May 23, 2020
Yesterday we celebrated the good news that in Christ we are set free from the penalty of our sins. Today we return to John 8 and discover that Jesus gives us freedom over the power of sin in our lives!
NIV John 8:31-36
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." 33 They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?" 34 Jesus replied, "Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Jesus is addressing Jews who believe Him. They have been convinced by his words and his life that He is who He says he is! He is the Savior! How do disciples live in freedom? By holding to His teachings. Some translations say if you abide or remain in my teachings. This is a better translation! The verb to remain means to stay or dwell in His teachings. A disciple follows the teachings of Jesus. They make their home in His instructions including His promises and warnings. A disciple will not pick and choose which teachings to obey but seeks to apply all of it. This practice brings freedom by the truth! By remaining in Jesus’ teachings, we gain victory over the power of sin. The One who helps us remain in truth is the Spirit of Truth. He teaches us. He reminds us. He guides us into the Truth, and He reveals truth to us. In this way, the Holy Spirit glorifies the Son!
NIV John 14:26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
NIV John 16:12-15
"I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you."
Here is the primary way we can overcome sin. We rely on the Spirit of Truth and the Word of Truth. We remain in Jesus’ teachings as we keep in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:24-25). What a wonderful plan our Father has for our success in life!
Live confidently as you follow Jesus today. He is working in your life! He transforms you by the combined work of the Word of truth and the Spirit of truth! This miraculous work gives you freedom!
Give thanks this weekend for those who have given their lives so we can live in freedom in America. The Land of free because it is the home of the brave!
Tomorrow is Sunday May 24. Our video recording of our worship service will be available beginning at 9:00 am. Our parking lot has Wi-Fi for anyone who wishes to watch our video service in the parking lot. Please keep social distances and if you leave your car wear a mask. I will be at church from 8:30-12:30. If you want to stop by, you are welcome to do so. We are continuing to make plans to open our building. We are preparing for systematic cleaning and social distancing procedures. We are grateful that we are seeing progress. And we give God thanks that He has protected our families from this virus.