Christian Universe ™
The Truth Shall Make You Free
January 21, 2007
Jesus said that, once understood, the truth shall make us free. It frees us from ignorance and from sin. It frees the Gentile from idol worship, and the Jew from the Law of Moses. The truth is the word of God. The words of Jesus are truth. The Bible contains the words of God and of Jesus. Searching the scriptures reveals truth to us. Living by truth saves us from sin and eternal damnation. Bernie Parsons
The Truth Shall Make You Free
by Bernie Parsons
Presented to the Load church of Christ 01/21/2007
John 8:31: “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32: And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
John 17:17: “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”
John 5:39: “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”
John 6:63: “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”
2 Corinthians 3:17: “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
We can see from the above verses, each taken in its correct context, that when we receive the words of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit of God, we receive the truth, and shall be free. The freedom that the apostle Paul preached was two-fold. To the Gentiles who turned to Christ, they were freed from the trademark ignorance that accompanies idol worship.
Acts 17:29: “Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.
30: And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
31: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”
Ephesians 4:17: “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
18: Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
19: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
20: But ye have not so learned Christ;
21: If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
22: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23: And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24: And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
Ignorance is not an excuse. We are accountable to God for our beliefs and our deeds.
The second point is that the truth of Christ also set the Jews free from the Law of Moses.
Matthew 5:17: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18: For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”
Romans 3:27: “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
28: Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”
Romans 6:14: “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”
Romans 7:6: “But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.”
Galatians 3:22: “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
23: But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
24: Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25: But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
26: For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27: For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
Ephesians 2:11: “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
12: That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
13: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14: For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15: Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
16: And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
17: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
18: For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”
Ephesians 4:1: “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2: With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3: Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4: There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5: One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6: One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”
We see from the above scriptures that the truth of Christ set the Gentiles free from their idol worship, and set the Jews free from the Law of Moses. In the body of Christ, we are all one. There is not a separate message for Jew and Gentile. There is not a separate law for each. There is only one body of Christ, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God. That is the truth, and the truth shall make us free, if we will but learn it, and embrace it.
Since we are set free from the Law of Moses, we must not attempt to live by that law. In Galatians chapter 3, the apostle Paul wrote that those who claim the law are obligated to keep the entire law. He went on to point out that a man is justified by faith in Christ, and not by keeping the Law of Moses.
Ephesians 2:15: “Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;”
Colossians 2:14: “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;”
Those ordinances were removed, so that we might freely serve God through our faith in Jesus Christ. Why, then, do men attempt to manufacture their own new rules? Jesus criticized the ancient Jews for doing this very thing.
Matthew 15:7: “Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
8: This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
9: But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”
Men (and women) of small minds today continue to manufacture endless lists of rules. Yet, the apostle Paul warned against such rules.
Colossians 2:18: “Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
19: And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.
20: 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,
21: (Touch not; taste not; handle not;
22: Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?”
We are not to make up rules about what people can and cannot do, yet many churches, many preachers, and even church members, continue to generate rule after rule, binding them upon others, as if they were the teachings of God. We must heed the warnings of God regarding these practices, which we find in both Old and New Testament writings.
Deuteronomy 4:2: “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.”
Deuteronomy 12:32: “What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.”
A similar warning is found in the Revelation to John, about that particular message.
Revelation 22:18: “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
19: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
When we make up rules about things that people can and cannot do, we add to, or take away from the word of Almighty God. We must be careful in this regard. Men who claimed to represent the Jerusalem church plagued the apostle Paul. They followed him about, and as he converted Gentiles from idol worship to worshipping God through Christ, these men tried to bind the Law of Moses on them. Frustrated, Paul went to Jerusalem to see what the apostles and church elders really had to say. What they said was quite simple, consisting of only four “rules”, as it were.
Acts 15:23: “And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:
24: Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:
25: It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
26: Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
27: We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth.
28: For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
29: That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.”
Meats offered to idols (idol worship), blood, things strangled (which meant they contained blood), and fornication were the prohibitions. Simple! It reminds us of what Jesus said.
Matthew 22:35: “Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
36: Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37: Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38: This is the first and great commandment.
39: And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40: On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Galatians 5:13: “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
14: For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
If we think about the statement of Jesus, which Paul repeated, we understand this: once we learn to love God with all of our being, and we love our neighbors as we love ourselves, common sense will tell us how we ought to behave in all things. We don’t need a list of ordinances to save us.
Romans 6:1: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2: God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
3: Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4: Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5: For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
6: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7: For he that is dead is freed from sin.”
You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free!