One of the most insightful things Jesus said is found in John 8:31. He said, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” How ironic that so many of our youth leave the church because they find it confining which is exactly the opposite of Jesus’ Freedom Message. Of what truth was Jesus speaking? So often we speak of the truth of a health message which boils down to don’t eat this or that. Often we speak of the truth of a heap of have-tos. It doesn’t seem like freedom to our youth or, if we are honest, also to most of us older folk.
There are two basic truths included in Jesus’ truth. Number one is everyone is a slave to their appetites. Internally we know our appetites must be controlled but we often can’t deny ourselves. In John 14 Jesus promised to send us the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who will give us the control we need. Number two is understanding the only things God doesn’t want us to do are things that will harm us. Unless we are mentally ill we do not want to harm ourselves. God’s law is a manifest declaring if we don’t do certain things we will not suffer sin’s horrific consequences. Pile up those consequences and the result is the death of our bodies, our intellects, our relationships and our souls. Sinful behavior is suicide.
Freedom in Christ is understanding the truth that once we comprehend sin’s results and once we utilize the power that is available, we can do anything and everything we want to do, because normal people don’t want to harm themselves. That is real freedom. That is freedom from the slavery to our appetites and freedom from sin’s consequences.
Written by Roger Bothwell on September 24, 2014
Spring of Life, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574