“And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
It’s no wonder that the theory of evolution has become so popular, ingrained, and enforced in our society at large and our schools in particular. When you proclaim the worldview of evolution, including but especially the notion that human beings are not special, unique creations of an all-powerful, all-knowing, and good Creator God, but rather just highly evolved animals, you end up gutting the foundation of God’s Word, the book of Genesis, and all that it establishes about God, human beings, sin, where we all come from, where all of history is going, and the meaning of life itself. You end up laying waste to every core belief that Christians hold. “If,” as evangelist Ravi Zacharias says, “we are all a product of time, matter, and chance,” then we do not have to answer to anyone or anything for what we do during our time on Earth. We, as the theory goes, would be “free” to do, or even, to be anything, simply because we say so.
Pretty convenient if you are determined to be “free” from the idea of a deity running your life!
Contrary to what evolutionists would argue, Genesis 3 tells us that ever since our first parents – Adam and Eve – sinned, humanity has had a strong desire for freedom. Unfortunately, our idea of freedom is exactly the opposite of what God’s Word reveals. Our idea of freedom is basically that of autonomy, which literally translated means “self-rule” or “self-law.” In other words, we want to be “free” to rule ourselves and to be a law unto ourselves. Old Testament history gives examples of entire groups of people being described by autonomous living, perhaps none so vivid as the concluding verse of the book of Judges which says that “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (21:25). In our world today, it has gone to the extent of overhauling millennia of societal and cultural norms, as recent history in our country has shown with the onset of the moral and sexual revolution, and so much so that the “right” to autonomy is even becoming the law of the land, not just the individual, ironically enough!
Is this all that freedom was meant to be?
Being “free” to what we want, when we want, where we want, with whomever we want, and bullying anyone who would dare to question or impede our “right” to do so?
Being “free” to claim that we will live according to “our truth,” despite the obvious hurt it causes us and usually others?
Thankfully, God’s idea of freedom as explained in His Word is infinitely greater than anything we can come up with. In the conclusion of the last post in this series, as we finish our journey through John 8:32, we asked what knowing the truth will make us free from. As has been stated, our world and our fleshly, sinful desires claim, we must be free from anything that would restrict our ability to choose to live however we want. But simply put, Jesus came to bring us freedom from the worst possible slavemaster we have ever known: sin.
Not political or governmental corruption. Not poverty. Not natural disasters. Not a lack of education or healthcare. Not climate change.
If we go back to Genesis 3, we will see that sin is what unleashed all of the sorrow and suffering that we see in this world. Because our first parents sinned, and introduced sin to every human being that has ever been born (Romans 5:12), all of creation has been broken (Romans 8:20-21), and only Jesus can fix it. That is why we see all the moral evil, such as murder, lying, stealing, pride, jealousy, selfishness, etc., and all the natural evil, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, etc. that we do.
Sin brought all of this. Sin broke the universe. And if you and I had been there in Adam and Eve’s place, we would have done the same thing they did.
In John 8:31-59, Jesus is talking to a group of Jews who believed they were already free, that is, they basically didn’t think Jesus could help them at all. They had Abraham as their father; they had the Law; they were God’s chosen people. What could Jesus possibly offer them if they already thought they were with God? But Jesus knew their hearts, and therefore He knew that if they didn’t think they needed Him because of all the spiritual privileges they did have, then they were certainly not free from their sin. His statement in verse 32 implies that they were still dead in their sins, no matter what else they had going for them.
Jesus says that if we come to know Him, the Truth, personally as our Savior, we will be free from the penalty of sin (an eternity in hell), and throughout the rest of our life on Earth, if we continue to live out the truth He has revealed to us in His Word, we will increasingly be made free from the power (enslaving nature) of sin. Even better, one day, when we see Jesus face to face, we will finally be made free from the presence of sin, never able to sin again or be harmed by it!
Do you know Jesus as your personal Savior? Or do you only know of Him, like the religious leaders in John 8, as a great teacher, but not the most important figure in all of history, the only way of salvation?
Today, you can come to know the truth, and if you do, He will make you free! And if you already have come to know the truth, are you living in the freedom only He can provide?
I will conclude with this quote by C.S. Lewis :
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
The world cannot compete with an offer like this!