Tonight Lee and I joined our friends Jeff and Ellen for a Bible study at their church. Pastor Matthew Hartsfield is leading a group through the study of the Gospel of John. In tonight’s session we covered John 8:12-58, however, we spent time focusing on verses 31-32.
31 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (NLT)
I cannot begin to do justice to Pastor Matthew’s excellent explanation of these two verses, but I will attempt to summarize it in this way. If you are a non-believer or someone who’s proverbially kicking the tires of faith, instead of trying to seek and understand Jesus, perhaps it’s best if you simply work to seek the truth. By seeking what is true, it is only natural to review what it is in our lives that is false.
Time and again, people who’ve been skeptics and cynics of Christianity have found themselves becoming believers in their pursuit disproving our faith. We saw it with C.S. Lewis in his book Mere Christianity and again with Lee Strobel in his book The Case for Christ.
The freedom mentioned in verse 32 is the freedom from the guilt, shame, and burden that weighs us down in life. It’s the freedom that comes through reconciliation through Christ. It’s the freedom of knowing our lives will extend into eternity because we place our faith in the Son of God.
Wherever you are in life, be it an atheist or a Biblical scholar, the Bible is God’s personal love letter to you. It is His revelation to you of His plan for your life. It is an invitation to fill your life with joy by focusing on His Word. And when you share that Spirit-filled life with others in community (i.e. church), then life is made more complete.