Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Truth that Sets You Free

Jesus was having a conversation with some Jews who had an intellectual belief in Him (John 8:31-47). These Jews represent a great many people today, who have an intellectual assent to the sayings of Jesus but they do not have a personal relationship with Him. Or to put it another way, they believed in what Jesus taught, but they did not believe in Him as their personal Savior.

Many people recognize the good teachings of Jesus, and in that sense, they believe in Jesus. But herein lays the dilemma: it is not good enough to simply believe in the teachings of Jesus. Aligning oneself with the moral teachings of the Holy Scriptures will not remove sin from the heart of a person. Being a moral person in a relativistic way may label you as “good” in the sight of others, but it will not save you in the eyes of God.

The words of Jesus are not to be merely agreed to intellectually; they are designed by God to draw you into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. An exercise of the mind is not enough; it takes an exercise of the heart as well. Jesus said,

“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
“And you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free” (John 8:31-32).

How do you know that what you have with Jesus is not mere “head-knowledge,” but that it is – in fact – “heart-knowledge?” If you truly know Jesus as your personal Savior, the Truth you have gleaned from His Word will set you free from the sin in your life. And to the degree that you remain in His Word – by living it out by faith each day of your life – will be the degree that you shall be free indeed!

It is the Presence of the Truth – that is Jesus – in your life that sets you free from the sins of your life. So many churches are full of people who have a head-knowledge of the teachings of Jesus Christ, but they know nothing of a heart-knowledge of the Savior. How can such a thing be said? It is simple: their lives display no freedom from the trappings of sin that fill their lives. Their hearts are still filled with anger and hate toward others. Greed and envy fills their minds – discontent and unrest permeate their being. And all the while, these “church-goers” attend their worship services – their lives full of hypocrisy – never meeting God! Is it any wonder why so many worship services are exercises in futility? From the pulpit to the pew, there is spiritual deadness. They have a head-knowledge toward God but lack the heart-knowledge toward Jesus Christ.

And when these observations are made, these church-goers react the same way as the Jews did in the passage aforementioned. As to the Jews mentioned, Jesus said to them,

“But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I hear from God” (John 8:40).

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