THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE
To the Jews who had believed Him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teachings, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”(John 8:31-32)
Have you ever heard it said, “The truth will set you free.” This is actually not true. “Wait a minute!” you protest. ‘”Isn’t that what Jesus said? How can it not be true?”
No, it’s only half of what Jesus said. Without the first half, the second half makes no sense at all. First of all, although the truth is objective – it can stand alone – yet, at the same time, the truth is embedded in a Person. Jesus said, “I am the truth.” Whatever is true, is only true because it comes from God. The law of gravity is true – if I jump off a cliff, I will not fly. Gravity will pull me towards the ground. However, if God had not instituted the law of gravity, it would not work.
What did Jesus say that qualified the statement? Let’s read it again.
“If you hold to my teachings, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
The power to be free lies in obedience to Jesus’ teachings.
Then you may ask the question: “Free from what?” As I have written in a previous post, God has set boundaries for us – instructions and prohibitions – to protect us from self-destruction. In the beginning, Adam chose to live outside the one boundary God set for the first pair – His restriction on one tree. Why did He put it in the garden? Was it not to test the reality of their love? Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commands.”
God said, “Only one tree is out of bounds”. The devil said, “God does not love you. He doesn’t want you to enjoy the fruit of that tree. If you do, you’ll be just like Him, knowing good and evil.” Of course, he didn’t remind them that they were already like God, made in His image to have fellowship with Him. By stepping outside the boundaries of God’s protection, they fell right into the hands of the devil and his deception.
By heeding him, they learned through bitter experience that his lies bring bondage to fear, guilt and shame – the inner “slave-drivers” that torment us day and night. They believed that, by throwing off God’s restriction they would be free to make their own rules. They found out that their rules destroyed them in the end – what God called “death”.
Jesus offered His disciples the solution to their “slave-drivers” – His teachings, His “yoke” that would set them free from the habits, behaviour and selfish way of life that alienated them from their fellow men and left them empty, dry and without love, joy and peace. What is it that so many people in the world are desperately seeking? Is it not peace of mind? Every religion in the world offers a way to find peace by doing. Doing what? Doing whatever they think their god (or gods) requires to please him/them so that they can be at peace with him/them.
Unfortunately, the harder they work, the more the devil laughs because he knows that he has them in his power. Lies! No one can find inner peace by trying to appease their god. Every false deity is the devil wearing a mask – masquerading as a god when the gods who represent him do not exist. If they did, why do they not respond to the millions of prayers people pray, prayers for help and healing for the distress they are in?
The solution to human pain is centred in Jesus. He is the truth and He speaks the truth. When we take His words seriously and embrace what He said, we will not only experience a deep change in our hearts, but we will also find the inner rest He offers to those who follow, learn, imitate and obey Him.
As I have said before, we are not alone in this venture. The Holy Spirit, whom He sent to be with us and in us, is our helper. When we heed Him, he is the energy that drives our lives. Jesus promised that He would lead us into all truth. He would reveal Jesus to us and remind us of His teachings in the course of our daily living, keeping us on track as He takes us to the Father.
No, we will never find inner peace of mind and conscience, freedom from fear, guilt and shame, hope for the future and the awareness of God’s love, simply from the truth. We will only know these blessings when we obey Jesus’ teachings. Without the Holy Spirit, we cannot obey Him. Without faith in Jesus and in the truth of what He taught us, the Holy Spirit cannot help us.
It’s a sort of chain reaction beginning with believing what Jesus said because of who He is – the Son of God – and committing to follow Him. He responds by giving us the Holy Spirit as His “other self” to be in us forever. The Holy Spirit reveals the truth and enables us progressively to live it out in our daily lives. Old ideas, habits and behaviour patterns fall away as we follow Jesus and then – the truth will set us free!
Scripture is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Have you read my first book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!
ISBN: Softcover – 978-1-4828-0512-3, eBook 978-4828-0511-6
My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), a companion volume to Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart, has been released in paperback and digital format on www.amazon.com.
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