It is a popular biblical quote in the movies today, often used to make some appear smarter or better than they actually are, when after revealing some previously supposedly unknown truth, they continue, “The truth will set you free.” However, the sheer arrogance and ignorance of this quote, especially as it is used in movies is quite astounding. You see, the writers for the movies seem to always miss the responsibility part of what Jesus said.
Had Jesus said, “The truth will set you free,” or even “Once you know the truth, the truth will set you free,” then Jesus would have been required to set everyone free from their sin regardless of whether they chose to believe in Him or not. We could simply give mental assent to the historical fact that Jesus was (and is) the Son of God. After all, Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6), and once we had knowledge of this, Jesus would have been committed to set everyone free; nobody would have had to believe in Him, and nobody would have had to come to the Father through Him. This would have negated any need for Him to suffer on the cross, submit to death, and be resurrected.
Let’s look at a practical example of this.
A man, let’s call him Dmitri, is in debt $100,000, plus owes a mortgage on his home of another $150,000. Dmitri has just lost his job, like so many of us have, possibly more than once in the last few years. He has a wife and three children, each of whom he adores. Racked with worry about how to deal with the situation, he prays the usual emergency prayer, “God, HELP!!! Pleeeeaaaaasssssssse!!”
Hearing the Dmitri’s prayer, and knowing his faithfulness, God provides for him by having another of His children open an account in the Dmitri’s name.
Think about this. The truth is, Dmitri now has $1,000,000 dollars with which to pay off whatever taxes would be required, pay off his debt, and pay off the debt on his mortgage. He would also be able to live well enough until he found another job. The problem is, Dmitri does not know the truth, that the money is in an account in his name. Will the truth set him free? No, it will not.
Knowing Dmitri has no knowledge of the money yet, God further motivates the bank to call him and inform him of the truth about the money that was given anonymously, and is now his. Is Dmitri now free of his debt? No, he is not. Why not? Like the movies tell us, after they reveal a supposed truth, “The truth will set you free.” Something more is required. I understand that many a well-meaning preacher, teacher or friend has stopped at this point also; however, they did not take us all the way to the truth.
Dmitri must first believe that he has the money in an account in his name. Hard to believe? He can simply go to the bank in person to verify the account and the funds. Then, Dmitri must follow the correct course, reporting the money to the IRS and his state’s Department of Revenue, pay his taxes, pay off his mortgage and the rest of his debt. Then Dmitri must live responsibly with the money that has been given him so that it will last until he finds a suitable job. There may be plenty left over for investment for the future, or there may be little, depending upon the faithfulness and responsibility with which Dmitri uses the funds that are now his.
You see, unlike Hollywood’s popularization of the misconception, the truth actually requires choices of us. Let us look at what Jesus actually said, after all, we not only want to obtain freedom, we also desire to maintain the freedom that is ours, in Christ Jesus.
31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed;
32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
There are actually four steps to becoming free, and maintaining that freedom; they are:
1) Believe on Him (the Lord Jesus Christ)
2) Continue in the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ and be His disciples
3) Know the Truth
4) Be set free by the Truth
We must start by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ – the Way, the Truth and the Life. We must believe Jesus is the resurrected Son of the Living God, and that He is the way of salvation from our sin, and the just consequences of our sin.
Once we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, we must continue in His Word, learning it, meditating upon it and making His Word a part of us and living His Word; thus, indeed being disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. As we come to truly know the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ, intimately, personally, taking the Word of Jesus into our very beings as an intimate part of us, then the truth of the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ will make us free.
By purposely choosing to continue in this growing process we will find that we are free from all things that would beset us and we will maintain our freedom. Surely, trials, challenges and tests will come our way, but when we continue in the Way of the Lord Jesus Christ, we will live and move and have our being in Christ Jesus (Acts 17:28), and in Christ Jesus we will be truly free. After all, whomever the Son sets free, is free indeed (John 8:36).
Will you choose the freedom that is in Christ Jesus? Will you choose to continue in the freedom of the Son of the Living God, our Lord Jesus Christ?
- In Christ Realities: Introduction and Hub Page
- In Christ Realities: New Creature in Christ…the baby and the sumo wrestlers
- In Christ Realities: New Creature in Christ Jesus…old things have passed away
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