INTRO: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Do you believe that? Because of the universal appeal of the statement it has been used by many to establish their positions or commentary on life.
I. FAITH WITHOUT PERSEVERANCE IS STILLBORN FAITH. (30-31)
A. READ Vs. 30. Context: Jesus is teaching at the Temple in Jerusalem where He has forgiven a woman caught in adultery, taught that He was the unique “Light of the world” that can keep people from the darkness or false sin offerings of life.
B.READ Vs.31. Notice He is speaking to those who have developed some form of belief in Him. “If you continue in My word, you really are My disciples.” 1.) It means they must have started with a genuine desire to know Jesus and follow Him fully. Rom. 10:14b says, “How can they believe without hearing about Him?” Jn 14:21 says, “The one who has My commandments and keeps them is the who loves Me.” 1 Jn. 3:24 adds, “The one who keeps Christ’s commands remains in Him, and He in him. ” Rev. 14:20, “This demands the perseverance of the saints, who keep God’s commands and their faith in Jesus.” Matt. 28:20, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.” Real disciples of Jesus are familiar with what He teaches and devote their lives to following His teachings.
II. THE TRUTH FOUND IN REAL FAITH BRINGS REAL FREEDOM. (32)
A.READ Vs. 32a, “You will know the truth. . . .” To know : “to gain an awareness and understanding of a fact or matter that proves itself through imperical evidence, which is observation and experience of results. To apprehend with certainty.” Truth: “that which is in accordance with fact or reality.” Truth is to see past the prejudice and ignorance of any idea and be persuaded by recurring demonstration what is factual about a matter.
B.READ Vs. 32b, “and the truth will make you free.” To be free means “to be unhindered, free from emotional, physical, or spiritual bondage, to be able to choose one’s own path and walk in it.” Jesus is saying, if one really is a follower of His, that person will not be hindered by any false idea or being. Now, to explain that more directly in our context, we will need to go farther into the Scripture.
III. PEOPLE WITHOUT TRUTH FIND IT HARD TO ACCEPT. (33-38)
- READ Vs. 33. 2 truths: 1.) These people are lying, and 2.) They are willing to try to justify their lying. Let me show you.
A. The descendants of Abraham had a long history of being in bondage.
B. There defense was that, as physical descendants of Abraham, with whom God had made a covenant to keep his descendants as His Chosen People, they were never in bondage and they knew the “spiritual truth” already.
READ Vss. 34-38.
- Jesus clarifies His point: those who sin are slaves to their sin! Rom.6:16 says, “Don’t you know that if you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of that one you obey – either of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness?”
A.) TRUE FAITH IN CHRIST IS INHERENTLY PERSEVERING..
B.) THE TRUTH TO WHICH JESUS REFERS IS THE REALITY OF HOW THE LIVING GOD CREATED US TO RELATE TO HIM AND TO HIS CREATION. Truth reveals itself in Jesus and His commandments. Rom. 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
C.) FREEDOM REFERS TO KNOWING OURSELVES, WHAT WE ARE AND WHAT WE ARE NOT, AND HOW KNOWING CHRIST AFFECTS THAT CONDITION. If you choose to be devoted to self and the things that please self rather than to God and the things that please God, you will be enslaved within your own thoughts and actions,
“If you continue in My word, you really are My disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”