You Will Know The Truth And The Truth Will Set You Free

“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)

Most of us have read this verse before and have an idea of what it means. It carries more than meets the eye though. Let us consider it in some detail.

Those are the words of Jesus and he was speaking to a group of Jews. Some of them believed his words and others did not. He explained how sin enslaves people and how he could set them free if they listened to him. The hard-hearted Jews ruined the conversation and rejected his words, probably because he mentioned sin.

As believers we should never be too proud to acknowledge our sin because it hinders access to God’s grace. A part of the truth is we all have sinned, but the complete truth is Christ died for our sin and offers us forgiveness and right standing with God. That is what the unbelieving Jews missed.

However, this verse has more to it than just sin. Jesus came to set us free from all things that oppress us. Keep in mind that Christ himself is the truth and his name — derived from Jeshua, means Savior or Salvation. That was and remains his mission: to deliver us from all that binds us.

Let us consider what typically oppresses us and learn how we can be set free by God’s truth.

Just to reiterate, all the freedom God gives is experienced by those who steadfastly believe His Word. We just noted above that some of the Jews refused to acknowledge the truth in Jesus’ words and therefore remained bound in their sin. We will only be set free when we hold fast to God’s truth.

Freedom From Deception

What do you believe? I do not mean what you say you believe, I mean what you actually believe. The proof of any belief is in action not words. If one says “I believe I am stronger than a fully grown lion”, those are simply words. The actual belief will show if perhaps he is on safari and a rogue lion finds its way to the open door of his vehicle. The truth of what that person believes will manifest.

In our world today there are countless voices. We have social media influencers, various religious wise men, modern-day diviners (astrology), scientists and other educated experts. Do not get me wrong, there are experts that will help you, but when they go against the written Word, you should draw the line. It is surprising how some Christians will listen to these people even when they contradict the Bible.

I believe it is one of the main hindrances to experiencing the fullness of Christ’s freedom. We read the Word then afterward take in other “truths” over the internet and other media. This muddles up our minds with conflicting ideas.

In Ephesians Paul says if we receive the right teaching of God’s Word we shall “no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting” (Ephesians 4:14). You should remember ALL deception comes from the Devil, he simply hides behind some of the above mentioned voices. He is the father (production source) of all lies (John 8:44).

This is how you destroy deception: you get to know the truth. Knowing the truth is different from believing the truth. As infant Christians we start out on the faith God graciously gives us and we believe without experiencing much. When we’ve walked with Him a good while, it shifts from belief to an unshakeable knowing.

Let me explain what I mean: You may believe God can deliver but when He delivers you from one of your greatest fears you will KNOW he can deliver. You may believe that God can heal, but after you’ve received healing from a grievous illness, you will KNOW that He can heal. You may believe God is gracious but after making a terrible mistake in life and experiencing His Grace you will KNOW he is full of grace.

When you read the Word over a long period of time, you will know its truth. That truth will be verified by your own experiences with God and you come to understand that everything that challenges what you believe is false. You cannot tell someone who has experienced the truth of God’s Word it isn’t true.

When you know God like Job knew Him, like Abraham knew Him, like David knew Him, like Daniel knew Him, like Paul knew Him – to mention a few, then no one can make you doubt. You learn that everything in His Word is perfect truth.

Abide in the Word of God, read it often, pray about your concerns, live by what you read in the Bible –to the best that you can, have faith in God, allow Him to guide you, and you shall know His truth, then He will set you free from all deception.

Freedom From Worry And A Troubled Mind

This is closely related to the previous because the sources tend to be the same. Let me first say that there are unique and tragic experiences that can lead some to have troubled minds. I get that, and have compassion for you (if you fall in this category). That said, God can still help, just trust Him. I said this because I do not want you to feel I am disregarding whatever you may have gone through.

Nevertheless I want to focus on those whose minds are troubled by the daily challenges of life that are common to us all. I am focusing on worriers, those who will always think the worst and are constantly anxious about both the small and bigger life challenges.

To solve any problem one has to go to the root of the issue. So what causes someone to be anxious often? I believe it starts with a lack of solutions. One may anticipate problems, and begin to think of all the facets and possible outcomes, when they cannot find an answer, the person gets even more fearful and goes into cycles of over-thinking. It rarely occurs to the worrier that God created their mind. It also rarely occurs to them that if we keep our thoughts on Him (daily) we cannot have a troubled mind. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”

The second source of troubled thoughts is what we see with our eyes. Jesus says if what you see is good, you shall have light in your soul, but if what you see is evil, you shall have darkness in your soul (Matthew 6:22-23). In this generation we’re inundated with all sorts of evil in the media. It is impossible to spend the day viewing and reading the negative and not have a troubled mind. If you want a serene mind you must guard your eyes diligently. It can be difficult but it’s the only way.

Be mindful of what you see, keep your mind on God, read the Word often and pray frequently. Most of all learn to trust God even when you’re afraid. I can assure you with time, when your mind is full of Scripture, and you start to experience God’s presence you will no longer have a troubled mind.

Freedom From Guilt And The Past

Guilt from the past is a significant issue today. There’s a good chance someone reading this has regrets that often resurface and oppress their mind. You simply cannot stop thinking about what you did and possibly the consequences thereof. Well, Jesus can set you free from that as well.

