Summary: This message takes a look at the importance of knowing the Truth in Jesus Christ and the freedom that truth brings.
On the day He was crucified, Jesus stood before Pontius Pilate accused of false charges. Pilate asked Jesus if He is indeed a King to which Jesus replied, “You are right in saying that I am a King. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the worlds, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to Me.” To which Pontius Pilate replied, “What is truth?”
That seems to be the question many are asking today, “What is truth?” We live in an era of relativism where some claim that there are no truths, only what is right for you. There is no right or wrong, no clear plum line to use as a standard for our behavior and beliefs, just the absolute belief that there are no absolutes. But Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth.” In a world searching for the truth, the truth is closer than we think. He stands with us this morning as the glorious Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
Today as we look at our text, I want you to know the power of knowing the truth and the freedom the truth can bring. Please take your bibles and turn to the Gospel of John chapter 8 starting with verse 31. “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
Here in the midst of an argument with the religious leaders, Jesus takes a moment to inform those who believe in Him the power the truth has. He said, that if you know the truth, then that knowledge you obtain, that truth will set you free. It is only through knowing Christ that a person becomes truly free, through the truth that He brings and trough the redemption He obtained at Calvary on our behalf. You shall know the truth, and it will set you free. But free from what?
In the first place, the freedom we obtain from the truth is the freedom from ignorance, primarily the ignorance of spiritual things. Now we are all aware of the bondage we have of not knowing certain things. If a person has no education than his opportunities are limited. A person who is illiterate will face many closed doors and will have difficulty even finding the most menial of jobs. If this is true in our secular society, imagine the impact this has on a spiritual level. A person who is illiterate of spiritual truths will not be able to thrive spiritually. A man who does not know the teaching of the World of God or the basic fundamental truths of the Christian faith cannot come to Christ for salvation. They are in bondage to their spiritual ignorance. And that ignorance can be devastating.
Here in our text, these religious leaders were ignorant of spiritual things. Sure they were religious men, but they lacked the truth, and so one of the symptoms they had was that they were ignorant of their spiritual condition. Look at John 8:33, “They answered him, "We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?" Now first of all they were ignorant of the facts. They had indeed been slaves, many times over; to the Egyptians, to the Babylonians, to many other times. But their spiritual ignorance was outrageous.
They thought that just by being a decedent of Abraham gave them a special path to Heaven. One Jewish Rabbi at that time even advocated that Abraham sat at the gates of Hell and would not allow any of his decedents enter in. But geneology is not enough. When the Pharisees came to the desert to check on John the Baptist, he immediately retorted them saying, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, ’We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.”
Now before you are too quick to judge their belief, compare it to the beliefs many hold today. The belief that just because I come from a Christian home or a Christian nation automatically makes me a Christian. Friend, even if you had the holiest of mothers, her faith can assist you, but her faith can not save you. You alone make the decision to follow Christ. Others can aid you in that decision, but in the end it’s a choice you and you alone must make. And if you are void of the truth, than you will be in bondage to that ignorance.