The Truth Will Set You Free

Former heavy-weight boxer James (Quick) Tillis is a cowboy from Oklahoma who fought out of Chicago in the early 1980s. He still remembers his first day in the Windy City after his arrival from Tulsa. “I got off the bus with two cardboard suitcases under my arms in downtown C … More


Jesus explained how when we obey God’s Word we grow in spiritual knowledge; and as we grow in spiritual knowledge, we grow in freedom from sin (vv. 31-32). These unbelieving Jews, even though they were under the iron hand of Rome at that very time, claimed that as Abraham’s descendants they had never been in bondage (v.33). Actually, the ten Northern tribes had been captive under Assyria and the two Southern tribes had spent seventy years of captivity in Babylon. The worst kind of bondage is when the person does not recognize it. He thinks he is free when he is really a slave. These religious leaders thought they were free, but they were actually in spiritual bondage to sin and Satan.


Physically these Jews were the descendants of Abraham (v.34). However, they were seeking to kill Jesus, and in doing so they were showing that they were not Abraham’s spiritual descendants. Jesus’ opponents, of course, appealed to their human understanding: “We are Abraham’s children!” Just as Ishmael, Abraham’s slave son, was cast out of the house (Gen. 21:8-21), so those in sin are in danger (vv. 35-36). Jesus made a distinction between Abraham’s fleshly seed (v. 37) and Abraham’s spiritual children (v. 39).

People reject Jesus because they confuse the physical and the spiritual. Jesus spoke to Nicodemus about a spiritual birth, but he asked about a physical birth (John 3:4). Christ offered the woman at the well eternal life (living water), but she talked about literal physical water (John 4:15). Salvation is a spiritual experience, and human birth has nothing to do with it.




These religious leaders were very proud. What are some areas of pride that perhaps keep me from enjoying God’s blessing? How has God been working in my life to break down these barriers?

John 8:31-38 (English Standard Version)

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." They answered him, "We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, 'You will become free'?" Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father."

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