by Bishop Art Ferriol
The words spoken by Jesus Christ in John 8:32 declare, “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”
These eternal words emphasize three important truths that the Lord would like to impart us.
MAN IS NOT YET FREE
There was a presumption, an unspoken presumption by the Lord-Man is not yet free. He is a slave. Of course, in this modern age, it’s hard to think of slavery. Though, in some cultures, there is actual slavery going on.
We can speak of slavery, for example, to poverty, slavery to ignorance, to cruelty. These are very rampant; unthinkable yet they exist. However, John 8:32 speaks of a deeper slavery that all men without exception are in. Neither this slavery is moral nor political, not even financial nor intellectual, but spiritual. In verse 34, “Jesus Christ answered them most assuredly, I say unto you, who ever commit sin is a slave of you.”
Consequently, this is a different, very real and most rampant of all slavery-the SLAVERY OF SIN. This is, of course, unseen and unrecognized but the truth remains that whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. Apostle Paul pictures vividly in Romans 7:19 the anatomy of slavery to people, “For the good I will do, I do not do. But the evil I will not to do that I practice.”
This is the predicament that Paul was in. And actually, he was picturing the predicament of all men. Accordingly, Paul states the reason in verse 20, “Now if I do what not to do, it is no longer I who do it but sin that dwell in me.”
And so, the body of man has become the dwelling place of sin. It has become the abode of sin. Sin dwells in our body that is why Paul said that in this body the devil had built its stronghold with us. But this must definitely be destroyed. In 2 Corinthians 10:3 and onwards, ‘’For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down the strongholds.”
Fortification of Satan must be destroyed in us. Man must be freed. But then, human experience have seen and proven that no power can deliver man from sin even his religion. It just pushes him more towards sin. Therefore, man by himself is hopeless. He is helpless. That is why Jesus Christ came that He may destroy the works of the devil and set man free. He came to bring liberty or freedom. In Luke 4:18-19, he said, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me cause He had anointed me to preach the gopel to the poor, He had sent me to the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives.” Jesus Christ is the true liberator. He is the emancipator.
We have President Abraham Lincoln as the emancipator of liberty but Jesus Christ is the emancipator of all slaves of sin. In Him, there is freedom, spiritual freedom. Man can now do that which is right in spite of the temptations, hindrances and difficulties. This is what the Lord Jesus Christ offers.
THE TRUTH IS THE WORD OF GOD
What is the truth that can make us free? He said in John 17:17 “Sanctify them by your truth, your word is truth.” Hence, the truth is the Word of God. True freedom starts in the mind. And how can our minds be liberated from ignorance, from spiritual ignorance from sin? The answer is no more than the word of God. The words of Paul in Romans 12:2 states “And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed in the renewing of your minds that you may then prove what is good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Only the Word of God can cleanse and renew our minds. Indeed, once it is believed, it has a transforming power. Because according to Him, it is spirit, it is life.
THE DEITY OF CHRIST
Jesus Christ in John chapter 8 speaks of is deity, His being the only begotten Son of God. In verse 23, “ And He said to them, you are from beneath; I am from above: you are of this world; I am not of this world.” He emphasized that He is not an ordinary man. Though, he was a carpenter, the son of Joseph and Mary, He was not. He was from above. “ I am from above, you are from beneath.” In verse 24, “Therefore, I said unto you that you will die in your sin: for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sin.”
Believing in Jesus Christ is very important to our salvation. In fact, knowing Jesus Christ means rightly that is, as He really means eternal life. “And this eternal life that they may know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” Notice that eternal life comes in the true knowledge of who the Father is and who the Son is. It is not true that however or whatever you believe about Christ is all right provided that you sincerely believe. That’s definitely not true. If you sincerely believe Christ, on who He is, which He’s not, it will mean damnation. Paul in his words in 2 Corinthians 11: 4 said that there are those who preach a different Christ, “ For if he who comes preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached or if you received another spirit which you did not received or a different gospel which you do not receive, you may well put up with this.”
There are preachers today who proclaimed that Jesus is the Father. The Father, therefore, who has sent Him was sent by Himself. However, the Bible says that for God so loved the world that He gave is only begotten Son. It was the Father who gave. Whoever does not believe that He is begotten Son will die in their sin. Otherwise, to those who believe, the truth will set them free.
The Word of God, particularly in this chapter, clearly affirms that Jesus Christ is the Sent One of God., the only begotten of the Father who will solely set man free. A man cannot save. And if he was a mere man, he cannot be the Savior. But thanks be to God. He was sent by the Father to be our Savior. Accept Him now and you will be saved.