1 John 2:12), in Jesus we are conquerors of evil (1 John 2:13), and because of Christ’s love we are strong victors over sin and deception (1 John 2:14)! We act on this truth when we believe that Jesus is the Promised Messiah, the eternal Son of God known from the beginning. He came to live, die, and rise again to pay for our debt of sin. (1 John 4:8) This knowledge does not mean that we don’t need teachers to remind us of Truth.

John was such a teacher. (verse 21) If you read his full letter, you will find him teaching on the love of God and what Christ did for us. He teaches us this truth will be alive in Christians and that characteristics such as love are the indicators that prove we have possessed and lived out the truth.

We shall know the truth and the truth will set us free.” (John 8:32)

john 8- 32 truth

The truth is: when we sin, we are slaves to it, but Christ came to be the payment for that sin. (1 John 4:8)

When we believe Him at His Word and accept His beautiful gift of eternal life, He frees us from the slavery of sin and the eternal consequence of separation from God. The Holy Spirit comes to live inside us and guide us into godliness, enabling us to live like Jesus. (2 Peter 1:3-11)


What Satan Does With Truth.

Satan takes the truth and twists it to fit his own agenda, therefore, we must take care to be deeply rooted in Truth. It is vitally important for us to practice the spiritual disciplines to keep us from being enslaved again.

Let me remind you as John reminds us, we may still sin.

My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.

1 John 2:1

But don’t lose hope for “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

How to Fight Satan & Sin

We should practice self-examination for sin, asking the Spirit to convict us. John Wesley asked himself 22 questions. For a more contemporary list, Anne Graham Lotz speaks of personal examination in her book, Jesus in Me. In her experience, she was challenged in self-examination by reading the 10 commandments three times. The first time, she didn’t recognize any sin in her, but as she read them again and again, the Holy Spirit convicted her of ways she had indeed broken His commands. She offers a deeper explanation of these tools in her book, Expecting to See Jesus.

This is an excerpt from Mandy’s Digging Deeper Study at Gracefully Truthful. Click below to read more.

gracefully truthful

Confidence Day 12 Confidence In Truth: Digging Deeper – Gracefully Truthful

Other Posts on 1 John by Mandy

Confidence in His Appearing

What’s the Big Deal About Telling Lies

About Mandy Farmer

Pastor's Wife (retired) &  Chronic Pain Warrior blogs about how to make it through anything by relating her own life experiences to her writing. She is passionate about her love for the Lord and desires to spread that passion to others. She has a great desire to encourage women who are following behind her.

View all posts by Mandy Farmer

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