As I continue my trek through the book of John, knee deep in chapters 7 and 8, I found at least three topics to talk about. Freedom from sin definitely stands out as the most important for myself.
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Often, when I speak with people about God, I get a lot of resistance. People bring up a number of challenges that they claim stand in the way of believing in Jesus as the one and only savior. Yet, even as I address their concerns, my answers, no matter how grounded in fact, logic and evidence, get dismissed quickly. It turns out that the real heart of the matter is a matter of the heart.
Many people live a life clinging to their favorite sins. I rarely find people who will declare it, as many do not want to recognize their sin as wrong, much less try to obtain freedom from those chains binding them so tightly.
In other corners of the world, we have many examples of people who recognize that they are servants of sin, and they desire freedom. However, they believe they can pay off their sins and earn their freedom through sheer force of will alone. In the Middle East, men beat their bodies, sacrifice livestock in grisly displays and perform arduous rituals in an attempt to distance themselves from their sin and provide some sort of payment for the eternal debt it creates.
Yet, Jesus shows us that such efforts fail. One cannot balance out the debt of sin through good works no more than one can convince a judge here that he should not receive the death sentence for murder because he did some good deeds. Jesus not only pay the price for our sin, but gives us freedom from that sin, as well. He covers both the need for freedom of sin and of the debt created by it. Blessed be the name of the LORD!!