CHRISTIAN LIBERTY, #591
If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (JOH 8:36).
The Lord Jesus is speaking of "making you free." Does this not imply that you are not free. Does this not imply that by nature we are in bondage? We are bond servants of whom?
Our Saviour told those Jews who believed on Him, but not with a saving faith, as we see in JOH 8:31b-32. "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
What important issues these are. First, we must start to understand the bondage we are in by nature; then the freedom and liberty that is obtained in the truth. Those Jews who believed on Jesus revealed their carnal or unregenerate state of mind by their refusal to hear about being in the state of bondage.
Notice JOH 8:33; "They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?" This is the logic of all professed believers or all unregenerate men until they come to the truth. Their logic is: "I am free. I am bound to no man. What do you mean, the truth will make me free?"
You go to the average professed Christian and tell them: "The truth shall make you free," they may take offense, saying, "I am free. I have accepted Jesus. Im saved. Im free." This is where these professed Jews were. They were in bondage to no man. What do you mean: "We shall be made free"?
Dont we read in Scripture how that they were in Egypt under bondage for 400 years? They didnt even take into consideration that the descendants of Abraham were in bondage 75 years in Babylon, and that they were at that present time in bondage under the Roman yoke. The descendants of Abraham were too proud to admit they were in bondage.
The descendants of Abraham were not free. The longing desire of their time was for the coming of the Messiah that they might be made free from the bondage of the Roman yoke. Even in a literal sense they were in bondage, and they never understood the nature of the bondage they were in, much less spiritually. They were too proud to admit that they were in bondage, and this is the condition of unregenerate man. They will not admit the bondage we are in by nature.
However, Jesus referred to being made free from the servitude of sin. Notice that in JOH 8:34 "Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin." Jesus is telling they were in bondage to sin, and only if they continue in His Word would they be His disciples. The plain truth that you shall know if you continue in the Word is that man by nature of the fall in Adam is a bond slave to the power of sin.
First, by nature of the fall we are destitute of all righteousness. Notice ISA 64:6 "But we are all as an unclean thing [we have unclean thoughts. We have unclean desires. We serve the power of the lust of the flesh by nature. We lust after things that are not pleasing in the sight of God.] and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away."
If we continue in the Word, then we will come to the truth of who we really are by nature. We will come to realize that our best righteousness is but filthy rags in the sight of God and that we cannot merit salvation by any means. When we abide in the Word, when we abide in the truth, when the truth comes within our soul, we start to understand these truths that we are under the bondage of the power of sin.
In the flesh we are destitute of all good. We must learn to understand the depravity of our own hearts. Look at ROM 7:18 and comments by the Apostle Paul, who was brought up at the feet of Gamaliel. He was a Pharisee of Pharisees, and as touching the law he was blameless. See what happened to Paul when his eyes were opened to the truth: "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not."
Now he has learned to understand. The truth is now starting to give him to understand the depravity of his own heart. He was willing to do the pleasure of God and do what was for Gods honor. Now this was after he was regenerated and has come to the truth. He was a believer, but is beginning to realize that as touching the law, he is not blameless. He is starting to realize that the power of sin had worked a lie in his heart.
With our best righteousness as filthy rags, not only are we "all as an unclean thing" (ISA 64:6), but we are vile, i.e., filthy. Look what Job saw when the Lord opened his eyes in JOB 40:4. Do you remember who Job was? God was speaking to Satan about one of His servants; Job was that man, and He said: "Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?" When Job came to the truth, when the Lord opened his eyes to see into his own heart, he said in JOB 40:4, "Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth."
Was there any boasting? There is only one place where you and I can boast and that is in the righteousness of Christ. This is what we learn when the truth begins to make us free.
In the second place, by nature of the fall, we are destitute of all knowledge of the Truth. The Apostle Paul and Job, both of whom had lived spotless lives in the eyes of the flesh, came to knowledge of the truth when the spirit of God opened their eyes. See ROM 3:10-12: "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth. There is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."
Do I stand here and claim that I am a wise man, and that I have all knowledge? Not after the flesh. The only knowledge I have is that which I find in the Word, and the Lord Jesus says: "If you continue in my word, then ye shall know the truth and the truth will make you free." JOH 8:31b. When we continue in the Word, then we start receiving knowledge. We start to understand the depravity of our own heart.
Not one person does good seeking after God, not even a Job, nor even an Apostle Paul. Saul, who was brought up at the feet of Gamaliel, kept the letter of the law. As touching the law, he was blameless, but then he started to understand the spirit of the law. He started to understand that if you cast your eye at a woman you are already guilty of adultery. He started to understand what the Lord Jesus teaches us in MAT 5, that if you hate your brother, that you are already a murderer. The very evil thoughts that go through the heart already render you unclean before God.
