I like the word free. I like free stuff. I like free time. I like living free.
If you pay any attention to the news at all, you’ll see that (in North America at least), the governments are making an attempt to change the definition of truth and freedom. Unless we, as the Church, stand up and claim our freedom, it will soon disappear altogether.
Aside from our fundamental freedoms of speech, religion and association (as per the First Amendment and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms), there is another type of freedom that we have that the government can never take away from us.
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”
John 8:31-32 (ESV)
Let’s confirm the truth we’re talking about because this verse gets taken out of context all the time. Folks tend to use it for their own designs and purposes by quoting only the last portion. They speak of their own personal truths which may or may not be what Jesus was talking about.
Jesus wasn’t talking about perceived truth, but Truth. Jesus is Truth. (John 14:6) This is not a case of what’s-true-for-me-may-not-be-true-for-you. There is absolute truth and Jesus is it. Nothing, nothing can change that. Not your opinion, not your friends or family, not the government.
So now that we’ve established what the Truth is, what does it mean to be free? What does the truth set us free from? We know that it may not be freedom from the consequences of the law. There are Christians all over the world who are imprisoned for believing and standing up for Truth. There are Christians in North America being persecuted for standing up for Truth. Don’t make the mistake of believing that’s a Third World problem.
If the Truth doesn’t keep us out of jail, what good is it? It sets us free from the power of sin and death. That is something our government cannot take away from us. They can’t even pretend to have control over it (though they surely try).
Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. the slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
John 8:34-36 (ESV)
While I firmly believe that the Church needs to stand up for Truth (not the truth of our own making, but Jesus and him alone), we also need to remember that, no matter what the government may say, there is a freedom in the one Truth that can never be taken away from us. If we abide in the Word and allow him to live in us, we will know the Truth and we will always, always be free.
Daily Bible reading: 1 Chronicles 6-7; John 8:21-36