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Truth = Freedom
by Mary Alice McGinnis
What comes to mind when you think of the word freedom? How would you describe it? If you had total freedom, what would it look like? How does truth play a part in finding freedom?
In John 8, Jesus is having a dialogue with a group of Jews. He is inviting these newly “believing” Jews to go from an intellectual “belief” to a deeper level of faith and trust.
To the Jews who had believed Him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. John 8:31a
What Jesus says to them next sends them into a tailspin: “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31b.
Jesus hits a nerve. Notice, they did not ask, “What is this truth that will set us free?"
Their response was, “What do you mean??? We are already free and don’t need to be set free by anyone.”
The truth was that they were NOT free. Historically, they had been slaves in Egypt for 400 years, and many other nations had ruled over them throughout their history. They were currently under the oppressive political rule of Rome.
Spiritually, they were slaves too. They needed to keep up the perception that they had it all together, had all the answers, and were ultimately in control.
Jesus exposes the shame of their bondage to their sinful pride and self-sufficiency.
As humans, we all fall prey to this pervasive sin – sinful, self-sufficient pride. We want control. We want to depend upon ourselves and feel the independence of needing NO ONE.
Underneath this rickety thin layer of pride, the voice of shame runs deep. It speaks to our deepest fears and insecurities. So, we strive even harder.
The message of our shame is:
"Protect yourself at any cost."
"Don’t let down your guard.”
Often this leads us to quickly cover up, excuse, or justify our mistakes, unable to admit that we don’t measure up, even to ourselves, let alone to anyone else.
That kind of life is a vicious cycle, imprisoned by our hearts desire to be FREE and in control. What we thought would bring us freedom, only drives us deeper into the bondage of sin and shame. And it is all based upon lies and deception, and not upon truth.
The biblical word for TRUTH found in today's passage is defined as that candor of mind, which is free from pretense, simulation, falsehood, and deceitful self-deception. How does knowing God’s truth set us free? How can we know this truth?
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
“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.” 1 John 1:8-9
Jesus is inviting US to a new way of life. This new life is founded on HIS truth that results in perfect, unshakeable, everlasting freedom. Bring the sins of your pride before your forgiving Father today. He wants to release you from your bondage of shame.
Surrender your heart to Him through this song today. "Run to the Father"