l The following post is based on our “Why Jesus? series” across C3 Sydney’s 11 Locations l
l 'Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”“But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free’?”Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.' John 8:31-36 (NLT) l
In this passage in John, Jesus is addressing a crowd of people who believe in God. They are resisting what He is saying to them not because they are bad people but because they are loyal to the old ways of God. Some are starting to believe the new way Jesus is bringing them, just not completely accepting of it yet. Jesus didn’t come to judge people but to define what God’s people look like: What sets them apart.
Those who follow Jesus are called the sons and daughters of God and we are free. God is about freeing the slaves, just as He did in Egypt. Jesus doesn’t point out to the crowd all the times they have been enslaved physically by a foreign power (including the Romans at the time), He goes straight to the deeper level – our enslavement to sin.
The word “sin” in today’s society makes people think of morality and laws which is too simplistic. Enslavement to sin means when we live our life contrary to God’s way.
There are things that corrupt our lives. We can find ourselves living out of what we think is best only to get stuck. Things that bring quick relief can trap us in bad habits and addictions. We can come to depend on things that aren’t good for us or fill our lives with things, obscuring what is actually important. Something within us takes us further away from purpose, love and peace: We are enslaved.
God is not motivated by a need to control us but by love. He sent Jesus to deal with the issue of sin and present us with a model to follow for freedom. Jesus’ death and resurrection shows us the way to end enslavement to sin: A new life (Romans 6:5-11). Only Jesus offers us new life. Without Him we cannot escape the sin problem. Jesus calls us to rely on Him, be set free and follow His example to keep this journey going.
When we repent of sin, accept Jesus’ forgiveness and new life we need to continue to choose to follow Him. This is what the Bible calls sanctification. For some areas of our lives freedom comes immediately and for others it is a process. This is not a process of picking and choosing what we want but instead asking God to show you what needs to stay and what needs to go.
God doesn’t need you to be perfect, only to keep saying yes to following Him. Continued freedom = continued following. For those who are in Jesus we are free! And we will remain free if we keep walking in him. To help us stay free God has given us the Holy Spirit. Stay in step with the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:1,13,16,25) and follow His lead to new outworkings of love instead of simply asking God for things all the time. Be transformed.
• Praise God – the Lord’s prayer begins with ‘Our Father, honoured be your name’.
• Repent of sins as you become aware of them to live free of guilt and be enabled to forgive others.
• Wait on the Holy Spirit, give Him time to talk to you.
• Live in community with God’s people.
• Listen to the Holy Spirit’s unction - the small voice inside (I don’t think I should do/say or think that).
• Read His Word. Revelation on how we can live out our Christian life.
• Live in His Power which enables us to do what would be impossible to do in the natural.
Something to talk about:
1. Share some examples of things Jesus has freed you from either immediately or over time.
2. How does our freedom impact those around us?
3. What are some ways that we can remind ourselves that we are free when the sinful nature tries to direct us away from God’s ways?