“Bound or Free?” John 8:31-47

In today’s text we get to explore some of Jesus’ most famous words, “The truth shall set you free”. Those words are spoken often, they have become so much a part of our culture that I would wager that most people don’t even know they are quoting Jesus when they make the statement. What does it mean for the truth to set us free? We can only be set free if we are trapped in bondage. We can only be set free if we come to realize that freedom is something other than what we’ve been living in. We can only be set free if we are willing to transfer the leadership of our lives from our captor to our liberator. Freedom requires change, it requires faith, it requires trust. Freedom will create discomfort and will expose weaknesses and inadequacies, it will challenge expectations and reframe our experiences. Freedom is an act of mercy that begins with confrontation, it’s a gift of love that endures the fear of rejection, it’s a promise of security that is fulfilled by a leap of faith. Freedom is what God offers to us and it’s what Satan steals from us; it’s born of the Spirit and suffocated by the flesh. Freedom sounds good but feels costly, the idea of it is always more grand than the fight for it, because just as nothing can be healed until it’s exposed, freedom can’t be received until bondage is revealed. Sin can’t be forgiven until it’s confessed and newness of life (which is change) can’t come until we are willing to release and renounce the old way of living. This morning I want us to see that true freedom begins with hearing the truth. Often that’s the truth we don’t want to hear, the truth that’s not easy to hear, that truth that we have already heard but have been trying to deny. Have you ever asked someone as question, heard the answer and then said, “That doesn’t help me”? It’s not the answer we expected, the answer we wanted; it’s not the answer we were prepared for, the answer that confirmed what we were thinking or affirmed what we were hoping. The truth doesn’t meet our wants, but it addresses our needs, it sets us free, it doesn’t make us feel better about who we are, it reveals who we were meant to be. It cannot leave us as we have been and will not settle for what we are willing to settle for. The truth confronts, challenges, changes and conforms. The truth can’t set the bound free until and unless it reveals our bondage. My prayer today is that we will trust the Word of God and the Holy Spirit enough to lead us to freedom by shining a light on our chains. I’m praying that we won’t resist what God is doing or be offended by what He’s revealing, but that we will be brought out of the darkness of the flesh and into the Holy Spirit’s marvelous light.

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