Hello everyone. We’re going through the New Testament still trying to come to a deeper understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity. Tonight, we’re in John and we have a lengthy text tonight so let’s get down to it. We’ll be looking at John 8:31-41.
31To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
33They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
34Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37I know you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you do what you have heard from your father.”
39“Abraham is our father,” they answered.
“If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do the things Abraham did. 40As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. 41You are doing the things your own father does.”
“We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”
How do you know you’re a disciple of Christ? If you hold to his teachings. Let’s talk a little bit about assurance then. Some people wonder about their salvation. I can relate. I did it for awhile. Here’s how I see if I’m saved, which I am. I don’t look to saying “Did I say the prayer right several years ago?” No. I remember trusting Christ at one point and now I say “Am I growing to be more like Christ today? Am I committed to Christ today?”
It’s seeing where I’ve come from that gives me assurance.
That assurance is truth and Christ says truth is what sets us free. It sets us free from sin. It sets us free from slavery. It sets us free from doubt and ignorance. It sets us free from worry and fear. Truth is an incredible force if we would only realize it.
Christ is mainly talking about slavery however. The Jews say they are Abraham’s descendants and have never been a slave to anyone. It’s doubtful they’re forgetting that period in history when they were in Egypt, so they are speaking of themselves in the present day.
Christ is speaking of a greater bondage than Egypt or Rome. He is speaking of the bondage of sin that he came to set them free from. He tells the people of their position. They are slaves. They have no place in the house. Sons do though. If the Son sets them free, they will be sons themselves.
He also tells them that he is doing what he has heard in the presence of the Father, which is again Jesus pointing to his unique mission. He is the one who has been in the presence of the Father and can communicate this. They, on the other hand, are doing the work of their father.
To this, they reply that Abraham is their father. Yet Christ tells them that a son does the work of his father. They are not doing that, so they are not children of Abraham. The Jews reply that they are not illegitimate children. Their father is God himself.
We will see how Jesus answers them tomorrow.