The Truth Will Set You Free
Author: Kenneth O. Gangel
Week of May 21, 2017
We have already learned that faith alone does not guarantee salvation (John 2). That faith must center in the Saviour Himself, not just His miracles or some teaching about Him. John 8:31-59 tells us how we can be set free from faith in inadequate but attractive objects that often clamor for our attention—relationships, religion, and righteousness.
Some of the Jews “who believed in Him” claimed that their relationship with Abraham kept them from any bondage. His descendants, they argued, have always been free (conveniently forgetting their bondage to Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, Persia, Greece, and Rome). True disciples must be set free from such error, from sin, and from the unholy zeal these “disciples” displayed right in this very discussion.
We do well to notice again that these were so-called “believing” people. Yet Jesus chided them by saying, “You are doing the things your own father does” (v. 41). In their ignorance they did not understand that He meant Satan, so the Lord sharpened His condemnation in verses 42-47. Liars, murderers, terrorists, and all rebellious people reflect the attitude of Satan, even when they act in the name of religion.
Jesus turned their own appeal to Abraham against them (vv. 48-59). Such self-righteousness must be debunked and abandoned if people would receive God’s grace.
Keep in mind: True disciples keep Jesus’ words, and because of that, the world hates them just as Jesus was hated by these people whose ill-placed faith He exposed. Faith in relationship, religion, or righteousness will fail; indeed, faith in faith will fail. Perhaps man’s greatest need is to understand and admit man’s greatest need—the grace of God revealed in Jesus Christ His Son.