Truth or Dare? (Part 1)

Lesson 1: What is Truth?

Lessons in this series: 1 2 3 4 5 Overview Lesson Index

Lesson Workbook (PDF) Click here    
Two Truths, One Lie (Game) Click here
What is Truth (Survey) Click here  PDF Version


1. To introduce students to the tension of right and wrong
2. To help students think through their standards of right and wrong
3. To direct students toward the Scripture to determine between right and wrong


Discernment, Guidance, Honesty, Truth, Wisdom

Scripture Memorization

John 3:21

OPENING PRAYER (5 to 10 minutes)

GROUP BUILDING (15 minutes)

Two Truths, One Lie (Game) Click here

GETTING STARTED (10 minutes)

Today we’re going to start studying a little bit about what Truth is. We live in a world where, sometimes, knowing the truth can be confusing or difficult.  It is hard to discern right from wrong and, in some cases, to know whether or not there is a right and wrong.

Before we dig in, I want you to struggle with some scenarios. Take a look at the "What is Truth" survey in your workbook. Take a moment to really think about your answers, then write a simple yes or no.

(These surveys are designed to introduce students to the tension of truth and lies. You may be surprised at their answers. Be careful not to criticize how they respond. This is simply meant to be introductory. The instruction that follows will start to shape their stances of right and wrong.)

Take about 5 minutes to think through these and answer each question.

What is Truth Survey

1. Do you believe in “absolute truth” (that something can be true at all times in all situations for all people)?

2. Do you believe that some things are right sometimes and wrong at other times? For example. it’s wrong to cuss, but if you’re really mad it’s okay. (Use example if necessary.)

3. Do you believe that, in some cases, abortion is okay?

4. Do you believe that you should always tell the truth, no matter what?

5. Do you believe it is okay, in some situations, to live with someone before you get married?

6. Do you believe it is okay, in some situations, to talk behind people’s backs?

7. Do you believe it is okay to stretch the truth or lie if it means not hurting someone’s feelings?

8. Do you believe it is okay, to cheat on your homework? For example. you were out late the night before feeding the homeless and didn’t finish your homework. (Use example if necessary.)

9. Do you believe that if you’re a pretty good person and don’t do anything too bad that you will go to Heaven when you die?

10. Do you think it is okay to get revenge on someone?

11. Do you think that, in some situations, smoking is okay?

12. Do you think that, in some situations, stealing is okay? For example, your family is starving, so you steal food to feed them. (Use example if necessary.)

13. Do you think that religions other than Christianity are true and useful?

14. Do you think that it is okay to watch MTV?

15. Do you think that it is okay to listen to secular music?

16. Do you think it is okay to have a lot of stuff and not share with people who don’t have any?

DIGGING IN (30 minutes)

Read John 18:33-38
In this passage Pilate and Jesus are discussing who Jesus claims to be. Pilate is struggling with the answer to that question. In 18:37, Jesus says that anyone who “is of the Truth hears my voice.”

Discussion Questions:
1. What do you think it means to be "of the Truth"?
2. If you examined our society, would you say that our country is "of the Truth"? Explain.

Pilate responds to Jesus by asking, "What is Truth"? 
3. What is truth?
4. Is truth something that is different for different people or is it the same for everyone?
5. How do you decide what is true in your life?   
Pilate asks the question, and no answer is recorded here in Scripture. But the Bible says plenty about truth.

(Below are several Scriptures that talk about truth. We’ll dig into these a little deeper next week, but these frame the entire study and make the point that the Bible has plenty to say on the subject. Select several people to take turns reading some of these passages.)

Scripture Study

The Gospel is the Truth - Ephesians 1:13, Colossians 1:5
God wants us to know the Truth - 2 Timothy 2:15
The Church is meant to protect the Truth - 1 Timothy 3:15
Some oppose the Truth - 2 Timothy 3:2-8 (With emphasis on verse 7)
The Truth should change how we live - 1 John 3:18

Discussion Questions:
1. After reading these passages, what would you say the Bible thinks of truth?
2. Do you think there is opposition to the Truth in our world today?
3. Why is it so hard to tell right from wrong, and truth from lies?   

We’re going to talk a lot over the next few weeks about absolute truth versus relative truth. We’ll talk about real life situations and Biblical passages that explore the idea of truth. Before we do that, let’s challenge ourselves with one more main idea. 

MAKING IT REAL (10 minutes)

One of the main themes in the Scripture, as we saw a second ago, is that the Truth should change our lives.

Read John 14:6

When Pilate asked the question, “What is Truth?” he didn’t realize it, but he was looking at the answer. Jesus is the Truth according to this verse. Jesus doesn’t just tell the Truth, He defines what it is. He is the personification of it. When we say that the Truth should change our lives, we’re saying that Jesus should change our lives.

Discussion Questions:
1. How does this challenge your view of the Truth—that it’s not some abstract reality but is summed up in the person of Christ?
2. How can you let the Truth that is Jesus change your life?

CLOSING PRAYER (2 minutes)

We’re going to finish up for tonight, but we want that point to settle in as we close. As we pray, pray to yourself that God will give you a knowledge of the Truth and a closeness to Jesus that will change the way you live.

(Pray for your group.)

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