Truth and Freedom

Sermon delivered on July 3rd, 2016

By: Pastor Greg Hocson

Scripture Text: John 8:19-35



By way of introduction I will dare say two things that I believe is true of all of us:


1. Everyone wants to be free

Everyone in this building wants to be free. No one wants to be in bondage. No one wants to be a slave to another. Everybody wants freedom. Every creature desires and wants to enjoy its freedom. Place a bird in a cage and it will struggle to get free. Put a dog on a leash and restrain him in one place and will howl and bark to be set free. We human beings are no different. We want to be free. We do want our freedoms tampered with.


2. Everyone wants truth

Not only does everybody want to be free but also everybody wants truth. Even the relativists - those who deny the existence of absolute truth; even those who say that absolute truth does not exist, demand truth. No one wants to be lied to. 


"The fact is, that truth matters — especially when you are on the receiving end of a lie." - Ravi Zacharias 


As Americans, we value truth and freedom. Our nation was founded on the principle of "liberty and justice for all.


Listen to our First Amendment - Religion and Expression

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress (to set right) of grievances."


Our First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to peacefully assemble, and freedom to petition the government for redress (to set right grievances).


Truth and freedom are the very foundation of our nation. Truth and freedom matter to us as a nation. But here is the problem: Everybody hates lie but nobody wants to hear the truth. Everybody wants freedom, but very few ask, "What really is freedom?" We want freedom but very few understand what freedom is.


To illustrate this, a professor asked his students, "What is freedom?"


Immediately one student raised his hand and confidently asserts, "Freedom is being able to do what you want." Everyone in the room nodded agreeing to their fellow strudent's assertion. But the professor laughed and shouted "Wrong! That's exactly what's wrong with the world. People think they want freedom, but what they really want is anarchy. Doing whatever you want isn't freedom: it's anarchy." 


I agree with the professor. Many people think that freedom is the absence of restraint, doing whatever you want. But really, freedom without restraints and doing whatever you please is not freedom. It's anarchy which leads chaos. Imagine we had no laws telling us on which side of the freeway to drive. Imagine we had no regulations regarding drinking and driving. Imagine if we have no laws regarding marriage, no laws against marrying your mother or father, or siblings, or your dog or cat. Imagine we were able to do whatever we wanted to do. The world would be filled with chaos and confusion! Which is what is happening to day. Freedom is not the absence of restraint, nor is doing whatever you please. 


Our Lord spoke about truth and freedom

Let's hear what He says about truth and freedom.

John 8:30 As he spake these words, many believed on him. 31: Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32: And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 33: They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 34: Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35: And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 36: If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.


"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

Many secular colleges and universities display this statement at the entrance of their building as their motto, to name a few: California Institute of Technology, Idaho State University, University of Portland, and Ottawa University. This phrase is also inscribed in stone at the Original Headquarters Building of the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency). 


But "the truth shall make you freedid not originate in colleges and universities. It was Jesus who said it. And when He said these words, He is not promoting a salvation by our own intellectual knowledge, He is not promoting a salvation through the acquisition of more and more information. When our Lord said "the truth will set you free" He was speaking of spiritual truth that leads to spiritual freedom.


What is freedom?

"Freedom is not the ability to do whatever you want. Freedom is the strength of character to do what is true, good, noble, and right." - Matthew Kelly


Based on this description of freedom we need at least two things, namely knowledge and character. Freedom is knowing what you ought to do (knowledge) and having the ability to do just that (character).


Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke these words in ...

John 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35: And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 36: If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.


The people to whom Jesus was speaking were confused about freedom. When Jesus Christ said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free", they responded ... 


John 8:33 They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 

The Jews claimed they were free. They boasted that they were politically free and were not in bondage to any foreign power. They are either in denial or ignorant of their history, because at that time they were under the Roman government and if they knew their history they would know they were at one point were in bondage in Egypt and in Babylon.


They claimed religious freedom, but they were in reality the slaves to their man-made laws and man's traditions. They claimed moral freedom, but in reality they were in bondage to sin


Jesus said in verse thirty four, "Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin". The word "committeth sin" means continually and habitually disobeys God. When a person is in that condition, that person is not free but rather a slave.  He is a servant of sin which is the worst kind of bondage.


