Interbay Community Church
The Freedom of Truth
(John 8:32 KJV) And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
I have a lot more respect for freedom than I did as a young man. In fact I can look back and see the change in my regard for it. I remember when I first entered into the Army. I was not there to defend our nation or to honor our freedom, I was there for the paycheck and the student loan payment program. I distinctly remember sitting in the stands as the American flag was passing by and one of our drill Sergeants saying how if the sight of that flag did not give you goose bumps you did not know the truth of it’s freedom.
Needless to say, at the time I did not get any goose bumps and I had no idea what he was talking about.
Do you remember the movie Brave Heart with Mel Gibson? He played the Scottish freedom fighter William Wallace. At the end of the movie He cries out at his death the word that has changed the face of the world throughout the pages of history;
But freedom without truth is just a ruse for enslavement. It is only when a people discover the truth of their enslavement that freedom is even possible. When Jesus spoke these dynamic words: “The Truth Will Set you Free,” they could have been taken as another parable or something prophetic; but the fact is they are the most practical words spoken. These six simple words can become the catalyst to changing your world forever. You can look at these words in the practical sense and see how it is knowledge that sets people free from ignorance and poverty. It is the power of truth that sets a man convicted of a crime that he never committed free from his imprisonment. It is truth that turns on the light of opportunity for a better tomorrow.
Yet people throughout history have been far too easily persuaded that darkness was light and up was down and enslavement was freedom. You and I have to seek the truth for ourselves and not be blindly led by the persuasions of smooth talking men. Too often we look up to men who make themselves sound so superior and full of intellect and wisdom, when all they “know” they simply made up in their own vain imaginations.
It is not until you discover the truth for yourself that the power of it is able to not only set you free, but it is the truth that lights the way to freedom. It is the truth that reveals the splendor of freedom.
Without the truth men have been complacently led down a path of mundane destruction. Like a frog being slowly boiled to death in a pot of water, we so easily close our minds to the chains that hold us from reaching the heights of our true destiny.
Discovering the truth for yourself does not mean discovering your own truth. The idea that whatever you believe to be true is true is false. When I say you have to discover the truth for yourself I do not mean that you have to discover your own truth, I man you have to discover THE truth. The problem is that we have been taught in so many different areas that truth is subjective.
What we need to do is to look at exactly Jesus was talking about in this passage and discover for ourselves this truth that will set us free.
Let’s begin at the most important question anyone has ever asked.
(John 8:25 KJV) Then they said to Him, “Who are You?”
When it all comes down to it this is the truth that sets us free. We just have to open our hearts to see it.
In the verses that follow Jesus tries to show the people who as this question His direct relationship with The Father. Some see it and get it, others still today really just don’t get it. So to the ones that “get it” he goes on to a deeper truth why He came.
(John 8:31-32 KJV) Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
The only thing that I want to point out here is that there is no separation in time here. In some of your Bibles there might be a separation with a subheading that might make you think the conversation is switching, but it stays with the same people and the same topic of who He is.
So, He explains to them who he is and then he tells them that if they realize that and hang onto it they will be free. That is what the “abide in My word” means. But they get side tracked like we so easily do and start talking about how they are free and always have been. Did they forget about Egypt and Babylon? But rather then bring up the past Jesus talks about the present. And rather then pointing our fingers at others the conversation gets turned towards each of us personally. Because He starts talking about the slavery of sin. And we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of G-D.
(John 8:34 Amplified) Jesus answered them, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Whoever commits and practices sin is the slave of sin.
From this point we in modern America might loose some of the illustration that He is making with the son of the family and the slave, because we have never lived in a society that condones slavery. But I think we can still get the idea of how a family member has more power then let’s say… the hired lawn keeper, or pool boy. It is here that Jesus gives us the good news of when the son sets you free you are free indeed.
(John 8:35 Amplified) Now a slave does not remain in a household permanently (forever); the son [of the house] does remain forever.
(John 8:36 Amplified) So if the Son liberates you [makes you free men], then you are really and unquestionably free.
Are we ever really free from sin? Some would say no because it is always standing at the door waiting to pounce upon you. Some would remind us how Jesus told us that even if we looked upon a women or a man with lust we have already committed adultery and if we just call someone a fool we are in danger of hell’s fires. That does not sound like much freedom to me. But the Bible is crystal clear on this.
Romans 8 confirms it. There is now therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ. We need to stop dragging around these bodies of death and be set free. The relationship that the Father has in mind for us is not one of slavery but it is one of freedom. Some of us have been so bound up by the slavery of religion for so long that we do not even see the glory of the freedom that was paid for us.
And that is what I was missing when I did not understand the truth of freedom that is represented by our nation’s flag. A price has been paid for those colors to be displayed. A great price that many people paid with their lives. The American flag does not simply represent our government. It represents the lives that have died for us. The young mane and women who put their lives on the line are not doing it for our government they
are doing it for us.
And Jesus did not pour out his blood for some religion of bondage. He poured out His blood for you. He poured out his life for your freedom. He gave His life so that you could have life. And that life, that freedom all ties back into that first question we asked; Who is Jesus. What is the truth. There really is nothing more important. There is nothing more relevant.
At the end of this chapter we see the people picking up stones to kill Jesus. I guess they didn’t abide in His word for very long did they. But again, we have to stop looking at other people at look at ourselves. He has told us over and over and over who He is yet we continue to put Him in our convenient little box.
The God of all creation and we rationalize Him down to side portion on our busy plate of life.
Freedom is more then just doing whatever you want to. Freedom is living in the light of truth and not being under condemnation.
I changed the title of this message from the truth of freedom, to the freedom of truth. It might not sound like a big difference but if you take a minute to think about it you can see the difference.
Jesus told us that if we could grasp and hold unto the truth, the truth of who He is, then we would be free. It is that truth that sets us free. The truth of Who He is that sets us free from condemnation. It sets us free from the power of sin and death and sickness and poverty and anger and hatred and prejudice and pain. It sets us free from oppression and lies and deceit and gossip. It sets us free from emotional turmoil and fear and frustration. It is in knowing Him and the power of His resurrection that gives us strength and courage and wisdom and the victory over all of life’s trials.
You might have known of Him but now He is inviting you to really Know Him. You might have experienced some idea of the Christian religion but now He is inviting you to have an intimate relationship with Him. It is this discovery today of the truth of who He is that will set you free and keep you free. You no longer have to fall into that snare that has tripped you up in the past. The yoke of bondage has been broken. The chains have been loosed. The shackles are removed and you have been set free.
Praise the L- -D we are free!!!!!!
I look forward to hearing from you all this coming week. G-D Bless