Summary: After accepting Jesus Christ as one’s Lord and Saviour, you must proceed to seeking a deeper knowledge of Him and this, you can only get through His word. It is in your continuance in His word that you become His disciple – a disciplined follower.
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, if ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32
In the above passage, we saw Jesus addressing the newly converted Jews on what steps they needed to take in order to become completely free from the stronghold of sin. A man’s actions and inactions are generally guided by his belief system and the belief system of the Jews till today centres on Judaism which is the reference point of every of their actions. The message of Jesus to them was that they would still remain captive to sin irrespective of their believe on Him if they still subject themselves to the Jewish belief system.
He explained to them that the only way they could qualify as true disciples of His was by setting aside their previous belief, philosophy, cultural background and/or tradition for His doctrine. He told them expressly that it was in their continuance in His word that they could know the truth and it was until they have this knowledge of the truth that they would be made free. The implication of this is that it does not matter the volume of the things you know as a Christian, you are still a common captive of sin until you know the truth.
Some people might stage an argument that their acceptance of Jesus grants them freedom from the grip of Satan and sin because Jesus Christ is the Truth according to His declaration in John 14:6 - I am the way, the truth, and the life. Of course, Jesus is the Truth and it will take an antichrist to deny that fact. The above passage however tells us that our knowledge of the truth is much deeper than our salvation experience. The Jews in that passage had just had the salvation experience yet Jesus told them that there is a need for them to know the truth for them to be made free. What then is this truth that they must seek to know after they had already had personal encounter with Jesus Himself who is the Truth?
“…If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth…” After accepting Jesus Christ as one’s Lord and Saviour, you must proceed to seeking a deeper knowledge of Him and this, you can only get through His word. It is in your continuance in His word that you become His disciple – a disciplined follower. It is this disciplined following of Him occasioned by His word that grants knowledge into the truth. As a believer in Christ who would be made free by the truth, you must not subject your belief in Him to traditions of men (Matt 5:2-6) and that is one of the basic reasons you must continue in His word (Col 2:6-9).
Until you continue in His word, you will remain a baby Christian tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine but your knowledge of the truth in His word will speed up your growth in Him (Eph 4:13-15; Heb 5:12-14). To be made free by the truth, you must believe in Jesus, continue in His word, follow His footstep and do His will while setting aside all traditions, cultures and philosophy that contributed to your belief system before your encountered with Jesus.