"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.' " (John 8:31-32)
This lesson is the third in the series, "About the Truth." The first lesson was "God's Truth in the Old Testament" where we learned that God's Word in its entirety is truth (Psalm 119:160). The second lesson was "Jesus is the Truth" based on John 14:6. This lesson discusses Jesus' instructions to believers to abide in the Word and to know the truth experientially.
To whom was Jesus speaking? When Jesus spoke the promise, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free," Jesus was speaking to people who believed him. That is, Jesus was speaking to people who had faith in him and who trusted him. The beginning of John 8:31 states, "So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him ..."
Believe in Jesus. Jesus does not ask us to believe a truth, or any truth (Ref. 1). Jesus asks us to believe that He is the truth (John 14:6). If you have never put your trust in Jesus, or if you have strayed away from Jesus, put your trust in him today. Believing in Jesus who is the Truth will set you free from slavery to sin, and will give you eternal life.
"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death" (Romans 8:1-2).
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
Abide in the Word and know the truth experientially. Jesus says to believers in the second portion of John 8:31 and in verse 32, "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 Greek word for abide is menó which means remain, abide (Ref. 2). As believers in Christ, we are to abide in the Word, and persevere in studying, learning, and applying God's Word.
Jesus says that if we abide in the Word we will know the truth experientially (John 8:31-32). The Greek word for know is ginóskó which means to know, especially through personal experience (first-hand acquaintance) (Ref. 3). Knowing the truth experientially requires knowing Jesus who is the truth, as well as knowing and living the Word of God on a daily and life-long basis.
Jesus says that if we abide in the Word we will know the truth and the truth will make us free (John 8:31-32). The Greek verb make free is eleutheroó which means liberate, set free, release from bondage (Ref. 4). When we trust Jesus as our Lord and Savior, abide in his Word, and grow in knowledge of his truth, we are set free from slavery to sin. Jesus says, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin" (John 8:34). "So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:36).
Billy Graham Quote. I will end this post with a quote from Billy Graham's message, "What is Truth?" (Ref. 1)
"Turn to Christ—to the truth. Jesus said, 'You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free' (John 8:32). He said, 'I am … the truth' (John 14:6). Jesus did not say, 'You shall know a truth' or 'any truth' but 'the truth.' He’s the embodiment of all truth. Jesus said, 'If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins' (John 8:24). If you don’t believe that and don’t accept Christ, you will die in your sins and you’ll be lost. Jesus Christ claimed to be ultimate truth. Are you willing to face the truth?" (Ref. 1)
Apply. Are you willing to face the ultimate truth of Jesus Christ? Will you put your faith and trust in him? What steps will you take to abide in God's Word and to grow in your knowledge of the truth?
1. https://billygraham.org/decision-magazine/march-2017/classic-message-billy-graham-truth/ ©1985 Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Used with permission. All rights reserved.
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