The truth will set you free (John 8:31-36)

First, I will briefly share my personal testimony. I went to church when I was very young, but I did not meet the Lord for a long time. And I seriously had many philosophical questions about myself as a teenager. Who am I? What is the purpose of life? What kind of world is there after death? If I study hard, get into a good college, go to a good job, get married, eat well and live well, then will life be over? Just as zero multiplied by any number equals zero, thinking about the meaning of life and thinking that life ends when one dies makes life feel meaningless, and I tried my best to find the true meaning of life. Then, in my freshman year of college, I decided to attend a church near my house. And while listening to a sermon at church, there was a verse in the Bible that touched my heart. It was John 8:32. John 8:32 “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” I have been searching very hard for a long time in philosophy, science, etc., for the truth that will set me free.

But the words that “the truth will set you free” was shocking to me. And I read the booklet with the gospel written in the church and accepted Jesus on my own. And I couldn’t help but shout in my heart. I am free! Jesus was the truth, and I came to know who I was in Jesus. I have come to know the meaning and purpose of life in Jesus, and I have come to know the true freedom, and I am living with that same feeling and gratitude to this day. .

There is a very important question if you want to truly experience freedom. Who am I? Who am I? When you find the answer to this question, you will truly experience freedom.

To know the true myself there is the truth to know first.

1. We are slaves to sin.

  John 8:34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.

In today’s text, Jesus tells the Jews who believed in him and followed him 8:32

‘Know the truth, and the truth shall set you free,’ he said.

Then, if you look at verse 33 today

The Jews said, ‘How can you say such a thing when we are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves?’ While saying this, the Jews expressed a reaction of rejection. But in fact, the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt for 400 years and in Babylon for 70 years. At the time of Jesus, Israel was under the rule of the Roman Empire.

Jesus doesn’t talk about the fact of being politically bound, etc., but right away Jesus speaks directly about the spiritual realm. verse 34.

John 8:34  Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.

In verse 44, Jesus says shockingly, ‘The devil is your spiritual father’.

‘Even though you serve God and are Abraham’s descendants, Jesus is proclaiming that you are living in more fundamental and practical bondage than the bondage by Egypt, Babylon in the past, or Rome.’ In other words, he is saying that the Jews are spiritually slaves to sin.

The meaning of the word ‘hamartia’, the word for sin that Jesus used, originally meant ‘missing the target. There are standards and goals for life that God has commanded us, and sin means that there is deviation from those goals and standards. God has a purpose he wants to achieve through us, and sin means straying away that purpose. The meaning of the verb to sin is in the present perfect tense, which means to sin habitually and repeatedly. If we also have an action that we repeat habitually, we are slaves to it. Therefore, this word tells us that there are sins that we commit habitually and repeatedly. For example, someone becomes a slave to alcohol because he could not stop drinking. If a person can’t stop smoking, he has become a slave to tobacco. If a person indulges in gambling and wastes his property, and then goes on to gamble again, he has become a slave to gambling. Someone is running a business and evading taxes by creating a double ledger. If a person does business by lying and cheating, he has become a slave to lies and money.

However, like the Jews in the text, there are many cases in which we do not realize ourselves in the bondage of spiritual sin.

Humankind was created to live in a perfect relationship with God, in a beautiful garden with a perfect environment. There was no sin, crime, heartache, sorrow, disease, or death. Adam and Eve had a literal walking and talking relationship with God. But the Scriptures made it clear that these two sinned, they disobeyed God, and could no longer have this same special relationship. Immediately after Adam and Eve sinned, all humankind was separated from God. 

The Bible clearly says that everyone has sinned. So all people were born with sin and lived as slaves to sin. Have you been freed from these sin problems? The truth spoken in the Gospel of John today is that all of us human beings are slaves of sin.

Let’s look at the second truth. He said in 8:32 that the truth sets you free, and in John 14:6, Jesus said that he is the way, the truth, and the life.

In other words, Jesus is the truth. John 8:36  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Hear the truth that the Son Jesus sets you free.

It is said that freedom can only be obtained through Christ.

Can a slave set himself free? The way a slave can become free is that someone has to pay the price to set the slave free.

Dear fellow believers, do you know what the last words of Jesus were before he died on the cross? “It is finished” were the last words of Jesus on the cross. This word is Tetelestai (John 19:30) in Greek. This word was used in Greek and Roman commerce to mean ‘paid the price’. It means spiritually redemption. Therefore, this word means that in order to save us who are enslaved to sin, Jesus, who is the truth, paid the price of our sins with His own blood, saved us from the slavery of sin and death, and set us free.

Jesus came to this earth as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. He died like a lamb to pay for human sins and took away humanity’s sins.

Isaiah 53:6  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

We humans were sinners who went our own way, but God took our sins upon Jesus and let them all go, and Jesus died on the cross as the payment for our sins. Hallelujah!

Every Jew knew the significance of blood. The entire Old Testament religion was based on the concept of blood sacrifice. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin (Heb 9:22) and without the ultimate sacrifice (Christ), the sin issue would still be unresolved. It is by the shedding of His own blood, that Christ purged His people from sin. For indeed, Christ purchased the Church of God, with His blood (Acts 20:28). Full and final atonement was provided at Calvary by the very words, ‘it is finished’ (Jn 19:30) and nothing should, nor needs to be added to Christ’s declaration.

The blood of Jesus means the life of Jesus. Remember the blessings you get when you believe in the blood of Jesus. Accept this promise as yours by faith.

  1. Redeemed – “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Eph 1:17).
  2.  Cleansed – “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1st Jn 1:7)
  3. Justified – “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.“ (Rom 5:9)
    To be recognized as one who has never sinned is to be justified. It is a legal term. 
  4. Reconciled – “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.“ (Col 1:20)

    We are redeemed, cleansed, justified, and reconciled by Christ’s blood.

