Summary: The truth will set you free - Be set free from the habitual sin that dominates you and inhibits your spiritual maturity.
Way back in the day when Katie and I were dating, I got this phone call from Katie. She was very excited. She had just purchased a discount coupon book for discounts on various restaurants in town, for only $25.00. If you are familiar with the Entertainment Coupon Book, then you know what I’m talking about - This coupon book was just like the Entertainment Book, except everything was free, completely free, absolutely, totally free,….at least that was the claim the cover of the coupon book made.
Free pizza, free doughnuts, free coffee, free breakfast, free tacos - Walk in the store, hand the clerk a coupon, get your free ice cream cone.
As a college tuition paying bachelor, I could’t believe my good fortune: A girlfriend with a coupon book for free food all over town. Incredible.
Now I have to admit, I thought the whole thing was a scam. I mean, who just gives away free stuff? So I didn’t think the coupon book would work.There had to be some catch, I told Katie that she had just kissed her $25 good bye. Katie was adamant that the coupon book worked, in fact, she claimed that had just picked up a free cup of coffee. Well, free coffee is one thing, but what about free pizza? No way.
So, to prove the coupon book worked, Katie insisted that we go out for some free pizza. Katie gave me the coupon book and said pick out any pizza place you want and we’ll meet there after work. I found a pizza place near my university that was in the coupon book called “Anthony’s Authentic Greek Pizza.”
I arrived at “Anthony’s Authentic Greek Pizza” first, so I figured I would just go ahead and order the pizza. I took out the coupon for free pizza and handed to the guy at the counter, he was a huge man with a heavy beard, and our interaction went like this:
“I have this coupon for free pizza, will this coupon work, here? I mean is the pizza really free?”
“Yes,” replied the pizza man in a heavy Greek accent, “Free pizza, with coupon.”
“So I don’t have to pay anything, the pizza is completely free?”
“Yes, free pizza.”
“OK, well I’ll have a large pepperoni pizza, with extra cheese.”
“Thank you, ten dollars, please.”
“Ten dollars! I thought you said the pizza was free with the coupon”
“Yes, free pizza, ten dollars.”
I’m not making this up…..
So, we went back and forth for some time, free pizza, ten dollars, free pizza, ten dollars and I explained seven different ways that, “Free pizza, ten dollars” is NOT free pizza.
Finally, another large man with a full beard joined the first large man with a beard behind the counter. The second man took the coupon, held it at arms length, and gave the coupon a long intense examination - after some time, he handed me the coupon and said, “Yes, you get free pizza, no problem.”
I said, “Finally, thank you so much…”
“That will be ten dollars please.”
I stood there in shock for a moment, “How about five dollars?”
“Deal! We make pizza, five dollars!”
Free. Today everyone seems to have their own definition of what free means. For example, when you as a Christian say you are free, what do you mean? When you say, “I am free in Christ,” Are you saying that you are emotionally released from past fears? Do you mean you are free from heavy the burden of difficult problems? When you say you are free in Christ, does this mean you can say and think whatever you desire; Does free in Christ mean you are free from a long list of religious rules?
What does Jesus say?
In our scripture today we see in verse 32, of John chapter 8 Jesus saying, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
I hear people quoting this verse all the time, “The truth will set you free.” It seems that most often, people takes this to mean - If you quit lying and tell the truth then you will be free from your current problems.
Is this really what Jesus means when He says, “The truth will set you free?”
Let’s by taking a poll this morning….
Raise your hand if you think Jesus was talking to unbelievers when he said - “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Raise you hand if you think Jesus was speaking to unbelievers here?
Well, if you are raising your hand, then you were not paying attention. Open you bibles to John Chapter 8, if you don’t have your bible open already - let’s look again at John 8:31-32.
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”