Posts Tagged John 8: 31 – 34

Get a Life

John 8: 31              Amplified

So Jesus was saying to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you abide in My word [continually obeying My teachings and living in accordance with them, then] you are truly My disciples.

We looked at abiding in Jesus yesterday. I posited that a key way to dwell in him was to meditate in his word. This idea is not new. Over 2000 years ago, Jesus taught that we should abide in his Word. The road to becoming a disciple of Christ is paved with Jesus’ words.

Discipleship programs are very popular. Churches host week and month long programs on discipleship. The crux of all of those programs must be abiding in Jesus’ Word. Today’s verse reveals there is more to discipleship than only reading the word. The Amplified Version highlights the active component of discipleship. We must be doers of Jesus’ Word just as Jesus’ brother, James, intones in James 1: 22. In fact, James taught those who are not doers of the Word delude themselves.

Jesus instructs us through today’s verse that we must continually apply his teachings. Disciples of Jesus live according to his Word. Meditating on the scriptures helps us to abide in Christ. The natural result of abiding in Jesus is that we follow his teachings. Our lives begin to reflect his ways when we abide in and obey his teachings. All of these ideas fit together to give us the abundant life that Jesus came to earth to give us (John 10: 10). Jesus did not come down to the earth to give us a bunch of rules. He came to give us life. One of the key ways he imparts life to us is through his Word. There is life in the Word. Let’s go get some.

Liberty

2 Corinthians 3: 17

Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

Are we truly free? Better still, to what are we bound or what is it that prevents us from living in true liberty? There was an interesting discussion in the book of John, Chapter 8 beginning in verse 31:

“So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.” 


The Jews thought they were free but Jesus could see that was only a façade. And even though they were heirs of Abraham, Jesus could see the chains which bound them. I think it fair to say, then, that just being heirs of Jesus is not enough for us either. We must avail ourselves of those tools which Jesus has given us which cut through all chains.

Few people would disagree with the idea that sin keeps us in chains but I do not want to get hung up on the word “sin.” It is too loaded and thus we may completely miss the point that Jesus and Paul want to convey to us. Jesus told the Jews that his word had power to make them free. He told them to continue in his word. This implies that a one-time exposure to his word is not sufficient. When we give ourselves over to Jesus’ word then we will find truth constantly spoken into our spirits.

There are all kinds of things which keep us in bondage. Let’s think about a few. How about health challenges, anger, a critical spirit, depression, fear of rejection, all kinds of fear, legalism, judgmentalism, unforgiveness, etc.? I am sure you can add many more things to the list. Jesus said that he came to set us free (Luke 4: 18) but in truth I think few of us are really living free. Many of have allowed situations, past and present, to forge chains on our lives. There is, however, one who has the key and he is with you right now and well able to set each of us free from whatever binds us.

The Spirit of God was sent into the world to be our constant companion. When we live in that constant companionship we are always empowered with bondage breaking strength. There is nothing that Jesus and the Holy Spirit cannot break off of you.

What is required of us, you might ask. I believe victorious living requires a submissive approach. When we allow ourselves to live under the authority of the Lord Jesus while we abide in his presence then that companionship and contrition allow the Lord to speak into our lives. Every moment becomes a very present minute in which the Lord can breathe life and liberty into us. Humility is a great weapon in our fight for freedom as is a willing spirit. Jesus is always speaking freedom and victory into our hearts. We must only submit our wills to his and surrender that moment to pause and listen to him. Busyness is not only a lifestyle in the modern world. It is also a desert in which there is no living river of water flowing. The river of life is inside you right now. If you would be willing to turn inside and receive the ministry of the Lord Jesus he will free you from everything that inhibits you. He will set you free in every single area of life: health, wealth, relationships, spiritual, and occupational. Let him be Lord and be free.