The Truth Shall Set You Free

But first, it might make you pretty uncomfortable!

And isn’t that the truth?!

To the Jews who believed in him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32).

Usually, we only hear verse 32: “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” But it is verse 31 that sets the foundation and explains what it means to know truth.

To know the truth is much more than just (1) hearing a biblical idea and understanding it. You take the next step about what you now understand. You (2) determine and decide  to

affirm and agree with that truth.

But a third step is needed for you to hold to the truth. You hear and understand with the mind. You affirm and accept with the will. Then (3) you love and cherish with your heart (or affections). You delight in what you understand and accept.

But there is one more step that is contained in this. You understand, you accept/affirm, you cherish/delight, and NOW, (4) you live that truth.

To know truth is to hold to it. To possess it. To have absorbed it into your mind. To have it settle into your soul. To have it soak and permeate into your heart. To have it form how you now live (with a new normal about that truth).

The Greek word “hold” is meno. It is translated as abide, remain, stay, dwell, continue, live, endure.

Read this sentence again, each time exchanging the word hold with one of the highlighted words and adjusting the little preposition by using in instead of to.

If you hold to my teaching, then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

Powerful, isn’t it?

Here’s a little note about William Wilberforce, the politician-reformer who fought his entire life to see slavery ended in the British empire. It comes from the book Amazing Grace.

“Once he discovered a truth to his satisfaction he would have no choice but to embrace it and act upon it … he knew if he held a belief he would be obliged to act upon it, and not just in small and isolated ways … but in all of his life.”

That is why he was able to accomplish what he did. Wilberforce held to the teaching-truth of Jesus Christ, not just in small and isolated ways, but in all of life.

That is our desire, that is our purpose, and that is why we do ministry the way we do at Living Word – to help you hold to the life-changing truth of Jesus. Because we know, as hard as it may be, as uncomfortable as the transforming process may be, in the end that is what makes FLOURISHING possible.

Alongside You and Holding to the Truth as Closely as I Can,
Pastor Brian

Brian Rice
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