Summary: To show truth can be learned and fully known, but it is not the product of one’s feelings or religious experiences. This lesson deals with the truth of the gospel and not ones feelings regarding their faith.
1. Discipleship of Christ: “Ye Shall Be My Disciples Indeed”
2. Doctrine of Christ: “Ye Shall Know The Truth”
3. Deliverance of Christ: “The Truth Shall Make You Free”
1. In our lesson today, Jesus describes to the Jews who followed him how they were to know the truth. He states to them which believed, "if you continue or abide 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.
2. First, he says: "If ye continue or abide in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed." It is therefore clear that discipleship comes through the knowledge of the truth. Many today are believers just like these Jews, but are not yet disciples because they have not heard, learned or obeyed the truth Jesus speaks of in this text. Notice Paul: "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise," Ephesians 1:13. He also calls this message of Christ as "the gospel of the grace of God," Acts 20:24.
3. Secondly, he says: "If you continue in my word, ye shall know the truth." The truth here is the "doctrine of Christ." "Why IS IT SO IMPORTANT to know the truth?" "One could be wrong!" Good, sincere people have unbelievable faith in God. But their faith may not contain the whole truth of the gospel! Can we know the whole truth? Or is truth simply subjective? These kind of questions cast doubt on:
a. Ones ability to know the truth that makes them free from their sins.
b. Ones ability to teach the truth without doubt, ambiguity or uncertainty.
When we give up the belief that we can know, understand and obey the truth or to know "the whole counsel of God" we undermined our faith in Christ and in His word. Which He promises can make one free from their sins, John 8:32, Romans 1:16; Acts 20:27.
4. Finally, he says: "If you continue in my word, the truth shall make you free" or "deliver you from your sins." Once a sincere searcher has found and obeyed the truth, they shall be made free from their sins. Jesus said: "If the Son shall make you free, then are ye free indeed." No wonder Paul explains to the Romans: "But God be thanked that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine, which was delivered you, being then, made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness," (Romans 6:17-18).
BODY OF LESSON
I. DISCIPLESHIP OF CHRIST: “Then are ye my Disciples Indeed”
A. Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him. We should remember the audience who Jesus is speaking unto. These are Jews that believe on Him and have followed him, and accept his teaching. However, just belief alone does not make one a disciple or ensure they have been forgiven (freed from their sins).
B. Disciple means "learner," "follower."
1. Moses' disciples. Some Jews claimed to be Moses' disciples, John 9:27-29.
2. Disciples of John the Baptist. Matthew,11:2-6, Acts 19:1-7.