John 8:31-36 NIV – 31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” 34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
We crave freedom very early in life. Long before we can talk or walk we long to be free, to go where we want when we want. Our country was born out of an insatiable desire to be free. Brave men and women left the known for the great unknown, in hopes of finding real freedom. People die on battlefields everyday fighting for freedom and ensuring the freedom of others. Although, we all want to be free most haven’t a clue as to how to be free. Many times the things that we believe will bring freedom, money, power, influence, only bring bondage and unfulfilled dreams. So how do we achieve freedom? How do we become “free indeed?”
#1 You must know that you are enslaved.
2 Corinthians 4:4 NIV – 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Many people have been in bondage so long that they do not realize that they are enslaved to this world. Bondage can lure us asleep and convince us that there is no other way of life. The believing audience that Jesus was addressing became hostile when he proclaimed that He could set them free. They were living under Roman oppression and were slaves to the power and penalty of sin, yet in their minds they were totally free. We are not slaves nor have we been slaves, they responded. When we are living in our sins, the Devil convinces us that the life we are living is as good as it gets no need to hope for more. The Holy Spirit tugs at our hearts convincing us that we are created for more than just existing until we die.
John 10:10 NIV – 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
On the cross, Jesus broke the bondage, power and penalty of sin and released all that receive Him as their savior to live abundant and full lives, free from the guilt and condemnation of sin.
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the areas in your life where you are being deceived and enslaved.
#2 You must hold to His teaching.
Many believe that any type of rules or guidelines impinges on our freedom. Jesus teaches that nothing could be further from the truth. The word translated hold in this passage implies more than just a casual adherence to God’s Word. It means to take something firmly and retain it in the hand or arms. Knowing what the Bible says is not the same as holding onto the teachings of Jesus. Too many times, we allow our feelings about a particular subject or circumstance, to override what we know God’s Word says. The Word of God cannot be treated like a buffet, where we can pick what suits our taste, but it is a balanced meal that must be consumed and adhered to from Genesis to Revelation. Any departure from the truth of God’s Word will only produce bondage. Many today are still enslaved to the guilt and condemnation of sin because they are trying to think, or earn their way free from sin. Jesus teaches that there is only one-way to be free, that is through Him.
John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
1 John 1:8-10 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. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you embrace God’s word and allow the Bible to become the compass for your life.
Pastor Lee Ponder
Farmington Campus Pastor
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