May 16: “The Truth Will Set You Free”

6 Minute Read

Today’s Bible Reading:

1 Samuel 18:5–19:24
John 8:31-59
Psalm 112:1-10
Proverbs 15:12-14

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

John 8:31-32 (NLT): “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.’”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Freedom! We love that word. In America, we celebrate that we live in a country where, as a general rule, we can do as we please.

Yet, even in America, “the land of the free,” we have thousands of laws, and the number of laws grows each day. Why? Because as long as there are sinful, self-seeking hearts, there will be people who use their freedoms to trample on other people’s freedoms.

The irony is that to enjoy freedom, there must be constraints (laws).

Yet, in our text, Jesus has promised freedom!

John 8:31-32 (NLT): “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.’”

So, what is this “freedom” that Jesus is talking about, and how can it be maintained?

Briefly stated, the freedom alluded to in this verse is freedom from bondage to sin. Just read the following comments that Jesus makes a couple of verses later, and this point becomes clear. Jesus can set us free from sin and sinful habits that would bind us and destroy us.

John 8:34-36 (NLT): “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.’”

This is how freedom works. It is always constrained by something. If people in a community are generally moral and bound to live by those standards, there will be little need for laws. Yet, if people in a community are generally immoral, then they are (in Jesus’ words) “slaves to (their preferred) sin” and will require more societal laws. We either submit to an internal moral code or to an external set of laws. Freedom, however, can only really be experienced when we are controlled internally by a moral code.

Yet, given the sinful condition of the human heart, societal freedom would eventually devolve into anarchy if it weren’t for laws. But, this is also alluded to in this verse. “If you remain faithful to my teachings…” (John 8:31).

Jesus says that the Bible becomes the instruction manual (law book) for those set free, and it works to set us free even more. As long as we learn from God’s Word, seek to obey it, repent deeply of where we fall short, and make the necessary adjustments, we will be getting freed from sin’s chains and set free to serve, love, and enjoy our Lord.


Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by niu niu on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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