Friday, March 23, 2012

John 8:31-36

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:31-36)

“You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” This is one of the most frequently quoted and misquoted verses. People love to use it in relation to worldly knowledge. They twist the meaning to be that the more you learn, the better your education, the freer you will be from constraints.

Jesus’ audience also misunderstood, because they were thinking of political freedom. They did not consider themselves in need of freedom, because they were not in bondage to others. But Jesus makes it clear that the real bondage is bondage to sin. Sin makes slaves of every one of us.

It is amazing how quickly something can become habit-forming - to the point that it completely takes over our thoughts and time. And no one thinks they will become addicted to the sin! Whether it is smoking, or drinking, or using Facebook, engaging in an adulterous affair, or eating issues (whether overeating, anorexia, or bulemia), we all believe the lie, at first, that WE are in control.

But pretty soon you can’t wait for the next cigarette, or your thinking all day about going home and relaxing with that drink, or you are completely distracted at work, because you cannot get that person out of your mind. You spend every waking minute anxious to get another “fix.” That’s the way with sin! It looks good at first - and it feels good! Then it quietly begins to demand more attention from you, squeezing out the things that really matter. You think, “I’ll quit next week,” or “This will be the last time we sneak in a meeting with each other,” or “I can stop drinking any time I want.”

The irony of social networking is that it actually leads us AWAY from meaningful communication. How often have you seen people standing around in a group, all of them checking their cell phones for messages or texting like crazy, while being completely unaware of the others standing right next to them? Talk about addictive behavior!

The reality is, sin kills. It kills our will to do the right thing; it kills our relationships with family and co-workers; it kills our relationship with God. And it enslaves us!

Jesus is telling us here that if we will grab a hold of the truth about Who He is and what He has done, we will finally be free of the grip sin has on our lives. We will be free indeed! When we receive Christ in faith, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in us, giving us the power to break sin’s grip on our lives. This is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead - it can free us from our addictions! But you first must admit the truth about your sin - that’s part of “knowing” the truth. Then you can turn it all over to Christ, Who already died for that sin.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. (1 John 1:8-9)
If we think we are not sinners, we are calling Jesus a liar. But if we own up to our sin, and confess it AS SIN, we are promised that, because GOD is faithful and always just (we aren’t), He WILL forgive us. Not only that, He will wipe out the sin and make us completely clean again! Wow!

What is it that has you in its grip? Confess it! He will set you free!

No comments:

Post a Comment