The Truthfulness of God: Finding Freedom in his Truth.
Read John 8:31-39
“You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
What does it mean to be free? As we see the world around us descend into chaos, we struggle to understand freedom. For many freedoms is the right to live as we please, pursuing our impulses and passions without any restraint or consequence. For others, freedom is merely a façade concealing racial and economic disparities that bring freedom to some and further bondage to others. While these continue to be important discussions in our society, Christ points us to a deeper freedom, one that is the foundation for life itself. When Christ offered them freedom, the Jews were perplexed. Why was Jesus talking about the necessity for freedom when they were not enslaved to anyone? For them, freedom was ethnic, not being under the domination of Gentiles. But they missed the whole point Christ was making, for there is a deeper and more powerful bondage we face than being enslaved to another or under the power of others. That deeper bondage is found in our enslavement to sin. In verse 34 Christ points out that when we give in to sin, we become enslaved to it. Sin is always a terrible and demanding task master. While sin gives us the allure of freedom, in the end it dominates and leads us down a road of personal and spiritual destruction. In our culture today, in our quest for personal freedom, we fail to realize that we are actually selling ourselves to enslavement. The more we demand the right to have the freedom of our own moral choices, the more enslaved we become to those choices.
But Christ gives us hope and that hope is found in the truth of God. As we have seen in this study, God is the true God, he is the one who determines truth, and he has communicated that truth to us in his Scriptures so that we might know and live by his truth. This truth is not restrictive, rather it brings freedom in the truest sense of the word. True freedom is not found in the freedom to choose to do as we please, rather it is the freedom to do as God pleases, it is the freedom to do what is right. This freedom is only found in being a disciple of Christ. When we become his disciple, he gives us the greatest freedom of all—the freedom from the tyranny of our own sinful passions and choices. If we want true freedom, that which liberates the soul, it does not come by giving license to our own desires, it comes by surrendering to Christ and his word. This is the paradox of faith. The more we surrender ourselves to Christ the more liberated we become, the more we give freedom to our own desires, the more enslaved we become by them. Charles Wesley’s hymn “And Can It Be” captures this perfectly:
Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light
My chains fell off, my heart was free;
I rose, went forth and followed Thee.
To obtain true freedom today, surrender to Christ and seek his truth and he will give you ultimate freedom.