Living in Freedoms Light

“If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:31-32)

In the United States of America and other nations in the world freedom is a high value that we wish to hold and have. And we know and never should forget that the freedoms we have come with the high cost of human blood. In the political atmosphere of this day we should never take the freedoms that we have as a society for granted. Over the course of my life time I have seen the freedoms of my childhood erode away without so much as an opposing argument. The freedoms that we are granted by the Bill of Rights are slowing fading from our grasp by the apathy of the voter. These freedoms are freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to assemble, and freedom to petition the government for redress

Plato describes the course of society as a progression. First is the Aristocracy which is ruled by a King. Then the government slowly becomes a Timocracy which is governed by those who place their value upon power. This is followed by an Oligarchy where the rich become the privileged and the poor suffer without voice. Eventually the people rise up and rebel and form a Democracy where freedom becomes the ultimate good. But a Democracy will degenerate into Tyranny because the people become complacent. The people have no discipline and society exists in chaos. Democracy is taken over by the longing for freedom. Power must be seized to maintain order. A champion will come along and experience power, which will cause him to become a tyrant. The people will start to hate him and eventually try to remove him but will realize they are not able. (Wikipedia) Democratic tyranny, evolving on the sly as a slow and subtle corruption leading to total State control, is thus the third and by no means a rare road to the most modern form of slavery. (Erik Kuehnelt-Leddihn) Francis Shaffer take the progression one step further tyranny to anarchy. We can see the seeds of tyranny and anarchy in our society today.

Political freedom is a wonderful thing if the government is of the people, by the people, and for the people. This is not the case here in America today as we are moving closer to a political Tyranny. Political freedom is not the freedom that Jesus offers to mankind. John Piper defines true freedom as this. “You are fully free when you have the desire, the ability, and the opportunity to do what will leave you with no regrets forever.”  The truth is that freedom that does not free the soul, freedom that does not set the eternal spirit of a man free from the wrath of God is not freedom. This is the freedom that Jesus Christ offers and only He can. True freedom comes from knowing Christ through genuine faith and abiding in His Word.

Jesus was addressing His disciples and the many who had come to hear Him teach. The Pharisees, as always, were there to try and catch Him saying something for them to find fault. But as we read prior to our text many were coming to believe Jesus’ words. “As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him.” (John 8:30) Jesus was now reinforcing His teaching with our text. So we would think that they had come to know Jesus by their faith in His words. But as we read the next verse we see that they did not comprehend what Jesus was saying. They did not understand to what they were enslaved to. “They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?” (John 8:33)

Many in the world today do not realize their slavery. They do not realize that they are enslaved to the sin in their life. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Who among us has not been born into sin from our grandparents in the Garden of Eden? Who among us has kept the Ten Commandments everyday of our lives? Who among us has not at one time in our lives has not fallen to wanton sinful living? Have we not all fallen into “the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life.” (1 John 2:16) We all sinned and face the debt of its wage which is death. (Romans 6:23) If we have stumbled and broken one commandment we have broken the whole of the law of God. “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” (James 2:10)

There are some who believe that they will be accepted into Heaven on the family plan. It is not the family you were born into that can save you but the family that you are redeemed into that brings you into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. You become a child of God by receiving Jesus as your Lord and Savior. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:12) It is by faith and faith in Him alone that we can become sons of God. That is the only family plan, God’s plan, that will gain you entrance into Heaven. “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:26)

It is not by knowledge of Jesus, not by knowing His name, and not by believing in God, as even the demons do that. It is by having a personal relationship with Jesus. By giving your life to Him and He sharing His life with you. That you would not only know of Him but know Him as your Lord and Savior. There is no righteousness that we can obtain of our self that can fill the measure of His perfect righteous. Perfect righteousness which is the only standard that is allowed into Heaven with a holy God. It is not our money, not our talents, not our empty words but the whole of our heart that God wants. Anything less is hypocrisy. Jesus told us so when He quoted the Prophet Isaiah. “And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far away from Me. ‘But in vain do they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.” (Mark 7:6-7)

Having a sound faith in God’s Word and trusting in the path that Jesus has set before you is where our true freedom can be found. Jesus tells us that if we live by His word this is the light that will guide our path. “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105) If we walk in His ways, then we are not bound by the treacherous paths of our own ways. This is not the way to be saved but is a proof that we are saved. That we walk in His word and the world will know that we are His disciples. “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine.” To continue in His Word means that we have to start in His Word

When we abide in His Word then we are in continual obedience to His Word. His Word controls our attitude, guides the way we think, controls our speech, and governs our behavior. It takes the burden of confusion off of us as we rely on the good counsel of His truth to guide our every action. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” (John 14:26 John 16:13)

No longer do we walk in the ignorance of the world or filled with a spiritual darkness. “So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart.” (Ephesians 4:17:18) The spiritual truths of God will be opened up to us and we no longer will be bound by the chains of worldly thinking which has a finite end but with thinking that is governed by the eternal Spirit from the Ancient of Days. The Spirit of Truth will reveal these truths to us that can be seen by our faith. “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.” For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10)

Since man’s fall in the Garden of Eden man has been enslaved to sin. In the Old Testament the Israelite nation was prepared for the coming of the Messiah by the sacrificial system of the blood of animals covering their sin. God accepted that but this is not what saved them from the penalty of their sin. They were saved by their faith in the Revelation of God, Jesus Christ. “Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.” (Galatians 3:6) In the New Testament God’s Son, Jesus came as the Messiah for the world. Jesus who paid the sin debt of the world is the full revelation of God through whom man can find salvation. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8)

Through Jesus, who is the grace of God, we have the ability to obey as He gives us His Spirit to live in and through us that we can walk in the Spirit of Truth. When we stumble He is faithful and true to forgive by our confession and repentance. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

No longer are we enslaved to sin or its penalty as we have been given freedom from the wrath of God. Jesus is the Word of God, the truth and His truth sets us free. “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, September 12, 2016

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