“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.” (John 8:31,32 NIV)
The first-partakers of the Son’s grace–the Jews–who believed Him and then to “whoever believes” (adopted children), were told that if they held to His teaching, they were His disciples (followers). What did He teach? To obey the Father in all things and to love one another. What truth will they know? They will know the truth of God’s purpose for living (what He proclaims as sin) and be set free from it.
Some of those listening to Jesus didn’t understand Him and challenged Him because they thought He was referencing slavery–control and ownership by man–when He was referencing sin. They didn’t get it and many still don’t get it. In order to understand what Jesus is saying about freedom from sin, one must acknowledge they have sinned or are living in sin.
The reason many still are bound, enslaved to sin is because they have allowed others to teach them a “truth” that is their truth and not God’s truth. God’s truth never changes, but man’s truth constantly changes. Why? The more God allows us to know–about anything–the more some people begin to think they know more than God. If they think they know than God, they begin to proclaim their own truths–negating God’s truth–and remain enslaved to sin.
People are destroying the temple where the Holy Spirit would live by creating an environment within themselves that grieves Holy Spirit and He will not dwell in an unclean place. Legalizing drugs which alter the chemical make-up of brains–is not God’s truth; it is man’s because they want to appease flesh. And look how often man has changed this truth-from making drugs a crime to justifying its use.
The same is true for so many other events in our lives–pertaining to family and marriage, discipline and abuse, etc. When parents are told they cannot discipline their children, we end up with a society where chaos and confusion and violence run rampant because God said, “if we spare the rod, we spoil the child” (the rod of correction not beating them). When we attempt to force people to deny their faith in God, we open the door for Satan and his minions to govern and create havoc.
Look around us today! There is no peace because we have allowed our love for God to grow cold, heating up hatred and bigotry for any reason. Freedom of speech for some means they say anything that comes to mind–never thinking of how words impact and change the course of history. When our thoughts are not of God, then the behavior that follows is certainly not of Him.
If we really want to be set free–from sin–we have to acknowledge, repent of it, and receive His mercy and grace to move forward, determined never to be enslaved to sin again. While we yet have breath in our bodies and can speak, it’s not too late. Allow Him to loose the shackles that hold you hostage to sin and be set free, receiving His truth.