The Cost of True Freedom

John Hill 

"So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him,“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him,“We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them,“Truly, truly, I say to you,everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."  John 8:31-36

July 4th is a great time for getting together with family and friends and enjoying good food, good conversation, and, if you are really fortunate, a few dips in a good swimming pool. Then to top off the night, you can go to any number of places and watch a great fireworks display; all in the name of the American dream and freedom.

Yet, as fortunate as it is to live in America, many people are still enslaved and not truly free. According to Jesus’ words in John 8, only those who “abide in [His] word” are set free. But, you may be asking, we are American and we are not slaves to anyone! Interestingly, those are exactly the same words that were used when Jesus first spoke about genuine freedom. The thing is that Jesus was not talking about national freedom, but spiritual freedom. And when it comes to the spiritual, we are all born into slavery, to sin. But Jesus offers a way out of that through knowing the truth which happens when we abide in God’s word.

In essence, what Jesus is saying is that when it comes to truth, it’s not about knowing a “what”, but about knowing a “who.” And the who we are to know is Jesus, who is called the Word of God in John 1:1, and calls Himself the truth in John 14:6. So the question is, “do you know the truth?” Have you been set free?

By the way, freedom is not a one-time thing, but an ongoing battle because every day there is something, a philosophy, an activity, or a habit, that will tempt us to return to our chains unless we set our minds to be truly disciples of Christ. This happens when we commit to knowing Jesus more and more each day.

I would encourage you to continue to study the Bible, continue to pray, continue to come to church, continue to reach out to your friends, continue to give, and continue to pursue God. "For if you have been set free by the Son (Jesus) you are free indeed."

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