Remain in Jesus’ Word, know the truth


“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you remain in My word, then you are truly My disciples. You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.’” John 8:31-32

Where can we find the truth? How can we know and be assured of forgiveness for all our sins and a place in God’s everlasting kingdom? Jesus answered those very questions when He said to the Jews who believed in Him: “If you remain in My word, then you are truly My disciples. You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”

Like the Jews of Jesus’ day, we may not think of ourselves as slaves and servants of sin? We may not consider ourselves bound by anything because of our religious upbringing. But Jesus says otherwise. Jesus tells us that all who commit sin are the servants of sin and that the servants of sin will not abide in the house forever – only a son will abide forever (v. 24; 34-35). As Ishmael was cast out and Isaac received the inheritance, so it is only the sons of the kingdom who will receive the eternal inheritance of heaven (cf. Gen. 21 and Gal. 4).

As servants and slaves of sin – conceived in sin and brought forth in iniquity (Psalm 51:5), whose hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9), and who are inclined to evil continually (Gen. 6:5; 8:21) – we cannot free ourselves or make atonement for our own wickedness (cf. Psalm 49:7-9). Only God the Son can set us free and give us a place in His eternal kingdom. And this He did when He bore the guilt and punishment of our sins, suffered and died in our stead, and then rose again on the third day (cf. John 3:14-18; Rom. 4:23-25; 1 John 2:1-2).

Jesus urges us to remain in His Word so that we might know the truth and that, through faith in the truth, He might make us free. It is in His Word that we learn the truth (cf. Rom. 10:17). His Word reveals to us our sinfulness and the hopelessness of our condition. But it also reveals to us Jesus, God’s Son, and our Savior, who fulfilled all righteousness for us and then, on the cross, paid in full the just punishment for our sins and the sins of the whole world (cf. 2 Tim. 3:14-17; Rom. 3:19-26).

Through God’s Word, we see that for Jesus’ sake, God is merciful and forgives our sins and accepts us as His own dear children when we trust in His Gospel promises and place our hope in Jesus and His cross (Eph. 1:6-7). Through the Word, God reaches out to us with love and forgiveness and offers to us sonship and a place in His eternal kingdom through faith in Christ Jesus, the Son.

When we continue in Jesus’ Word and are His disciples, the Holy Spirit, working through that Word, reveals to us Jesus – who He is and all He has done for us. The Holy Spirit gives and assures to us forgiveness, sonship, and life everlasting – of a place in heaven – all through faith in Jesus’ name. When we remain in Jesus’ Word – the Bible – the Holy Spirit reveals to us the truth about ourselves and the truth about Jesus our Savior, and that truth will set us free.

Of ourselves, we are sinners and under the judgment and wrath of God. But, through faith in Christ Jesus, we are forgiven and adopted sons of God and are free indeed!

It is as St. Paul wrote to the Galatians (Gal. 3:26-29): “You are all sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, and there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

Grant, O Lord Jesus, that we might remain in Your life-giving Word, learn the truth, and be made free through faith in You as our God and Savior. We ask this for the sake of Your blood, shed on the cross for our sins. Amen.

[Scripture is quoted from The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House.]

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