My Thoughts On John 8:31-32

The truth shall set you freeVerse 32 is one of the most well known verses in the Bible…but how I wish more religiously-minded folks were as aware of the previous verse!  If more people who professed to be Christians took verse 31 to heart and obeyed it willingly and completely, not only would they truly find salvation…but the sinful division of denominationalism and sectarianism would be dealt a fatal blow!  (1 Cor. 1:10-13; Phil. 2:1-2; John 17:20-23)

How DOES one come to know the truth?  How DOES the truth set one free?  Jesus tells us in verse 31-32:  “…If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  Think about this, friends.  How do you know that you are REALLY a disciple of Christ?  Abide in the words of Jesus, obey them completely…and you really will be a Christian in the eyes of God (Matt. 7:21-27; Heb. 5:9; John 14:15, 23-24; 15:10, 14; 1 John 2:3-6; 5:3).  But how does one abide in his word?  That requires that one first know his word through daily study (Ps. 1:1-3; 1 Tim. 4:13, 15-16), which is how you will come to know the truth which will set you free from the slavery of sin (John 17:17; Rom. 6:17-18).

Many disagree with this, thinking that all that is required of them for salvation is to believe in Jesus.  However, notice that Jesus spoke these words to “the Jews who had believed in him” (v. 31a).  Thus, faith by itself is not enough; it must be accompanied by works of obedience to the Word of God (James 2:14-26).

Do you know the truth so it can set you free?

My Thoughts On John 7:24

Judging OthersChapter seven of John records how Jesus went up to the Feast of Booths and the Jews reacted to his teaching.  They were amazed that he knew so much without any formal education, to which Jesus replied that his teaching came from God.  He then pointedly asked them why they sought to kill him, considering that they were all guilty of violating the law of Moses.  They denied it, but Jesus brought out how they inconsistently were angry with him for healing on the Sabbath Day while they themselves obeyed Moses’ law regarding circumcision on that same day.  He then told them, “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”

It is easy for us to misjudge others simply by what we see while forgetting that oftentimes there is more to the story than what our eyes tell us.  It’s also easy to judge hypocritically by quickly pointing the finger at others while conveniently and inconsistently ignoring the fact that we ourselves are either guilty of the same thing or something close to it (cf. Matt. 7:3-5).

“Right judgment” is always consistent, and it is based on a righteous consideration of all the facts, including those which our eyes might not immediately see.  We in the church, continually aware of our own righteousness, must be very careful not to look down on the failings of others while ignoring our own weaknesses which are just like theirs.  Rather, let us judge each other rightly, and thus help each other get to heaven.