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                          "THE GOSPEL OF JOHN"

                The Truth Shall Make You Free (8:31-36)

INTRODUCTION

1. One of the better known statements of Jesus is this:  "And you shall
   know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (Jn 8:32)

2. Today this popular statement is often used in a political context...
   a. Referring to freedom from political oppression
   b. Extolling the value of the free press, and freedom of expression

3. While such are notable virtues, Jesus had something else in mind...
   a. Freedom from something more serious than political oppression
   b. Truth that comes from only one source

[Let's examine the context in which Jesus' statement is found (i.e., Jn
8:31-36).  From a careful reading of it we first note...]

I. THE FREEDOM OF WHICH JESUS SPEAKS

   A. FREEDOM FROM SIN...
      1. The Jews misconstrued Jesus - Jn 8:33
         a. They claimed to have never been in bondage (i.e., political
            oppression)
         b. An odd claim in view of the present Roman occupation, and
            past Egyptian, Assyrian and Babylonian captivities!
      2. Jesus explains the context of His statement - Jn 8:34-36
         a. He is talking about the slavery of sin
         b. He offers freedom from the bondage of sin

   B. THE BONDAGE OF SIN...
      1. There is the guilt of sin
         a. A guilt shared by everyone - Ro 3:23; 1Jn 1:8
         b. Even if one has committed only one sin (if such were
            possible!) - Jm 2:10-11
      2. There is the power of sin
         a. Jesus describes how committing sin makes one a slave to sin
            - Jn 8:34
         b. Paul illustrated the dilemma of one in bondage to the power
            of sin - Ro 7:14-24

[More oppressive than any kind physical slavery is the spiritual slavery
that comes from being a sinner!  While man may legislate political
freedom, only Jesus provides freedom from the bondage of sin.  How He
does this can be seen as we now examine...]

II. THE TRUTH OF WHICH JESUS SPEAKS

   A. HIS DOCTRINE...
      1. The truth of which Jesus speaks is His own word or doctrine
         - Jn 8:31-32
      2. Which offers freedom from the bondage of sin
         a. From the guilt of sin through the blood of Christ - cf. Mt
            26:28; Ep 1:7
         b. From the power of sin through the Spirit of God - cf. Ro 8:
            1-2,12-13

   B. WHICH WE MUST OBEY...
      1. To be His disciples indeed - Jn 8:31; cf. Lk 6:46
      2. To be set free from sin - Ro 6:17-18; cf. He 5:9

   C. BEGINNING WITH BAPTISM INTO CHRIST...
      1. In which we are crucified with Christ - Ro 6:3-4a,6a
      2. In which we die to sin, thus freed from sin - Ro 6:6b,7,11a
         a. Its guilt removed by the blood of Jesus - Ac 2:38; 22:16
         b. Its power weakened by the gift of the Holy Spirit - Ac 2:38;
            Ep 3:16
      3. In which we rise to newness of life, free now to serve God - Ro
         6:4c,11b-14,17-18
         a. With the aid of the continual cleansing of Jesus' blood
            - 1Jn 1:9
         b. With the aid of the Spirit in putting to death the deeds of
            the body - Ro 8:12-13

   D. CONTINUING WITH ABIDING IN HIS WORD...
      1. As stated by Jesus - Jn 8:31
      2. As reiterated by John - 2Jn 9

CONCLUSION

1. Perhaps we can now better appreciate the significance of the Great
   Commission...
   a. To make disciples by baptizing them - Mt 28:19
   b. To make disciples by teaching them to observe all that Christ
      commanded them - Mt 28:20

2. For in carrying out the Great Commission into all the world...
   a. We offer the truth that really makes one free!
   b. Freedom from sin, the burden which truly oppresses mankind!

Are you under the heavy burden of sin, both it's guilt and it's power?
Then respond to the Savior's tender invitation:

   "Come to Me, all [you] who labor and are heavy laden, and I will
   give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am
   gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
   For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Mt 11:28-30)

Accept His call to discipleship ("take My yoke...learn from Me"),
remembering His promise in our text:

   "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."
                                                      (Jn 8:36)
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