Pella Chronicle

June 27, 2013

Are you free in Christ?

By Rick Cowman
The Chronicle

Pella —

This week we’re back in chapter 8 of the gospel of John, where we find the words of Jesus in verse 31, “If you abide in My Word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;  and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free (NASB)!”  It’s one thing to trust Jesus to forgive our sin and to give us eternal life, and quite another to be faithful to obey Him and follow Him in our daily lives.  As a follower of Jesus Christ, knowing the truth means living the truth and walking free in the truth!  As an unbeliever, you and I were in bondage to sin, self, Satan, and the world system;  but now, if you’ve trusted Jesus to come into your life and have received the Truth, you have been SET FREE from all that!
What was the response of the Jewish leaders to Jesus’ statement that the truth would set them free?  In verse 23, they said to Him, “We have never been enslaved to anyone!”  Had they forgotten about their long captivity in Egypt and Babylon?  And had it slipped their minds that they were at that very moment under Roman rule?  Listen, our response to the truth of God’s Word will either cause us to rejoice, or to rebel!
You see, their problem wasn’t a bad memory, but an unwillingness to see what God had done for them in fulfillment of His Word!  But, before we point our finger at them, let’s examine our own lives.  Do we not also rebel against the truth and refuse to live in the freedom Jesus provided for us, and therefore, remain in bondage to the old life of sin?  The Jews Jesus were speaking to were so busy denying the truth and covering up their slavery to sin, that they missed the freedom and victory Jesus was offering them!  If we’re honest, we’d admit we also would sometimes rather stay in our comfort zone of sin, rather than face the challenge of dealing with it and trusting God to free us from it.  What has YOU enslaved today?
Here’s a little humor to illustrate:  A man fell into a pit and couldn’t get himself out.  A Pharisee came along and said, “only bad people fall into a pit.”  A Christian Scientist came by and said, “You only think you are in a pit!”  A Fundamentalist saw him and said, “You deserve to be in a pit!”  A Charismatic told him, “Just confess that you are not in a pit!”  A Calvinist came by and said, “This was not an accident, you know!”  And then Jesus came by and seeing the man, took him by the hand and lifted him out of the pit!
Friends, life can be the pits, and sometimes we’d rather stay in the pit and get second opinions about our condition than admit our need for Jesus to free us!  We run around searching for answers to our problems, and Jesus is saying to us, “My child, get to know Me and the truth of My words, and LET ME SET YOU FREE!”
So, may I ask you, “Are YOU free?”  I mean really free?  Or, are you still all bound up in the things of self and of the world that are keeping you from experiencing freedom and “life to the fullest measure” Jesus has promised those who trust Him?  Because we have God’s Word on it;   “If Jesus set’s you free, you are free indeed (vs 36)!”