John 8:31 – 38
Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” “But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free’?” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. Yes, I realize that you are descendants of Abraham. And yet some of you are trying to kill me because there’s no room in your hearts for my message. I am telling you what I saw when I was with my Father. But you are following the advice of your father.”
There’s a famous quote that says “I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.” Some attribute this quote to Harriet Tubman. Regardless of who made this statement, it is very true. Christ talks about setting us free. Those who follow Him and remain faithful will know the truth and the truth will set them free!
Do you ever see arguments in the comments section on social media about Christianity? As Christians, we are easily able to see the truth and recognize when we fall short. Our discernment is a blessing. But those who are still slaves have cataracts. They can’t see and have no idea of their bondage. They are just like the crowd Jesus was ministering to.
The immediate response from the crowd listening to Christ was rejection. They refused to believe they needed Christ to set them free. Based on their limited understanding they were not slaves.
I wonder how many people could have been set free that day if they only knew they were slaves to sin? How many people would have walked into heavens door if they only recognized their bondage? It’s hard in today’s world to get people to understand and recognize their sins. Everyone is so comfortable in their sin. Churches seem to preach against certain sins and forget others. We love to talk about fornication, adultery, and blasphemy. But we forget about un-forgiveness, lies, coveting, and other sins we commit on the regular.
Christ lets us know in this scripture He has set us free! He made it very clear. He simply said “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” This statement is so HUGE! I almost missed it. Christ literally set us free because he is the Son of God. He, and only He, has the authority to set us free.
Typically, as a slave, you are owned by a Master. Because you are a slave you are not a true member of the family. Paul lets us know we are either slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness. (Romans 6:15-18) This message is so clear. But it’s easily missed if you refuse to believe you are a slave. In order to be set free we must first recognize and be truthful about who and whose we are.
Sin is literally bondage. It ties and weighs us down. But, Christ sets us free. When we are slaves to sin we are following a different Master. In this passage Christ calls out the crowd and tells them they are illegitimate. He let them know they were being led by a different Master. Their father was not the same as His heavenly father. The crowd turned up against Jesus once they heard this. They grew more and more angry as He threw the truth in their faces.
I see this every day and all day in life and Social Media. It’s hard to recognize the truth when you are tied down in sin. There’s a saying that reads “Truth sounds like hate, to those who hate the truth”. The enemy hates the truth. Christ told the crowd there was no room in their hearts for His message. There was so much hate in their hearts they did not have enough room to accept the truth.
Hate is too heavy a burden for me to carry. Anytime I feel weighed down and feel negativity on the horizon, I know I need to do a heart check. What have I been filling my heart with. Have I been reading the Word of God? What am I watching on TV? Am I spending more time on social media then with God? Am I moving closer or farther away from my purpose? Is my heart filled with the love of Christ or have I filled it with everything else?
So many questions! It’s so easy to forget that Christ has set us free. Why continue to take orders from an evil master when we have an opportunity to leave the plantation and make our own journey? I thought we were free!
God has given us the authority to Live Set Free! So do it! There are so many times I begin to fall off the trail. But then I begin to say to myself, “I thought I was free”. If I’m free, why in the world am I committing the same sins over and over again. Why am I not in the Word of God? Why is my mind straying away from the heart of Christ? It’s so easy to forget. The enemy loves to distract us and make us feel we are too busy. This is when he attacks. All of a sudden, we are too busy to read the Bible. But for some reason, we still find time to catch our shows and scroll through social media. We must never forget that Christ has set us free! Everyday we have to remind ourselves to live set free! We must make daily declarations that we are no longer slaves to sin. We will remain truthful to the teachings of Christ and walk out His Word every single day.
So, who are you following? Have you been set free or are you still bound by the shackles on your feet? The chains can be broken once you open your eyes and see they are there. Can you see them or have you let sin give you cataracts?
Christ has given each of us the ability to Live Set Free. Just do it!