Summary: Jesus describes the condition of what might be called "fickle faith" and in so doing, He also displays His own authority as the Son who is able to save.
True Disciples, the Son’s Authority, and the devil’s Children John 8:30-47
From Jesus’ declaration, “I AM the Light of the World,” to His proclamation as the I AM of the Old Testament, the First and the Last of Isaiah as well as Revelation, we continue in John 8:30:
“As He spoke these words, many believed in Him. 31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." 33 They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, 'You will be made free'?" 34 Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
37 "I know that you are Abraham's descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father." 39 They answered and said to Him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. 41 You do the deeds of your father." Then they said to Him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father--God."
42 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand (GR., intimately know) My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. (GR., comprehend or understand His word) 44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God."
Our culture’s philosophy is to follow that which will give you the most enjoyment and happiness; people in general tend to “go with the flow” and follow what has been labeled as “feel good philosophies”: If it makes you feel good, it must be good. Paul later warned against those who found themselves being tossed by every wind of doctrine, and in verse 30 of our text, those who believed in Jesus actually had “fickle faith”, not saving faith. This was demonstrated clearly in the fact that they did not meet Jesus’ standard spelled out in verses31-32. They did not ABIDE (or continue) in Jesus’ Word; They loved Jesus one minute and wanted to kill him the next.
It is easy to be attracted to someone’s teaching, especially if it is something new or charismatic, but there is a life and death difference between having an attraction or a “good intention” toward Jesus, and ABIDING in His Word. If you are abiding in Jesus’ Word it means that you desire to obey what He teaches. You want to understand it better, and yes, practically speaking, you have a desire continue to STUDY His Word. Abiding means continuing to be grounded. The written Word IS the tool that God uses to speak to us so to truly be a disciple of Jesus means that you WILL read and study His Word, because you have the desire to abide and obey Him more than anything else in the world. Your desire is to have a meaningful relationship as a disciple of your Lord and Savior. Those who turned quickly on Jesus lacked a faith which was sufficient for a relationship between disciple and Lord. Their “fickle faith” vacillated between trust and unbelief.
One of the fruits of saving faith is obedience to the Word of Jesus; disobedience is the fruit of “fickle faith”. How could you believe in the One that you desired to kill? Not producing Godly FAITH-fruit is evidence of NOT being a disciple. It doesn’t mean that you have to try harder to improve a faith relationship: Listen- the test of saving faith is that it DOES abide, it does Love, it does forgive, because it is God-given.