We are living in a world of buying and selling. Either directly or indirectly, we are dependent upon it for our livelihood. In the text for this article, Proverbs 23:23, the commercial terms “buy” and “sell” are used to teach an important lesson relative to the importance of accepting the truth. With this article we want to consider what it means to “buy the truth and sell it not.”

BUY THE TRUTH – Truth is the commodity we are urged to “buy”. With that in mind, we ask the question that Pilate asked of Jesus, “what is the truth” (John 18:38)? First, we see that it is the Word of God (John 17:17). Secondly, we see that Jesus is the manifestation of the truth (John 14:6). Thirdly, we take note that the gospe1 with its commands, facts and promises is the truth (Acts 26:25; Galatians 2:14). Once we come to the understanding of what the truth is, we ask, why “buy” it? The answer to this question is simple, it will save us (James 1:21) and is needed in every effort to live the Christian life.

BUY ONLY THE TRUTH – We realize that not everything that is sold is as good as it is said to be. We must be careful so as to buy what is authentic and not a “knockoff”. With that understood, we take note that not everything said to be the truth is the truth. Due to this, we need to examine what is said before we “buy” or accept it. We need to examine the doctrine that is taught to verify that it is from God (Acts 17:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:21). If the Bible teaches it, if it is in harmony with what the Bible teaches, then we should accept it. But if not, it should be rejected! We must discriminate between truth and error (John 5:39). Just about everything of importance has been counterfeited.  When it comes to matters of religion, it is important to reject all error, no matter who is teaching it.

BUY ALL THE TRUTH – It is just as bad not to “buy” all the truth as to “buy” what is not truth. Whether we buy a car or a sewing machine we want all of it. It will do no good to have just part of it. When it comes to the Bible, some will accept part of the truth, but not all of it. Some accept the truth concerning the need for salvation, but want to leave out baptism. Others accept the truth when it comes to the need to worship, but want to leave out Lord’s Supper or congregational singing.

WE MUST BUY THE TRUTH REGARDLESS OF THE PRICE – We need to be willing to “pay” whatever the price is (Luke 14:26-33). We must be willing to “pay” the price of self-denial (Luke 9:23). Whatever is necessary, we must be willing to “pay” the price, even to the very point of death (Revelation 2:10).

BUY THE TRUTH – It is not sufficient to hear about it. It is not sufficient to hear and know about it. It is not sufficient to recommend it to others. It is not sufficient to intend to buy it. To be blessed by the truth, we must “buy” or accept it (Matthew 7:21-23; John 8:32; Hebrews 5:9; James 1:22).

BUY THE TRUTH NOW – Scripture teaches the urgency of obeying now (2 Corinthians 6:2; James 4:14). Look at all the “cases of conversion” in Acts. Notice that in each case they obeyed when they heard, not putting it off, realizing the urgency of prompt acceptance of God’s Word. Too often we put it off until it is too late, and the “damage is done” (Acts 24:25; 26:28).

SELL IT NOT – When “purchasing” the truth, we need to do so as a permanent investment. It should be “purchased” as that which we intend not to part with. We do not “sell” it for livelihood, pleasure or anything else. We are cheated when we bargain it away, even if we do so for the whole world (Mark 8:36, 37).

It is important to “buy the truth and sell it not” while we can. Tomorrow may be too late. For those of us who have already “bought” it, we must be careful to not bargain it away as we are drawn away after worldly desires (James 1:14).