Wednesday, August 24, 2011
"You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." Does this quote sound familiar to you? Through out my life--especially in church I've heard this quoted, more times than I can count. Since the institutional church is suppose to be real big on the truth--I wonder why there are far more churches turning their backs on the truth then those teaching it. We've been inundated with a false Gospel for so long half of the church folk wouldn't know the truth if the truth smacked "em up side the head--Maybe if the pastor said "Now turn to your neighbor and slap 'em upside the head and say the truth is here--are you listening." Sorry, couldn't resist that one. If most of these seeker driver churches were actually teaching the Biblical truth we certainly wouldn't see the spreading of humanism growing in the church at such a rapid pace that those who are leaving these churches do so for their spiritual health. The truth: most folks can't handle the truth--that's why they entertain _______ (fill in the blank).
Question: If it's for freedom that Christ has set us free--why are so many self-proclaiming Christians still in bondage? Some don't even know it-but they are-- nonetheless.
John 8:31 "Then Jesus said to those Jews, who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." They answered Him, " We are Abraham's descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, "You will be made free?" Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."
Several things struck me as I read Jesus' words and the replies from the Pharisees. In order to know the truth you must abide in Him and His word. Not the words of the pastor, or Bethel A.M.E. Zion Church, what the deacon/first lady says. How are you going to be truly set free if you don't know the truth? Yet, so many faithfully take everyone else's words as the pure unadulterated Gospel, never searching the scriptures and testing the spirits they encounter, always hearing the truth but never coming into full knowledge and freedom.
The reply of the Pharisees resound like many church folk today. The Pharisees objection--denial about their true condition is startling, considering that in the past the Israelites had been in bondage to the Egyptians, the Assyrians, and the Babylonia's. And at this particular time, Israel was under the power of Rome. In their arrogance, and ignorance they believed that religion could save them, especially when they themselves could not keep the law. They had no idea that Jesus was referring to spiritual slavery, which no man/woman has the power to break away from--He must have someone else set him free (Romans 8:3-4). They may have been physical heirs of Abraham, but they were not his spiritual descendants unless they had faith. In the futility of their minds, they could never grasp that--they heard the word but did not believe it, therefore they could not experience or know the truth--which is true freedom.
Please hear me--the truth is not based on our opinions, our views, and our feelings! This is one of the biggest problems within the body of Christ. The word of God is the only truth. I can't tell you how many times I see Christians give their opinions about sin by their own feelings and views--never taking it to Biblical authority, the same authority they claim to live their lives by. When I, you, or anyone else sees fit to dismiss this--we've become little more than Pharisees ourselves purposing and injecting our views all while placing Jesus at the bottom and ourselves at the top--which is a dangerous place to be. The man/woman of God who abides in the Word of God knows the truth and its there that freedom from the bondage of sin is. There is no other place for which true freedom exists!
Jesus said in Luke 4:18-19
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.