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Book of John – Message 38 John 8:31-32

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The Truth Shall Make You Free

 31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

  • Receiving his teaching would mark them as genuine disciples and would lead them into a deeper experience of truth.
  • Today this expanded teaching would take someone from a superficial, emotional, “Jesus will improve my life” response that very often leads to false conversion, to making that person confront the price of discipleship
  • To often our evangelistic approach today is “look how Jesus can fix your life if only you’ll invite Him into your heart”… then when that does not materialize, the failed attempt is abandoned
  • Modern evangelism emphasizes PROFESSION as evidence of true salvation while the Bible emphasizes abiding

Jesus offers discipleship and freedom to those believing in Him.

Belief is the initial point of contact with Christ.

In chapter 6, many of those who excitedly wanted to crown Jesus king (vv. 14–15) soon “withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore”

Mere assent to the facts does not equal saving faith, since even the demons have that kind of faith (v. 19).

Many will believe but never abide Matt 7:21-22:

21Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’

Saving faith consists of three elements:

  • Notitia (knowledge) is the intellectual component of faith. It involves an understanding of the basic biblical facts regarding salvation.
  • Assensus (assent) goes one step beyond notitia and confidently affirms those facts to be true.
  • Fiducia (trust) acts on them by personally appropriating Jesus Christ as the only hope for salvation.

In saving faith the entire person—the intellect (knowledge), the emotions (assent), and the will (trust)—embraces Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

“For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.” (Matt. 12:50)

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (John 14:15)

“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.… If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.” (John 14:21, 23–24)

“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” (John 15:10)

“You are My friends if you do what I command you.” (John 15:14)

The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. (1 John 2:4–6)

The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. (1 John 3:24)

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. (1 John 5:3)

NOTE: if someone doubts their faith, don’t give them false assurance

  • Tell them, “if you doubt your salvation, there’s a reason and maybe you are not saved… test yourself by Scripture to answer that question”

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A disciple of Christ is one who:

  • believes Jesus is who he says He is, and that He is Truth,
  • Places faith his sacrifice and promise,
  • Imbibes (drinks in, becomes saturate in, lives by) His spirit,
  • imitates his example (models, repeats, looks to Him as example)

Matthew 10:24 (NKJV) 24 “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.

Luke 14:26 (NKJV) “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.

Luke 14:27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.

Luke 14:33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

John 6:69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

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IF you abide, THEN you are a true disciple and it results in knowledge of truth and spiritual freedom:

32 You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free: This is the result of abiding in the word of Jesus.

  • The inevitable blessing of believing in Jesus and continuing to obey His Word is to know the truth.

In a postmodern world, where the hope of discovering absolute truth has been largely abandoned, such knowledge is revolutionary.

Think about it:

  • the world in all their superior wisdom says that TRUTH cannot be known.

FREEDOM

32 You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free

The freedom Jesus spoke of was spiritual freedom from sin and its effects (not the freedom from bondage like the Roman occupation).

The reality of believing in Jesus, obeying His Word, and knowing the truth brings spiritual/emotional and in many ways, physical, freedom.

  • Spiritual: freedom from legalism and the dictates of other people
  • Emotional: freedom from worry, doubt, anxiety, fear
  • Physical: living the Christian life is our best chance in a sin cursed world to avoid the consequences that come with sinful behavior
    • This is not the same as being persecuted for Christ

Such freedom comes in many forms:

  • freedom from the bondage of falsehood,
  • Freedom from Satan’s power (John 17:15; 2 Cor. 4:4; 1 John 5:18),
  • Free from condemnation (Rom. 8:1),
  • Free from judgment (John 3:18; 5:24),
  • spiritual ignorance (8:12),
  • spiritual death (8:51),
  • free from the slavery of sin (the inability to have victory over sin) (Rom. 6:18, 22).

Truth

  • Jesus said if you believe, then you must abide (obey/submit/persevere/follow)
  • If you believe you are true disciples of His
  • If you are true disciple you will be free, and know Truth

APPLICATION

  • You are a Christian, yes. But are you a DISCIPLE of Christ (learner, committed to His teachings, putting Him above you, taking up your cross, forsaking all else?
  • Are you enjoying the freedoms of Christ?
  • Do you know the Truth? Are you confident in your knowledge of Truth in a world that says “that’s just YOUR truth, different from mine…”?