When we start to see ourselves in that light, when we start to understand the spirit of the law, then we start to understand the truth, and those truths will make us free.
Life as bond slaves of sin is empty of any good and only filled with vanity and foolishness. Look at PSA 39:5: "Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity." At our best state we are yet nothing but vanity. We are nothing but an empty show. We are just putting on a scene that is as empty as a paper bag. Do you know why? We have to be emptied of ourselves to be filled with His fullness-with grace for grace. We come to the knowledge of these things if we continue in His Word. These are the things that will make us free.
Look at PRO 22:15: "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him." Foolishness, emptiness, vanity are bound in the heart as a child. We are born in that condition.
Now in the third place, the plain truth that you shall know if you continue in the Word, is that man by nature of the fall in Adam is a bond slave to the power of sin, and therefore is destitute of any power to deliver himself. When we come to the knowledge of the depravity of our own heart, we come to the knowledge of the sinfulness of sin. Then we start to understand the power of sin, and we start to understand that even though we know something is sin doesnt mean we have the power to resist that sin. Then we begin to realize that sin has a power over us, and that we are bond slaves to sin.
Oh, how pride that rises up in our hearts can grieve us at times, but we have no power against it. Those evil, lustful desires that rise up in our heart, we can see how grievous they are in the sight of God; we can see the filthiness of that sin. The truth has enlightened our mind, but now we need to be delivered from the power of that sin.
EPH 2:1says, "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins." As you and I start to understand that by nature we are dead, spiritually dead in sin, we begin to understand that all of our spiritual faculties have died in Adam. We have sight, we have our senses of smell and of taste, but they have been corrupted. We have affections after the things that displease the Lord. And this is what we learn when we come to the truth-that we have to be made free from the power of sin, all those things we know are dishonoring God.
EPH 2:2-3 continue, "Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others." You and I all walked in that. The Apostle Paul also places himself among those when he speaks to the church at Ephesus.
When we continue in the Word, and when we start coming to the truth, the truth will set us free. We must first understand that we are under the power of sin before we will desire to be delivered from it. Therefore, natural man, in his own strength, can do nothing acceptable in the sight of God. We need to understand that we are not going to be able to deliver ourselves from any one of these sins.
Look at JOH 15:5 where the Lord Jesus Christ says: "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." Now you understand why the Lord Jesus Christ says in our text: "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." We must abide in the Vine, because "without me ye can do nothing." We find that our best righteousness, our best endeavors to do what is pleasing in the sight of God, is only an abomination in His sight.
There is only one thing that is pleasing in the sight of God and that is that perfect righteousness of His Son, and if we abide in Him and He abides in us, then we bring forth much fruit. Then we start walking in a spirit that is pleasing in the eyes of God, but without Him we can do nothing.
Fourth, the plain truth that you shall know if you continue in the Word is that the unregenerate, those devoid of the work of grace, are bond slaves to the power of sin. They are destitute of any freedom and dwell in a state of spiritual bondage. We are not only destitute of any good works but we are destitute of freedom. We need to be set free, and they are destitute of any freedom under the power of sin.
Look at ISA 61:1. "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound." That was the commission that was prophesied for the Lord Jesus Christ. Why would He come to proclaim liberty if it wasnt that we were in bondage, if it wasnt that we have no freedom? We are bond slaves of sin.
These truths are humbling, and therefore hateful to the unregenerate. That is why they will not continue in His Word. That is why they have no desire for the truth. His spiritual condition is far worse than he ever supposed.
His condition in an unregenerate state is rightly defined in ISA 1:4-6. As the prophet Isaiah was receiving a revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ, he saw in that blessed light of Christ the true nature of his own heart. He said: "Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment." ISA 1:4-6.
Isnt that a description of the heart of an unregenerate man? Such a condition renders unregenerate man completely under the dominion of sin. In the context of our text, Jesus distinguished between the bondage of the Roman yoke and the dominion of sin. They said, "We were never in bondage to any man;" yet, they were looking at was an earthly kingdom for a Messiah. They were looking to be delivered from the Roman yoke. Everything is rational. Everything is just human logic, but they did not understand the spirit of the law. They did not understand spiritual bondage.
In JOH 8:34 we read, "Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin." They were talking about bondage under man, and He was talking about being in bondage under sin. He is talking about being delivered from the bondage of sin.
Those who are under the dominion of sin are bond-slaves to the lusts of the flesh. TIT 3:3 says, "For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another." The Apostle Paul is talking here, the apostle who as touching the law was blameless, but he learned to understand the nature of the power of sin. Paul is including himself as one of the foolish, disobedient ones.
