JOHN 8:31–32 – So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
I wondered what it would have been like to come to church one Sunday, take our seat in the sanctuary, get settled in for worship, and then suddenly we notice an unfamiliar face walk in and take His seat. He didn’t say a word. Then as the service began, He stood up. The attendant of the service walks up to Him, gives Him a scroll and this unfamiliar face begins to read-“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor”(Luke 4:16-19). The rest of the account reads, “And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?”(Luke 4:20-22). We would have been just as gripped with these words of the Lord Jesus as was the crowd. Gracious words, profound words, stirring words, and most of all “liberating words” for they are the Gospel–the promised freedom from the Savior; a freedom from what plagues every human being–the bondage of Satan, sin and self.
When the Gospel of the Lord Jesus is revealed to the soul of a sin-aware person, we are awakened to the love of God for such enslaved sinners. We who feel the chains of condemnation from our sins (John 3:18), the shackles of accusations from the devil (Revelation 12:10), and captivity of our selfishness (2 Timothy 3:1-5) rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory as we realize the freedom Christ gives us. And what is the evidence we are experiencing this freedom? There are many but here is one big one. It is found in the fifth chapter of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatians.
One of the clearest indications we have been set free by the Gospel of the Lord Jesus is our love for people that leads to serving people-For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another(Galatians 5:13). When the Gospel changes a person we go from self-serving and selfish living to self-denying and selfless living. Such a life is always the fruit of the Gospel.
Freedom. That is what the Gospel gives. Learn to walk in it for it is the pathway to joy that shows the world the One who spoke and speaks gracious and liberating words pointing people to Himself–the Liberator of those in the bondage of sin, Satan and self. .
PRAYER: “Father, I praise You for the work of Your Son that delivers from the slavery of sin, Satan, and self.”
QUOTE: “Christ came to set the captives free from the captivity they could not overcome themselves.”
Because of Him,