June 17

John 8:31-32, 36 31To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

In this discussion with the Jews Jesus said that every word He spoke came from God. He claimed that when He was crucified they would believe. He also claimed that His every action was from God. His claims were so extraordinary, yet His life backed His claims. Some of those present believed Him. To those who believed He spoke the words of our text today. If you are a believer today, these words are also to you.

If you hold to Jesus' teaching, you are really His disciple. We put a lot of emphasis on the decision to believe. Discipleship requires a continuing process of holding to the words that Jesus spoke. A believer can go on in bondage to sin because they have not chosen to go on in discipleship. Clinging to Christ's life transforming words that came from the Father breaks the bondage of sin. Until we go on into discipleship we will be a poor example of the life of Christ.

As we live in the word of God, it will change the way we think. Changing our thoughts changes our desires. Changed desires cause us to act differently. The freedom that comes from holding to Jesus' teaching is something the world cannot understand. They think they are free to sin when sin is enslaving them. Your freedom to turn down temporal pleasure looks like bondage to them. Only in the deepest stages of their bondage can they see they are enslaved. Demonstrating your freedom with joy and love can help them see the difference.

Consider: Are you a mere believer still in bondage, or are you going on into discipleship and the freedom that only the Son can give?