JESUS SAID, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” [John 8:31-32]
Jesus orders us to “continue in my word,” and He connects it to the truth. (cr. John 17:17) When we keep His word, the truth, we will be FREE!
FREE from what? From what does obeying the word of God set us FREE?
We’re used to having liberty in our country (free speech, right to assemble etc.), but most fail to realize they’re in bondage.
Let’s search the scriptures to learn from what we’ve been set FREE.
The Truth shall set us FREE from:
The FEAR of death. “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” [1Cor. 15:56,57]. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” [2Tim 1:7]
Being set free from the FEAR of Death is a powerful blessing from obeying Christ. By extension, we are FREE from the FEAR of men. “We ought to obey God rather than men.” [Acts 5:29].
The truth also sets us FREE to pursue RIGHTEOUSNESS. Prior to knowing (& obeying Gal 5:7) the truth we were in bondage to sin and free FROM righteousness. Now we are FREE from sin to pursue RIGHTEOUSNESS. “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” [Rom 6:18-20].
This does not mean that we can’t sin [1John 1:8-10], nor does it give us license to sin. Rather, it is teaching that we can have assurance on how to live faithfully, and avoid sin.
Another thing from which we’ve been set FREE is found in the letter to the Galatians. Paul reminded the saints that Christ set them FREE from the ENTAGLEMENT of the Law of Moses. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” [Gal. 5:1; cr. 2:4; 4:9;]
Returning to the Law of Moses is tantamount to going back into bondage. It’s sad when folks appeal to the OT for NT practices, thereby becoming ENTANGLED in bondage. “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” [Gal 3:10]. “But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” [Rom. 7:6].
Going back to Romans we learn one more thing. Having been set FREE from sin, we may now have EVERLASTING LIFE. “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” [Rom. 6:22]
None of the above will happen if we are ignorant of the truth. Remember, it is continuing in the TRUTH that sets us FREE. Before we can continue in it, we must first be in it.
…we become one of His disciples. HOW do I become a disciple of Christ? Remember, Jesus said, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” [John 8:31-32] To become His disciple we must obey the Gospel. Before He ascended into heaven He gave this command, “Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit:” [Matt 28:19 (ASV)]
The Gospel is what calls us [2Thess. 2:14]. By hearing the truth, we can then believe that Jesus is the Christ [John 20:30-31; Rom 10:17].
By hearing and believing the truth, we learn to repent [Luke 13:3], and we learn to confess that Jesus is the Christ [Act 8:37].
By hearing and believing the truth, we learn to be baptized for the remission of sins. [Acts 2:38; 22:16; Mark 16:16].
Being set FREE occurs AFTER obeying the gospel. The Gospel is the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus [1Cor 15:1-4]. Obeying the Gospel is the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of us through water baptism [Rom 6:3-4].
Obey the Gospel and be set FREE.
Spencer is a gospel preacher residing in Borger Texas where he works with the congregation that meets at Franklin & Juniper streets.