In this way, we have been set free from sin by believing in the precious blood of Jesus the Son.

I would like to ask everyone who is listening to the Word right now.

Dear believers, the 10, 20, and 30 years of our religious lives are of no use.

I ask you: Have you confessed and accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?

Do you believe that your sins were forgiven and justified by the blood of Jesus, and that your status as a child of God was restored?

John 1:12  But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

When you repent of your own sins and receive Jesus by faith, you become a child of God.

Only if you believe in Jesus as your Savior and confess it, Jesus, who is the truth, will surely free you from the bondage of sin and set you free.

This is an amazing truth. Do you know the only way to change your status from a child of the devil to a child of God?

It is to believe in the precious blood of the Son, Jesus, and believe that I have been forgiven of my sins and that I have been justified.

Dear fellow believers, the biggest change when you accept Jesus is a change in your status. Your status changes from a child of the devil to a noble child of God. Also, along with identity, authority and ability are given. All blessings and authority are yours in Christ.

One problem still remains here.

It means believing in Jesus and becoming a child of God, but still committing sins.

Although we have changed to the status of God’s children, we still have the possibility to commit sins.

That is why Paul also lamented, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” This confession was made after Paul met the Lord.

Of course, when we believe in and accept Jesus, our status as children of God does not change. We have become citizens of heaven who can go to heaven without going to hell.

However, since we still live in a world dominated by the sinful flesh and Satan the Devil, who holds the power of the air, there is a possibility of sinning.

However, despite the temptations of the devil, the flesh, and the world, the Bible says that there is a secret to freedom as a child of God.

That secret is to abide in the Word of Truth. This is the third truth to live a truly free life. It is promised in John 8:31-32 that when we abide in the word of truth, the word of God, we will live an abundant and free life.

Joh 8:31  So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,

Joh 8:32  and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

So what does it mean for us to abide in the Word of Truth?

If you abide by my word, first, you become my disciple. Second, if you abide by my words, you will know the truth. To know means to know through experience. It means that if we abide in the Word, we will experientially know that the Word is the truth. And he is saying that the truth will set us free.

When we say abide, it also means to stay in one place without leaving, and it also means to have fellowship with people in that family, and it also means to obey. To abide in the Word of God means that the Word governs and guides our thoughts, our values, and our lives. The person who abides in the Word is said to be a disciple of Jesus. And to abide in the Word means to meditate on it and have an intimate fellowship with Jesus through it. And it means a life of obedience to the Word. Therefore, to abide in the word of truth is to have constant intimate fellowship with Jesus, to listen to the words of Jesus and to obey them completely. 

The original meaning of ‘know’ in verse 32 means to know empirically. Therefore, when we abide in the Word and experience the truth of the Word, we enjoy true freedom.

The word ‘know’ here does not simply mean a lot of Bible knowledge. Even the devil has a lot of knowledge about God. It is said that knowledge makes us arrogant. True power is not knowing intellectually, but actually living in obedience to the Word and knowing it experientially. If you know the Word through experiences, you will enjoy true freedom and be victorious.

What we need to be careful about here is to know and read the Bible a lot, but what is more important is to love the Word and obey it.
Jas 1:25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
Jas 2:17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Jas 2:26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.
Therefore, when we actually live a life of loving the Bible, being governed by the Bible, and obeying what it says, we will enjoy freedom and live a victorious life.

I would like to share a few words that you must obey and always keep in your heart.
What is this very important scripture that we must obey? It is to love God and love your neighbor.

If we love God first, we will gain the ability to love our neighbors.

Worship is one way to love God. Worship and praise is the purpose for which God created us. We love God and glorify Him through worship.

Gen 2:3 God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because God rested on it from all the work he had created and made. God finished his work of creation and blessed and sanctified the seventh day. And it says that God rested. I hope that you would work and study hard for 6 days, but give Sunday the 7th day as a holy day to the Lord, and give glory to Him by worshiping on Sunday.

Although we have authority as God’s children, in order to use this authority we must put our highest priority on intimate fellowship with God. To accomplish this, we need a life of the Word and prayer.

Mat 4:4 But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

I hope that the word of God will become your daily spiritual food, like manna. I hope that you will read the Word every day, meditate on it, and live by the living words of rhema.

1Th 5:17 Pray without ceasing,

Mat 26:40b And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour?

I hope that you meet God in prayer and live with spiritual strength and power every day by His power.

Mal 3:10 Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.

By offering the whole tithe to God, God even tells us to test Him. I hope that you will completely steward your material possessions by obeying the Word regarding material matters.

Mar 16:15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

The greatest love we can show our neighbors is to preach the gospel of salvation. Please spread the love of the Lord through evangelism. Pray for your family and friends who do not yet believe in Jesus, and lead them to the Lord by serving with love.

Finally, those who are truly free do not live for themselves, but love and serve others. Please receive this word in your heart and obey it.

You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.(Gal5:13)

Beloved saints, we were truly slaves to sin, but we were also justified through faith in the precious blood of Jesus the Son, we were forgiven of our sins, and we were set free through redemption. Beloved saints! What is the secret to experiencing the truth and living in freedom? The road isn’t far away. It is to abide in the Word of God.

Jesus clearly tells us the way to be set free. Acknowledge the authority of God’s Word, and do not ignore the Word. Please value the Word of God. Abide in the Word. As it says in John 15, abide in Jesus who speaks and Jesus the vine. Be filled with the Word. Let the Word govern all of your thoughts, values, and actions. Then we will truly experience the Word and enjoy freedom.

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