I enjoyed the peace and quiet of Manila during Holy Week. One thing I noticed was the incredible variety of religious programs that were on television. Many religious groups were using this week as an opportunity to share their faith.

It is no surprise that people are confused. One question I am often asked is, “why are there so many different religious groups?” or “how can I know the truth?” These are really good questions, and I hope to help you answer them in a simple way.

Whenever I do Bible studies, I challenge the student to do something very simple: believe and follow the Bible, which is God’s word.* As long as you are doing this, you can be confident that you are in the truth. People’s opinions and beliefs may change, but God’s truth never changes.

Here are a few Bible passages about Scripture and truth:

Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved.
-Matthew 5:17-18 (Jesus in the “Sermon on the Mount”)

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
-Hebrews 4:12

You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
-2nd Timothy 3:15-17

(Passages quoted from the New Living Translation of the Bible)

Any preacher, church, or religious group should be judged on their faithfulness to God’s word. Other sources (traditions, religious literature, a persuasive preacher, claims of miracles, etc) simply do not have the same authority as the Bible. This means you need to learn to study God’s word for yourself so that you will not be fooled. In the next article I will give you some simple steps to do this more effectively.

Please read the next post in this series: Discerning the Truth, Part 2

*This article is not intended to explain and defend the authority of the Bible. I am writing under the assumption that you (the reader) already believe in the Bible. I can direct you to other books or websites if you have questions about the Bible.