The Apostle Paul, as Saul, had a hateful spirit. He didnt realize that this was spiritual murder, and in fact he was taking those who believed in Jesus to prison and having them killed. He thought he was doing Gods service, but when he came to the light, then he said: "being deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another." He started to understand the spirit of the law. He started to understand that those are grievous transgressions of the law.
Due to the power of Satan and sin, the unregenerate are not able to turn from sin. Lets look at 2PE 2:14 in two parts. "Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; ."
That is who we are by nature, adulterers. Does that mean lusting after a woman? Not necessarily. It can also mean lusting after something that stands between our heavenly Bridegroom and us. It is speaking of spiritual adultery. It is speaking about sinning against our heavenly Bridegroom, of having something that we love more than Him. Spiritual adultery is lusting after the things of this life, which stand between our heavenly Bridegroom and us.
Verse 14 continues, "Beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children." That is the condition that you and I are in by nature. We need to be delivered from that bondage.
Unregenerate man is helplessly under the dominion of Satan and sin. Look at 2TI 2:26: "And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will." We are captives of the devil. We are serving him as our master, by nature.
In JOH 8:44 Jesus told those Jews who believed on Him, but not with a saving faith, "Ye are of your father the devil." They were taken captive by Satan at his will. They had their hearts filled with bitterness and hatred. They wanted to kill Jesus. Why? He told them the truth. They hated the truth, and the Lord Jesus said, "I came to tell you the truth."
"And the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." JOH 8:44.
Verse 45 continues, "And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin?" They would not continue in His Word, and yet they believed. Do you see the danger of professing to be a Christian and having no knowledge of the depravity of your own heart, of the bondage that we are in by nature?
The unregenerate are completely dominated by the power of Satan and sin and unfit in character to enter the service of Christ as our King. We are led captives by Satan at his will. We are willing slaves of Satan. Satan wants you and me to serve him willingly, and this we do by nature. However, the Lord Jesus Christ also wants us to serve Him willingly and to be delivered from the servitude and the bondage of Satan. Before we can ever serve Christ as King, we need to be made fit in character. We need to be changed. We need to be renewed in the spirit of our mind. We have to put off the old man and put on the new.
Look what we see in COL 1:12-13. "Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet [or fit in character. How? By continuing in His Word and the truth, the truth will make you free.] to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son." He delivers us from the power of sin. A changing takes place. You come out of this kingdom into this kingdom.
You cannot serve two masters. You cannot serve Christ and Belial. You cannot serve Christ under the law of love with a heart filled with bitterness. You cannot serve Christ in a self-sacrificial spirit with an unforgiving spirit. There is only one way that you can ever serve Christ and that is to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, putting off the old man and putting on the new.
What is the first step toward freedom? The truth will make you free. Jesus said in JOH 8:31-32, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
Wherein does the truth of our depravity lead us to Christian liberty? How does knowing the deceitful, depraved nature of our heart lead us to deliverance from the power of sin. The gospel begins with repentance. What does that mean? That means a complete new man who had a deep remorse over having sinned against God. Then being renewed in the spirit of your mind, your affections are becoming renewed because when you see the loathsomeness of your sin. You start to see the sinfulness of sin. You start to see that you have sinned against such love of God. Understanding the truth and seeing the depravity of your heart, you gain knowledge of sin and the true nature of sin. Before you ever desire to be delivered from the power of sin, you need to understand its true nature because by nature we love sin.
I want you to see the first step toward freedom. JER 3:13-14 says, "Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD." How do you ever come before the Lord and truly confess your iniquities until you have learned to understand the depravity of your own heart?
Come before the Lord and acknowledge what a gross sinner you are. Acknowledge that you are wounds, bruises and putrifying sores, and now you come to the fountain that is open for all sin and uncleanness, and you come for cleansing. Then it says in Verse 14: "Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you." Not only do you acknowledge your sin, but you turn from it. You stop serving sin!
Oh, what a blessedness there is, and I have experienced that with this very verse, when the Lord opens your eyes to see the terrible grievousness of sin, and the pollution of sin, and then the Lord Jesus, our heavenly Bridegroom, stands up and says: "I am married unto you." Now we see our wedding garments and they are so spotted. Oh, they are so filthy. We have so polluted them with sin, and now we need His blood to cleanse them, so we are fit to stand before Him.
See how the truth will make you free. Until you understand the truth of your depravity and the wretchedness of your heart, you will never understand our filthiness as we stand wretched before God. That is what gives us to understand when the spotless Lamb says: "I am married unto you."