This should be a starting point. If possible, and if you are in position to do it, make an apology to the relevant people that may have been affected. If this does not apply or isn’t possible then ask for forgiveness from God – I believe you could have already done that.

If you still feel guilty about what you did in the past, it’s time to examine your perception of God’s forgiveness. To remind you His throne is the highest judgment seat that exists. People may say things about you, some may even refuse to forgive you but theirs is not the ultimate truth. This is the truth that will set you free: Jesus paid the price for all your sin (Isaiah 53:5-8). Those thorns, whips, nails and his death were for your sin. Not only that, as a believer you are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). The old is done away with completely – it does not exist.

You must continually remind yourself that God calls you righteous, and who can claim otherwise? Do not hold on to what He dealt with. And do not think you have a debt when it was already paid on the cross. The memories may still be around, the reminders could still exist but that does not mean your sin remains. There is no condemnation (valid accusation) for those who are in Christ (Romans 8:1-4).

Freedom From Bitterness/Hurt

I purposely put this following the previous. I know that if someone carries heavy guilt then there’s a good chance they hurt a person/people around them. So when you’re on the receiving end of someone else’s regrettable choices you suffer pain and possibly bitterness.

At times it may be that there’s no remorse shown by the person who did you wrong.

Whenever we are hurt it is usually not so much what has been done. It is what we perceive it says about us. There’s almost always an attack on our identity and worth as human beings. We tend to see ourselves or value ourselves by the way we are treated. Although it comes naturally, it is not the right mindset.

People treat others based on their own personalities. Sure, if you are amiable you will find life easier but you will still get hurt and even be loathed by some. Because it is not about you, it is about them. Remember they betrayed, insulted and crucified the most loving man that ever lived on earth.

So, how do you get freedom from this? The answer is through forgiveness. Probably not what you wanted to hear, but it is the only way to deal with the poison of bitterness. Refusal to forgive closes up our own access to God’s flowing mercy (Matthew 6:15). Therefore it stores up a toxic mix of our sin and anger that eats into your soul.

Forgiveness, even when it feels unjust is the better road to take. We release God’s grace for us and we eventually feel liberated. It may take time but eventually the burden will lift off.

Freedom From Insecurity

We all know what it’s like to feel insecure. Usually we experience it in those areas we consider ourselves lacking. Perhaps it’s our physical appearance, maybe our personality or our limited resources, talents, skills and abilities. It takes someone you consider better than yourself to make you feel insecure. We make the comparison and feel insignificant.

In this era of social media the problem is exasperated. It is safe to say everyone who has used it, has at one time felt insecure because of someone else they saw or read about.

We can deal with insecurities by understanding our identity in Christ. The world has taught us to retrieve our value from our appearance, what we own and what we’ve achieved. As believers we cannot keep this mindset. As long as we do, we will be stuck in our insecurities. There will always be someone more good-looking, wealthy, talented or successful than you. And no one has it all.

The better thing to do is consider yourself important because you are a child of the Most High God. Furthermore, you should remember the value God placed on you when He gave his own son for you. This is an area that requires one to renew their mind. We should also know that as we abide in the Word and ways of God, the fruit of the Spirit gives us favor with people. You may not consider yourself good-looking but all kind-hearted people possess a certain beauty. You may not be wealthy but people value an honest person – even when they have little. You may not be super-talented but if one sees loyalty in you, they will be drawn closer. The inner qualities surpass what the world considers important.

When you focus on your identity in Christ, knowing you already have immeasurable value, you will be set free from competing to overcome feelings of insecurity.

Freedom From Destructive Habits

I will first acknowledge that some habits are strongholds of the enemy and may need plenty of time, Christian counseling and prayer. If you fall in this category, kindly embrace this approach, if it has been recommended. Do not focus on the embarrassment, after all Christ took all your shame away and he sees you as perfectly righteous – like you never ever failed. He still loves you in spite of everything.

On the other hand if you have a habit you’re trying to beat on your own and continue to fail, then this is what Christ can do for you:

I once listened to a minister of the Word who said something powerful about habits. The statement was this, “The way to kill anything is not to feed it”. Habits are made by frequently giving the body what it desires until you struggle to do without it. The flesh first ‘asks’ for little, then more and even more. A little leaven leavens the whole lump (Galatians 5:9).

I believe every habit has its trigger and that has to be dealt with as well. More often than not it is a way for people to cope with the difficulties of life. The habit becomes some sort of idol because it takes the place of God. He is the one with the answers to all life’s challenges.

If you want to break your habit first put God back in his place by trusting Him to solve whatever is bothering you. Remember to abide in His truth irrespective of what your circumstances say. Afterward, do your best to stop feeding your habit. You may fail several times and get back into the habit, but when God sees your resolve to break it, He will help you and it will get easier. Eventually He will set you free from it completely.

To conclude, these are just a few of the things Christ came to set us free from, I obviously could not exhaust all in one post. As mentioned above knowing the truth of God by abiding in both his Word and His ways will liberate us from so much.

The entirety of God’s Word is truth (Psalm 119:160), and that truth sets us free.

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