Summary: REFORMATION(C)/3RD LAST - The truth will set you free because we are not slaves but we are God’s children.
THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE
John 8:31:36 - November 2, 2003
31To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
33They answered him, "We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?"
34Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
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Dearest Fellow-Redeemed and Saints in the Lord:
The truth has been under attack since the very beginning of time. We look back at creation and see that Adam and Eve lived in a perfect world and had only one prohibition. That one thing they were prohibited to do was to not eat from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Of course, Satan came along and said, "Is that really true? Did God really mean that you shouldn’t eat from that fruit which is pleasing to the eye and certainly would taste very good?" Satan attacked God’s truth.
We go down through history and we see that question comes up time and again. When Jesus stood before Pilate, and Pilate was king, Pilate demanded to know if Jesus was a king. Jesus said, "You are right. I came to testify to the truth." Pilate then asked, "What is truth"? Pilate acted as if he did not know the truth. In our day and age God’s truth is daily assaulted and attacked. In fact we are told that society today no longer accepts or believes in an absolute truth. Today, truth depends on how a person determines it is relevant in his or her life.
Today, we learn again that there is truth. There is absolute truth of God and Scriptures. When the Lord tells us there is sin, there is sin. When the Lord tells us there is forgiveness, there is also forgiveness. The Psalm writer says: "For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God. Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name"(PSALM 86:10,11). Even though the world might disagree, even though Satan would assault the fact that there is truth, there is truth. As our text tells us this morning, THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU FREE! The truth is as the Lord points out in our text that:
I. We are not slaves.
II. We are God’s children.
I. Believers are not slaves
This is the truth that will set you free. In the Gospel of John Jesus once again was opposed by those who were against His teachings. They did not like all the teachings when Jesus said He was the Son of God. There were also those who opposed His authority wondering where He got that power to do and perform miracles. In verse 13 of this chapter of John, Jesus defends His teaching. Jesus talks about His authority, which came from God. In the verse that comes right before our text, we are told the result of the preaching of His Word. We are told even as He spoke, many put their faith in Him. That was the truth that set them free. Our text begins by saying: 31To the Jews who had believed him. Previously the Law, which the Scribes and Pharisees had burdened, them with, held the Jews captive: one law after another until they thought they were never able to be free.
When Jesus said that He came to set them free, their reaction was quite different, wasn’t it? He says, 32then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. You would think they would be happy to not be bound by the Law anymore. What did they reply to Jesus’ promise of freedom? 33They answered him, "We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How often haven’t we heard the Jews use that tired, old excuse? They said to Jesus, "Look back in our ancestors and you will find that Abraham is our father. Abraham was chosen by you as a believer." The Jews always relied on the fact that it was Abraham who believed and it was credited to him as righteousness. The Jews of Jesus’ time thought this faith of Abraham was enough for them to get into the kingdom of heaven.
They said, "We have never been slaves to anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?" How mistaken they were! Jesus answer was quite simple to them: "Everyone who sins is a slave to sin." He reminded that indeed they were enslaved by sin, which enslaved the whole world. His message of truth for them was that they had been set free from sin. Jesus’ message of truth for them was that He came as the Son of God and the Savior of the world to pay the price for all of their sins and their rebellion.