John 8:31-32 – “So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ” If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” NASU
My purpose is not to start a firestorm of religious argument but to call attention to both the requirement and promise of our LORD to those of that day and to us today. He was speaking to Jews who believed Him or believed in Him. They believed He was who He claimed to be, “Messiah”. They believed that He had the words of eternal life. They recognized Him as a great prophet and knew that His message was completely other than that of the religious leaders of their day. THEY BELIEVED!
Jesus then said something that is troubling for many. He said, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will now the truth and the truth will make you free.” There are many facets of what He said that need to be considered, observed, and accepted if we are to find, have, receive, and walk in the Abundant Life He Promised and become the Glorious Church He came to build.
First, they were believers! However, Jesus indicated that just believing was not enough to enter into that fullness He taught there had to be CONTINUING as well. That continuing meant obedience to His words, precepts, and teachings. It is only in continuing that we become genuine disciples not simply one that professes a belief that He is who He declares Himself to be. The profession of faith is the first step, not the entire race. It is the beginning, not the conclusion. If we stop there we fall so far short of what God has for us we will be tormented by the enemy of our souls and never fulfill the words of Isaiah’s promise in 40:31 – “…They that wait upon the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up like the eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and to become weary.” We will not find ourselves in the place of Psalm 91 nor will we truly embrace and experience the promise of Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30. So, CONTINUING is a necessary ingredient in our spiritual development and life.
Next, Jesus promises that IF WE CONTINUE and become genuine disciples THEN two things will happen. We will KNOW Truth and that Truth that we know will make us free. I said, the Truth that you know not just truth. Yes, God’s truth is what makes us free but if we do not know that truth we will not exercise faith with regard, to it nor will we walk in that truth and being made free requires both knowing and obeying, therefore, it is The Truth that You Know that makes you Free. Not your own definition of truth but God’s Truth. God’s Truth that becomes part of your being, part of your consciousness, and shapes who you are. So, continuing in His Word in obedience leads to Freedom.
It is not enough to give mental assent to the truth we must CONTINUE in it. It is not enough to express the belief that Jesus is the Christ we must CONTINUE in His truth and as we embrace that truth, walking it out in our lives that Truth liberates us, empowering us to stand in the face of all temptation and in the midst of any storm of life.
God, bless you as you CONTINUE in His Word and FOLLOW Him fully and freely!