The Truth Shall Set You Free

John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free

the way to be free is to be bound to the truth

 

The word “free” means to liberate, or to exempt.

This passage has particular relevance to the Jews who are under bondage as a nation to the Roman empire.  Jesus is saying individual Jews can be free spiritually, even though they are physically bound to a tyrannical government.

We love the truth we know and agree with.  But we can disagree with the truth.  The truth will touch our heart. We must make a decision to either accept or reject the truth.  If we reject the truth, we get harder and harder.  More people have been hardened in church services because during church services is the most often time people are called upon to make a decision for or against the message.

You will accept or reject the truth based on your relationship with God.  To be free from sin, you must admit your guilt before God, and forsake your sin.  Remember the example of the woman taken in adultery?  Jesus told her to go and sin no more.  A lie will not set you free, because you are constantly trying to cover it up.  You must constantly remember the lie you told, and tell other lies, trying to make the first lie be the truth.  Sin has consequences.  Sexual sins cause for more sexual sins, and more dishonesty to cover the sin up.  Sins bring with them physical diseases, and other physical aliments.  Sin binds you to other sins.  Sin never sets you free.  When you are mad at somebody and won’t forgive and forget, your remembrance of them always makes you mad all over again.  But when you have turned loose of your anger, your remembrance of that person will bring joy to you.

Consider John 4 – the woman at the well.  She was bound in sin, as is revealed when Christ told her she had been married five times, and the man she was living with was not her husband.

Ephesians 2:1-3 – Lost people are bound in sin, not bound in the truth.  Lost people serve the devil, who is the prince and the power of the air.  Lost people have no choice but to continue in sin, because that is all they know. Their dead spirits and dead conscience never brings them to the place of knowledge of sin, or of repentance, much less bring them to eternal life.

It must be understood that the truth can make a person free even while they are in prison.

Consider Joseph, who was a slave, yet considered himself a faithful servant of God.  Even when his brother sold him into slavery, even when Potiphar believed his lying wife instead of Joseph, even when the butler forgot to tell Pharaoh about Joseph interpreting his dreams, Joseph remained free.  When Joseph’s brother came into Egypt to get grain, and Joseph revealed himself to them, he told them they meant their selling him for evil, but God meant it for good.  The truth made Joseph free.  Genesis 45:5, 50:20

Consider also the Apostle Paul, who spoke the gospel while in chains.  Paul spoke to Felix and Agrippa.  When Agrippa said to Paul, “…Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian”, Paul replied, “…I would to God, that no only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.”  [1]

Four different kinds of truth.

I.       Cardinal truth - the truth that makes no demands, except that we believe it.  These are foundational truths – the source and basis of all other beliefs.

A.    Sovereignty of God.

B.    Election.

C.    Local Church.

D.    Virgin Birth of Christ.

 

II.    Truth that makes a demand of us.  If we believe it, we’ll practice certain things.  If we don’t believe it, we won’t practice it.

A.    Tithing.

B.    Praying.

C.    Studying.

D.    Missions.

E.     Living right.

 

III.  The truth that makes us free - John 8:32.  These truths are in addition to salvation, church membership.  This is the truth that tells us that we’re not living right, we’ve got grudges, hard feelings against someone or something.

 

IV. Obvious truth - things that are plain.

A.    Plain things that even a lost person can see.

Luke 10:25-37 - The parable of the good Samaritan.  In this example, it is obvious to the Levi and to the priest that the wounded man needed help.  Only the Samaritan stopped and helped.  Will we be like the “religious” people, or like the man that put his religion to work?

B.    Plain things that every saved person ought to see.

I Kings 18 - Obadiah was the governor of the house of Ahab, and feared the Lord greatly.  When Jezebel cut off the prophets of God, Obadiah hid 100 prophets and fed them.  This is something that a lost person probably wouldn’t do, but every saved person should do.  Obadiah is taking the Lord’s Word that hiding the prophets is the right thing  to do.  See I Kings 18:8-16 - Obadiah wouldn’t take Elijah’s word about telling Ahab where Elijah was, but he would take God’s word when spoken by Elijah.  These are plain obvious truths, that every saved person ought to accept and act upon.

