There is a whacky scene in the Arnold Schwarzenegger film True Lies. Arnold’s super tough character is juiced up with truth serum and tied to a chair awaiting a torture facilitated interrogation. The serum works well enough for Arnie to answer his tormentor’s question truthfully:
SAMIR: Is there anything you
would like to tell me before we start?
HARRY: Yes. I’m going to kill you pretty soon.
SAMIR: I see. How exactly?
HARRY: Well, I thought I’d break your neck, then use you as a human shield, then
kill the guard with that knife there on your table and take his gun.
SAMIR: And what makes you
think you can do all that?
HARRY: Because I picked the lock on these handcuffs…
And then he did what he said he was gonna do.
The gospel is about truth, but it is also about doing what it says. Paul wrote to Titus with a different plan to deal with Cretans than Arnold’s character.
Titus 1:1-5 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, (2) in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began (3) and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior; (4) To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. (5) This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you—
The idea is to have truth about God result in actions which correspond to that truth.
Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, (12)training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, (13) waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, (14) who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
The truths of God, and man, and sin, and judgment, and so on are not just idle interests and speculations. They are revealed action plans intended to be lived out. Transformation, from being driven by our cravings to being driven by a character shaped by God’s revelation of who we are in his world, is how we know the truth serum is actually working.