To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed (John 8:31-34).
Last time we looked at Truth and how Truth can only be found in Jesus Christ. Today, it’s about the consequences of denying the Truth; and that would be called slavery.
I find it interesting that the Jews state they were “Never slaves of anyone.” Oh really? How about when you were in Egypt? Eleven times Scripture calls Egypt, “The house of Slavery.” The theme continues even through Jeremiah, speaking of Babylon, where the LORD says: “Why has Israel become a slave? Why has he been carried away as plunder?” (Jeremiah 2:14). And if you offered sin as the answer to the LORD’s question, you’d be right. The problem with slavery is not relegated to a certain time in history or to certain people groups. It is much more pervasive than that. Slavery is a result of sin. But not just a result—you are a slave to sin. Indeed, we all are. And God has made it clear. The only “cure” for sin is Jesus.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins (Colossians 2:13).
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:1-2).
As Jesus said, if you want to be free, you must know the Truth.
So how do we proclaim this exclusive and inclusive truth. That Jesus is the only way, and that all have sinned, and all are slaves to sin?
The Apostle John wrote this in his first letter:
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth (1 John 3:17-18).
Is your life just going to “Be warmed and be filled”, or are you going “to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others”? (James 2:16; Titus 3:14)
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart (1 Peter 1:22).