 

The message is primarily part 3 and 4 of truth.

 

I.       God will not deal with me greater than I are willing – NOW.  John 4:24 - We only worship God to the extent that we know the truth.  (This does not destroy the Sovereignty of God.  I really believe we’ve relied too much on this doctrine, and not near enough in putting the truth of it into action in our lives.  If we really believed God is Sovereign, we’d be much more willing to live a separated live before Him.)

 

II.    God cannot deal with us beyond our maturity.

A.    We cannot deal with young children beyond their years of learning.  Until a child learns that a cow is a cow and not a dog, they believe a cow is a dog.  The same thing is true with us.  We must believe what God’s word says, then we can learn more and greater truths and God will deal with us differently.

B.    The truth will mean so much more to us.

C.    We’ll stop our spiritual childish ways.

D.    Some people consider it “cute” when a young baby makes mistakes, but not so “cute” when an older Christian (who ought to know better) makes the same mistakes.

 

The way to be free is to be bound to the truth.

 

Rom. 12 - building though the inner life of the church.

1.      Make every member a functioning member.

2.      Make every member do his own part.

3.      Nobody can do your part.  It just won’t be done.

4.      Other faithful members must double up on their job.

5.      The faithless members job (responsibility) is not decreased.

 

Rom. 12:5 - All the church members of members of the same church.  Remember the message preached by Brother Elton Wilson, “The Two Churches I Pastor”.

1.      They are knit together like a knitted garment.  You can pull on the corners, but the garment won’t come apart because it’s all knitted together.

2.      All the parts of the body are important.  We wouldn’t want to lose a finger or toe, even hair!!

a.      I Cor. 12:24 - tempered together - to mix together.  Tempered together like steel, welded with heat.  Compare with Daniel 2:41.

b.      Our natural body is in harmony - working together for the best interest of the body, and other external things.  (like family, friends, etc.)

c.      We are more than a unit, we are a unified unit.

1.      If you don’t help, you’re hurting.

2.      You may set yourself against the church (getting your own way) and nobody says anything, but God knows and everybody else knows too.

d.      Rom. 15:1-3 -

1.      People that think they are strong usually want their own way.  If you think you are strong, then you ought not try to get your own way, but try to teach those that you consider weak.  We need to change our attitude.  Most of the time, those who think they are strong aren’t strong, they’re just bossy!

2.      Please our neighbor, so he can grow.

3.      Verse 3 - This is what Christ did.  (And He never complained, but He always taught.)

 

Rom. 12:9, 10 - Be kind one to another.

1.      Must learn to be kind whether thy are ever kind to us or not.

2.      They are also a member of the body and the body isn’t fully functional when the members are not in agreement.

3.      We must learn to be tender, not like an army sergeant.

4.      Try it for a week, and I’ll guarantee a change for the better (not only in yourself, but also in others!)

5.      You’ll be more spiritual.

6.      Our church will be more spiritual.

a.      We all want our church to be better - how??

b.      People may volunteer to do many things.

c.      We don’t need to do as much as we need to be.

d.      Other people will want to change.

e.      We’ll discover there aren’t near so many problems as we thought.

f.       Our nerve problems will be helped.

g.      Revival will come - to us at least.

7.      Example of the man who carried a marble in his pocket to remind him of his daily Bible verse.  Sometimes it’s good to turn your watch over as a reminder.

8.      Note how easy we get upset:

a.      In traffic.

b.      At people when they make mistakes (that we think are obvious).

c.      At waiting in line when the cashier or a customer makes a mistake.

d.      We need to act so the world can see a difference.

9.      Our problem is:  we’ve been going in the wrong direction so long it’s going to take a while to stop and turn around and get started the other way.  But the result will be very good and better than we can ever imagine.

10.  We expect others to straighten up while we continue the same way we’ve always been.

11.  Two things happen at an invitation.

a.      Because there have been so many invitations before and we have no intention of making any decision or change in our lives, we slip our hearts and minds into neutral.

b.      There’ll be a resistance to the truth, no matter how obvious and simple this truth is.

 

What will you do with these things?



[1] Preached to here 07/28/02 IBC Sunday Morning