Christ: Our Freedom
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Tuesday, 28 March 2017
30 As he spake these words, many believed on him. 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. 33 They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
s Jesus was teaching, many of His hearers “believed on him” (v.30). This raises the question of whether it was true saving faith because later He accused them of seeking to kill Him (v.37). Apparently while some sincerely believed, others who claimed to have believed in Jesus had come to a sort of mental acceptance, without any personal surrender to His Lordship. True discipleship would mean a full acceptance of His claims about Himself, and would demonstrate it by their continuance in His claims. Only this could accomplish the freedom from sin, which was the essential aspect of the Messiah’s ministry (vv.31–32).
Many Jews, however, felt that their physical relationship to Abraham secured for them the highest standing with God (v.33). Proudly, the Pharisees claimed that being Abraham’s seed, they never had, nor ever would be in bondage to any man (v.33). Nonetheless, they had been in bondage many times. Their fathers had been in Babylonian captivity for 70 years. Ironically, at that very moment they were the vassals of Rome. But Jesus was not speaking about their political bondage, but their spiritual bondage to sin. Jesus showed that sin causes enslavement.
Just as a slave who does not have the rights of a son in the master’s house, so Israel as a slave to sin did not have access to the Father’s house. (An illustration is the case of Ishmael and Isaac, both of whom were physically descended from Abraham, but one was a slave.) Christ, the eternal Son of God, who wields the truth and authority, can free those who come to Him from their enslavement to sin. Believing His words will free us from all false notions and passions. His words will convict us of our sins and call us to repentance. Every thought that is not of Christ will enslave us to sin. Those who claim to be free thinkers are actually caught up in their own sinful and vain imaginations. Christ alone, the embodiment of the truth (14:6), can change men from slaves to sons (cf. Gal 4:4–7).
The free people are those who are surrendered to Christ.
Lord, give me grace to obey Your Word and be free from sin.