Now, our text says, "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." That heavenly Bridegroom, when He gives us that deliverance from the power of sin, He comes with His precious blood, and He cleanses us from all iniquity. He redeems us and saves us from our sins, "then you shall be free indeed."
The first words of our Saviour's ministry recorded in the gospel of Luke in 4:18 were, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives. And recovering of sight to the blind [that He opens our eyes to see who we are], to set at liberty them that are bruised." Isnt that precious?
What is the gospel to one who does not understand that he is a captive, bond-slave of sin? Then the preaching of the gospel is not for him. What is in it for the person who doesnt know he is a sinful creature? What is there in it for you if I come and tell you that a man has found a way to cure cancer if you dont have cancer? However, if you ever feel that you have cancer in your body, you can quickly go to that man for an instant cure.
Do you see the connection that it is good news that He has come to deliver the captives if we have never learned to understand that we are captive, bond-servants of sin? What do we need with liberty if we are like these Jews who said: "We have never been in bondage to any man." Why is there any good news in saying Hell set you free unless you understand your bondage?
By nature of the fall, unregenerate man has no desire to be delivered from their sin. Look at JOH 3:20; "For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved."
Why? They love sin. They cherish it. They want to live in it, and they dont want to go home with a guilty conscience. They dont want to hear about the evil nature of sin. They dont want to have their evil heart revealed, and therefore, they dont come to the light. That is why Jesus says in JOH 8:311b, "If you continue in my word, then you shall know the truth." In other words, if you come to the light, you search the Word, and you will learn to see and understand the evil nature of your heart. He makes us free from the love of sin by making us willing.
Notice it isnt that you or I did it. He made us free. How? Look at PSA 110:3; "Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power [isnt that precious?], in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth."
How does He make us free? It is by His grace that He makes us willing. He gives us the desire to serve Him by giving us to see the truth of what we are. When you learn to see the stench of sin, and you learn to see the stench of death, then you have a desire to be cleansed from it. Now you become willing. Now you no longer love sin. Now you want to come to the light so sin is revealed, and you can be delivered from it. The Son makes you willing and free.
The Son therefore shall make you free from the love of sin. It must be broken. It must be broken by the knowledge of the love of the Father. We learn to see the grievousness of what we have sinned against God, and then He gives us the knowledge, which we see when we remain in His Word. We see the love of the Father in giving His only begotten Son, while we were yet sinners. While we were yet sinning against Him, bent headlong for hell, He sent His own Son and restraining the love He had for His own Son, He allowed Him to suffer, bleed and die, to pay the penalty of our sin.
When we learn to understand these truths, these truths make us free from the power of sin. Now we see the corrupt nature of sin and now we see the love of the Father in giving His Son. Then what happens? Sin loses its power. That is how He makes us free. Now the power of sin no longer has dominion over us. And we learn to see our depravity in the light of the love of the Father, and then sin loses its power.
Look at JOH 4:10, "Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee." We learn to understand the gift of God, the precious love of the Father in giving His Son for such hell-deserving, filthy sinners as we are, and the love of the Son in giving Himself. We see how our sins were placed upon His head as a crown of thorns, and we see how He bore those sins upon the cross. When our eyes are open to see that, then He makes us free from the power of sin. Then the power of sin is broken by the love of God.
To entertain true Christian liberty the Son-and only the Son-can make you free from the condemnation of the law. We see the love of the Father and the love of the Son. We see what the Son has done to make us free from the condemnation of the law. Not only are we bound by nature under the power of sin, but we were also bound by the condemnation of sin, because God has condemned us for sin. He had told Adam: "In the day that you eat thereof, thou shalt surely die." Now we are doomed not only to natural death, but to eternal death.
Now we see in that precious sacrifice of Christ how the Son shall make you free. He brings before our eyes His perfect atonement, and how the Fathers wrath was appeased. He gave His blood as an act of unconditional obedience to the will of the Father. When our eyes are opened to see the truth of these things, we understand the depravity of our heart. We understand the love of the Father; we understand His wrath upon sin. Now we learn to see how that His blessed Son of righteousness came in and took our place and appeased the wrath of God upon sin with the shedding of His blood as an act of obedience.
When we learn to understand that, sin loses its power. That is what the Lord Jesus is telling us. If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed. Then you shall also be free from the condemnation of sin.
In ROM 8:1we read, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus [who are those who are in Christ Jesus?], who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
Now, they have that Spirit of Christ. Now they have come unto serving the Lord because they have been delivered from the power of sin. They no longer walk after the flesh, but now they walk in the mind, in the spirit, in the mental disposition of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the unconditional surrender to the will of the Father.
