John 8:32: "...the truth will set you free."
"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:32, NIV)
The full passage: John 8:31-47
How can we know the truth? It's reasonable to talk about knowing the
truth of a particular statement. But, we are incapable of grasping truth in its entirely.
Only God is all-knowing. A hint to answering this question is in the two verses that
bracket John 8:31-47:
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you
are really my disciples. " (John 8:42, NIV)
"He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that
you do not belong to God. " (John 8:42, NIV)
In these two sentences, Jesus referred to relationships of Jesus being our teacher
and of belonging to God. The entirety of cognitive knowledge is beyond our grasp,
but everyone has the ability to form relationships. We can be acquainted (John 1:14)
with the Truth when it's personified in Jesus Christ
As those Jesus spoke to asked, "Why do we need setting free? We are free to make
our own choices". Certainly, people in many
countries today enjoy a higher degree of freedom than every before. Are Jesus' words
still relevant to us? Jesus said sin enslaves us.
The more we enjoy financial affluence and political freedom the deeper we see people
choose to let sin enslave them. We quickly recognize our intellectual limitations,
but are reluctant to admit our desire's inability to make the right choices.
What makes desires enslaving is our inability to find satisfaction from following
them. In fact, some people attribute desire as a primary source of suffering, not just
external circumstances. Affluence extending beyond meeting basic physical needs brings
out the futility of our self-seeking ability to satisfy our desires. But, God has given
us our desires to find fulfillment in Him beyond our basic physical needs. When we
learn to enjoy God's aspirations, then God satisfies our desires (Psalm 37:3-5).
Our relationship with Christ sets us free in more than one way. Christ's
sacrificial death sets us free from the penalty of sin. This sets us free from fear
and condemnation. But if it stopped there
without setting us free from the sin's control over how we live,
we would not find life fulfilling.
Jesus' example from his life here on earth is an
example for how we should live. Through belonging to Him, our Master (Lord), and
through His Spirit indwelling our lives, He gives us the desire to live the life
He showed us. Thus, His Spirit within us battles our desires that would choose sin,
releasing us to choose His will. When we commitment ourselves to Him, we can entrust
our fulfillment to Him.
©2001 Perry Vernon Webb. You may quote this page in part or the whole as long as you
1) do not alter the wording and
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