Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Truth About The Truth

The Bible makes it clear that when one becomes born again immediately the power and tyranny of sin is broken over them.  This is a result of Jesus' work on earth which led Him to the cross to pay the price for the sins of all mankind.  This was ratified in His rising from the dead which provides eternal life for those who receive and follow Him. The point at which one receives Jesus is the starting point in an awesome relationship that is designed to grow throughout the rest of eternity...way far beyond this life.  So why are so many born again believers of Jesus still bound to sin?  Why are so many returning to the sins they were set free from?  And why are so many believers being trapped into new areas of sin in their lives?

There's a marked difference between being tripped up by the enemy and stumbling, and being bound to sin in certain areas of your life.  Jesus said whoever commits sin is the slave of sin.  This means to willingly and knowingly sin.  In another place He said you become the slave of whatever you submit to.  The truth of what He implies is that as strong as the pull of sin can be on a born again Christian...we still have much to do with whether we become a slave to it or not!  And Jesus made it possible through His sacrifice for you and me to REMAIN free from sin.  We have our part.  James said that if we submit ourselves to God, resist the enemy...he will flee from us.

Even before Jesus went to the cross He began to prepare us to live in victory over sin.  John 8:31- 32 says,  "So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, 'If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."  Notice that Jesus had a message for those who had just believed Him.  I'm convinced that the next few words of out Jesus' mouth would not have come out of His mouth had those Jews not believed Him.  For those who had just believed Him Jesus was telling them "You are about to become free.  However, you must continue in my teaching in order to stay free.  Why?  Because I (He said) teach the truth...and it is the truth that will make you free!  Believing Me is not enough.  If you really believe Me, you will live what I teach and you will do what I instruct you to do.  Why?  Because what I teach is the truth...and the truth will make you free!"  It is obvious these Jewish believers needed a lot of Jesus' teaching.  This fact was revealed as they totally missed Jesus' point.  Listen to John 8:33, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, 'You will become free'?"  These folks (who were enslaved) didn't even know they were enslaved!  But Jesus' teaching (the truth) would set them free.  The requirement however, was to forsake the world, their man-made traditions, live the word's of Jesus, and follower hard after Him!

In all of His infinite wisdom Jesus was unveiling a plan for these skeptical Jewish folks to become free from the bondage of their sins.  This is ingenious!  Listen to John 8:34 - 36.  Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.  The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever.  So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed."  In His example Jesus compares a slave to a son.  A slave may work in the house, but he is not a part of the house (lineage or family).  And even in a physical sense he one day will be removed and replaced by another slave.  He may even be sold and replaced.  On the other hand, a son will be a part of the family (house or lineage) forever!  Why?  Because of the blood line.  Jesus was about to pour out His blood for the whole world and send forth the Spirit of adoption that would make all who truly believe in Him sons of God!  They would no longer be slaves, but sons!  No longer enslaved (to darkness) but free!  Again, Jesus said, "So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed."  Jesus also was telling you and me that if we are truly sons and daughter of God, we can no longer LIVE as slaves.  Why?  Because we're not slaves anymore.  We are sons and daughters.  We are free!

Jesus' stay on the earth was temporary.  He would eventually return to the Father in glory.  So He tells these folks to "Continue in my word and you will be my genuine followers.  The result is you will know the truth...and it is the truth that will make (and keep) you free."  And that's the truth about the truth!

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