But here is the Gospel - Jesus Christ, the Son of God came to set us free.


1. Freedom Begins with Salvation

Freedom begins with trusting Jesus Christ as your Saviour. When a person trusts Jesus Christ as his Saviour, he is set freed, not only from sin's guilt, and punishment, and judgment but also from its enslaving power. 


2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.


If you and I are to experience and enjoy freedom we must experience new birth. We must be given a new heart. 


Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27: And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. 

In the new birth we are given a new nature enabling us to do what is true, good, noble and right.


2. Freedom is Governed by Truth

Freedom is not the absence restraint but governed and controlled by truth.

John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 


Satan offers freedom but the freedom he offers is freedom without restraints, freedom without responsibility, freedom without consequences, which is not freedom at all. Because the freedom he offers leads to bondage and he uses lies, not truth. Satan uses lies to bring you into bondage, and that bondage leads to destruction.


Satan is like a crooked politician whose says, "In Politics, sometimes you have to lie or you have to make promises you cannot keep."


In Genesis 3 Satan said to our first parents ...

Genesis 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Satan lied to our first parents - Ye shall not surely die:

He made a promise he cannot deliver - Ye shall be as gods.


Jesus offers freedom. The freedom He offers is real freedom. This is what He said in ...

John 8:36: If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

You shall be really free. You shall be free in reality.


While Satan lies to bring you into bondage, God uses truth to set you and me free. When we believe Satan's lies and obey them, then we experience bondage, but when we believe the truth and obey it, we experience freedom which leads to fulfillment. 


3. Freedom is Not Free

The freedom we now enjoy in this country isn't free. There had been a price paid in blood by our armed forces over all these years so that we could experience and enjoy the freedom. By our service men and women, our fire fighters, police, medical people, they put their lives in the line every single day for us. There is a price and a personal sacrifice. 


The freedom the Jesus Christ gives, like all other freedoms, was obtained at a great price and by costly sacrifice. It doesn't come free. There is a price and it is personal. Our bondage was so great that a great price and sacrifice must be paid to liberate us, to set us free. Not only that, the devil who held us captive is strong and powerful that only a strong and powerful Saviour can liberate us out of his hands. 


Thank God, we have a great and mighty Saviour who gave the great sacrifice to set us free. 

1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.


Galatians 1:3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, 4: Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:


Christ provided everything that was required to set sinners free. He paid the price. It is a price paid in blood as Jesus Christ sacrificed His own blood for our salvation. He redeemed us. The price that Christ paid to set sinners free was His own person. He became our Substitute. He took our place. He shed His own blood. He suffered, bled and died on the cross for our sins.


Jesus paid it all,

All to Him I owe;

Sin had left a crimson stain,

He washed it white as snow.


Closing Exhortation

My prayer is that you and I would experience and enjoy true freedom. This freedom begins with salvation. It begins by knowing the Truth. Jesus Christ is the Truth (John 14:6). Jesus came to proclaim liberty to the captives.

Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19: To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.


My first exhortation is ...

1. Embrace the Truth

The way to experience freedom is not to deny that truth exists. The way to experience freedom, grace and forgiveness is not to give up truth and pretend it isn't there. The way to experience freedom is to embrace truth and submit to it. 

John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32: And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.


The key to genuine freedom, grace and forgiveness is found in the phrase; "continue in my word". Jesus says we come to know the truth by continuing in His teachings, and truth is that which will liberate us or make us free. 


Don't be afraid of the truth. Take the truth seriously you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.


Proverbs 23:23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

Know, get, acquire the truth and never let go of it.


Consider truth as a thing of the highest value, and obtain it at all cost and do not part with it for any thing in this world. When you get truth you will have wisdom, instruction and understanding. 


John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.


2. Proclaim the truth

Proclaim the truth by your life before your children and spouses and classmates and friends and neighbors and co-workers. Proclaim the truth by your life and by your words. 


As He died to make men holy,

Let us live to make men free;

His truth is marching on.

While God is marching on.


3. Celebrate your freedom

As Christians we enjoy freedom now, but our greatest experience of freedom will take place in the future when Jesus returns. The Bible calls this "the glorious liberty of the children of God." 


Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19: For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20: For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21: Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22: For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23: And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.