The Truth Shall Make You Free
Freedom stirs the heart of every individual. There is nothing like "being free." We strive daily to be free of physical, political, and moral problems. In addition we should strive to be free spiritually. Our spiritual and moral condition is the most important and therefore we should always strive to be better people, wanting forgiveness for evil things that we have done in the past. Jesus said: "...If you abide in My word you are My disciples indeed And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31-32). How do we gain freedom from the truth of God's Word? It comes first of all by acknowledging that the Word of God is truth, accepting it FULLY, and then putting it to work in our lives. If we do not abide in the Word of the Lord, then we'll never be free of the anguish and guilt of sin. When we gain confidence in the Word of God, which only comes through study (2 Timothy 2:15), then we will be determined to STOP doing wrong and will continually strive to do only those things in which God will approve of.
Knowing Right From Wrong
Many today, even Christians, are still wrestling with sin. Why? Because they have not allowed God's Word to free them from that awful bondage of sin. John 17:17 says: "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” We will never learn truly what is right or wrong until we first go and find the truth concerning how we are to live, and what is acceptable to God. This can only be done through study of the message that God has delivered unto us, the Bible! Truth can only be learned by God, not from human wisdom. God has told us what is good through His inspired Word, therefore, we do not need to learn this from the fruit of the world around us.
Sanctified Through the Word of God
We can only be sanctified through the Word of God. What does it mean to be sanctified? It means "to make holy; to make free from sin; purify; to set apart as holy; to make sacred; to be dedicated" (Webster's New World Dictionary). There is no way possible to be sanctified (set apart) for the Lord than through studying the Word of God. It can't come through osmosis or any other way. If you are feeling trapped in sin, if you are not experiencing the freedom of being in the Lord, then you NEED to read and study the Bible! We can only be sanctified through applying the Word of God in our lives. If we do not know what the Word says, then how can we be sanctified? The difference between being disciples and just calling ourselves disciples is in our obedience to the Words of Jesus that can only be learned from reading and study.
We'll Know the Truth
When we strive to live in the Word of the Lord then we will learn more and more about the truth of God's holy Word. Years after becoming a Christian, I continue to learn more about Jesus and how l am supposed to conduct my life in service to God. Notice what I said, I said how I'm supposed to conduct my life in service to God, not man! This is an important point. When we learn the truth then we must be determined to let the truth of Jesus live in us. We become a leader, not a follower. A newborn cannot immediately walk, but the baby is expected to walk when he gets older. A newborn Christian cannot possibly know all things in which he must do immediately after baptism. But if he continues in Jesus' Word, he will learn. Dedication to the Word of the Lord implies that we do what we know is right, and we continue to learn more and more about what is right.
Freedom Comes ONLY In Abiding In The Truth
We can only be free of sin when we are determined to walk in the truth of the Word. We'll be free from sin (John 8:36), free from our overburdened consciences (Hebrews 9:9), and free to walk as new creatures (Romans 6) in a new life that is not bound to the old dead ways! But you know what? The truth will only make us free if we admit it, accept it, and let it change our lives. Repentance is a change of heart that results in changed attitudes and actions. Repentance is not just being sorry for past wrongs, nor is it merely deciding to give up some vice. Unless we are determined to reach out and say "Lord, save me," we will drown in a turbulent sea. When we admit that we are wrong, that we need help, and search the scriptures and let God truly instruct our lives, then we can be sanctified, finding freedom in the truth of the Lord. The truth shall make you free.