True Christian liberty can only be obtained as the Son of God makes us free from the power of Satan. We see this from Christ's commission to Paul "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. ACT 26:18.
By that blessed sacrifice He makes us free from the power of Satan. He makes us free now. Satan is put to flight because our love for Satan and sin has been destroyed. He has set us free. We no longer desire to do those things that please the flesh. Our heart and soul now desire to serve the Lord, and He sets us free from the power of Satan unto God.
"That they may receive forgiveness of sins" is part of that commission. Do you want to have your sins forgiven? There is no forgiveness of sin until the power of sin is broken. As long as we are still bond-slaves of sin and serving sin, there is no forgiveness. That is what we read; "To turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me."
To have inheritance is to have inheritance among them that are sanctified. In other words, those who have been delivered from the power of sin and have put on the new man receive the inheritance.
True Christian liberty comes by the power of the Son of God making you free from the dominion and bondage of sin. JOH 8:34 says, "Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin."
Now, ROM 6:14 tells us, "For sin shall not have dominion [rule] over you." Sin shall not control you. The power of sin is broken. "For ye are not under the law but under grace. Look at Verse 18: "Being then made free from sin ["If the Son therefore make you free, you are free indeed"], ye became the servants of righteousness." You cannot serve both. You will serve either the Lord or Satan. There is no middle ground.
Look at COL 2:20-22. You and I can be in total bondage to the commandments of men. Christian liberty also pertains to being free from the commandments and authority of man. This is where they were in the time when Christ was on earth. The scribes and the Pharisees had such a great list of commandments of men and they were making a letter of the law, that people had to serve their commandments and were not free to walk in Christian liberty. "Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?" It also pertains to Christian liberty to be made free from the commandments and authority of man. You will be set free from them.
True Christian liberty is not only to be made free from these things, but also to be enabled to find our fruition in serving God. To be made free from sin means that now our greatest and highest pleasure is to serve God. We are not under bondage. The believer does not serve God under bondage, but with the greatest delight.
We read in 1CO 7:22, "For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant." We serve Him. We are not under bondage to Him. We are His free men. Christian liberty does not consist in freedom to serve our old fleshly desires, but to be delivered from the power and love of sin, to serve the Lord acceptably in Christ.
HEB 12:28 says, "Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear." That is Christian liberty. That is being delivered from the power of our old human nature, and being brought into service whereby we may serve Him acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
The greatest joy we can obtain is that we would serve God and to be free from sin is to serve God according to His good pleasure. The greatest form of Christian liberty is to have that consolation in our heart and that assurance from the truth of the Word of God that we can serve Him acceptably according to His good pleasure.
Look at LUK 1:74-75; "That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life." That is Christian liberty.
To see a blessed summary of true Christian liberty read ROM 6:16-18. "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness." This is what Jesus is speaking about in "If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." Now we are free from being the servants of sin.
Our text says in its context in JOH 8:31-36, and this is precious when you start to understand these things, "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him." Jesus is speaking to those professed believers who never understood the bondage of sin. They were looking for a fire escape. They wanted to have a Savior who would save them from hell so they could go to heaven. They wanted to be saved from the consequences of sin and had no desire to be saved from the wretched, evil nature of their heart. This is so predominant in todays Christianity. You have to be so careful, because it could be political or it could be offensive or it could be controversial, so you just dont touch these things. So we cant deal with sin. Jesus was talking to exactly that same kind of crowd. They were believers. They could see Him as the Messiah who could deliver them from the consequences of sin, but they had no desire to be delivered from sin itself.
"If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed [you must be delivered from sin, from the power of sin]; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." If you continue in the Word of God, you will know the truth. You will learn to see and understand the depravity of your own heart. You will learn to see how wroth the Father is with sin and you will learn to see the blessed atoning love of the Son of God which He purchased with the price of His own blood. By purchasing our own deliverance, our redemption, our forgiveness, and our pardon, He made us free. If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed. You shall be free also from the power of sin. If you are never made free from the power of sin, you have no claim upon pardon or any other of Gods graces.
In Verse 33: "They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?" This is the condition of professed Christians who have no desire to hear about sin. They dont want to be told that they are in bondage to anything. All they want to hear is about Jesus and about how He saves sinners, but they dont want to deal with sin. They dont want the truth. They dont want to have the humbling knowledge that they are in bondage, and that they need to be delivered. They dont want to know that they need to be cleansed or hear about the putrifying sores, the wounds that God sees in sin.
In Verses 34-36 "Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin." He is pointing out to those unrepentant Jews that they are serving sin. "And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free [He abides forever. Sin will be put out, but He abides forever], ye shall be free indeed." Amen.
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