John 8:31-32 is a conditional statement. Jesus says if we continue in His word, we will be His disciples. We will know the truth, and the truth will set us free. The key words are: “if”, “continue”, “truth”, and “free.”
If we abide in, stay with, live out and proclaim His word through our attitudes and actions, we will know His truth and we will be free.
Freedom is the one thing we all seek. Adam and Eve might have sensed “freedom” when they were told they would be like God and know good and evil. Satan told them a lie (they would be like God) and a truth (they would know good and evil). Their choice brought the curse God stated in Genesis 3. That was a curse on them and on the earth. For you and I, that curse ends at death when we go to be with Jesus. For the earth, the curse continues until the New Jerusalem descends out of God from heaven as described in Revelation 21.
Adam and Eve sought freedom and instead they found bondage. That bondage is what Jesus wants us out of in John 8:31-32 and He meant that we could be free of that bondage even before we die.
We all live with the two natures of good and evil. Both are in us. We want so much to be good and do well, and often we succeed. And in other times, more often than not, we really take leave of our senses and pursue evil with renewed purpose and assurance, with deliberation, with total cynicism, and all of this leads to the smell of the true nature of sin. Thank God that Jesus died for those sins and that we are saved by the grace of God through Jesus! Without Him it would be hopeless.
The “truth” is the ultimate reality of the grace of God in this life through Jesus. Within that grace are three aspects of that truth. If we claim these truths, life can become much more in tune with His glory and honor. Our reason to live is not out of our own ego, but out of a desire to glorify Him. That is the purpose of our lives: to glorify God.
The first truth is our position in Jesus. We are in Jesus and He is in us. Every day I recite Galatians 2:20 to myself. I was crucified with Christ. It is not I who live but Christ who lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in Jesus who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
The second aspect of his truth is my personage in Jesus. Who am I in Jesus? First of all, I am a saint. I cannot claim this because of my works. That would be a laugh! No. I claim this because the word tells me I am a Saint (1 Corinthians 1:2). Second, I am an Ambassador – an ambassador for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20). What is an ambassador? He/she is a person who represents his government in a foreign country. We represent Jesus in a world that is foreign to Him because that world is ruled by the devil and his angels. How do we live in this situation? By faith in Jesus – faith that He is in us and with us and is our friend. So, we love God and we love our neighbor as ourselves.
Third, I am His workmanship (Ephesians 2:10). I am here to do good works. This is how He can influence this world – through our good works. The goal of the good works is that others will see Jesus in us. They should. He is there – in us. Our goal is to claim that and open up our spiritual hearts so that He may be seen. Fourth, I am light (Matthew 5:14-16). My light shines because I am in Jesus. In the New Jerusalem of the future heaven, God will light that place by His presence. We will never know darkness again. But, here light is the antithesis of darkness. Our choice is to be a light on the hill that He may be seen in us.
Lastly, I am salt (Matthew 5:13). What does salt do? It (1) gives flavor; (2) is used as a preservative; and (3) can be used in healing. Think about that. It is not easy to be who we really are, and I suspect those of us in recovery because we probably did not want others to see who we really are. But, we are in Christ, and He is in us. That is the flavor – the spark of flavor we can give to this world. As salt, we can preserve the way of Jesus in the midst of this crazy world – to keep His way being put forth for others to see. And, as salt, we can have a healing influence on others around us.
I want to put all these words together in so far as my personage in Christ is concerned: I am a Saint. I am His Ambassador. I am His workmanship put here to glorify Him by my good works. The light of Jesus in me can shine out to others if I let it. As salt, I can flavor this world by just being me, which is something I am more comfortable with than ever. As salt, my values, which are His values, can help to preserve a better way of doing things in this world. As salt, I can help in the healing process by just loving others and also loving Him. Just the actual act of loving God can be a healing event.
I find these truths to be exciting. They give me hope. And, because they come from His word, they are real.
My name is Michael the Penguin and I am a Christian in Recovery.
See: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10