THE LIBERATING POWER OF TRUTH
By Henry Jaegers
"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, if ye continue in my word, then ye are my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." John 8: 31, 32
These are some of the most important and powerful words spoken by Christ because they set before us a standard that determines what we choose to believe. In John chapter 8, Jesus addresses two classes of Jews. The first group was those, who after they heard His words, chose to follow Him. These verses were addressed to them. They were the ones who chose to embrace the truth.
The second group was hostile Jews, entrapped in their religious formalism and false beliefs. These rejected Christ's words and choose religion over truth. Jesus said after they claimed to be children of Abraham that they were children of Satan because they chose to believe his lies.
Not much has changed over the ages from that time until now. Those two groups of people have expanded to the non-Jewish people as well. There are faithful followers of Christ and there are those, who through ignorance and willful disobedience, choose to reject Christ. Truth never changes because truth originates from the Creator, the God of truth. This truth is conveyed through His word (the Scriptures) and is spoken by His messengers (consisting of preachers, prophets, and angels in some cases.) The problem is that we have a carnal nature with a limited understanding of the truth. We tend to confuse what God has spoken with "How do I feel about it?"
Sometimes we get locked into a system of imperfect understanding and stop learning. Paul the Apostle spoke of those who were “ever learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth”. This learning concentrates on trying to undermine God's truth. (II Timothy 3:7) Sometimes Christians get locked up into systems that prevent them from spiritual growth and they develop false security without ever giving a thought to if what they believe is true.
On a more positive note, what does the truth do for us? Consider:
1. Truth gives true security without our having to understand or make sense of it all.
2. Truth helps us to understand even if we don't agree. Maybe we need to consider the possibility that we may be wrong in this matter. Truth confirms already existing truth or forces us to change our position when we are wrong.
3. Truth makes us flexible. If we are desirous in knowing and practicing truth, we must be willing for the truth to change us.
4. Truth gives us credibility. It issues forth from a lifestyle that conveys truth to others.
5. The truth is the patient. It is not forceful in trying to change others but waits for God to convince in His time and in His way.
6. Truth is faithful. You can always count on it coming through on its promises.
7. Truth is always consistent with the intended meaning of scripture. It does not need to use random verses of scripture to support non-Biblical teachings.
8. The Holy Spirit promises to direct us into all truth and this truth is confirmed by His indwelling presence. (This is consistent with His Word.)
In Jesus's words, He states that the true follower will continue in His word and the promise is that they shall continue to know the truth and experience a life of true freedom. Truth never changes, but the life of the Christian must allow itself to be taught and transformed by this truth. I am reminded of Paul's words in II Corinthians 4: 7" that we have this treasure (God's truth and power) in earthen vessels (imperfect minds and bodies) to remind us that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us".
As we complete this message, consider that we do not yet possess perfect understanding, however, we should be passionate to proclaim the truth that God has allowed us to have. Our goal should be that others experience a life full of joy and purpose because they have embraced the truth.