John 14

What Truth Will Set Us Free?

How often have you heard this phrase, “The truth will set you free!” - Many times I’m sure and often out of scriptural context. This line alone is used in movies, churches, devotionals and countless conversations around the world, but the truth alone can’t set you free because it depends on what truth you’re holding on to. Is it your own truth? The world’s truth? Your neighbor’s truth? Buddha’s truth? The government’s truth? Pop-Cultures truth? What about the truth of your past and pain? The shocking truth of your present reality that hurts like hell? All of these “truths” will fade away yet there is One whose truth is eternally unshakeable. This is the truth that we can align our lives with to live in freedom no matter the circumstance around us.

John 8:31-32 AMP says, “So Jesus was saying to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you abide in My word [continually obeying My teachings and living in accordance with them, then] you are truly My disciples. And you will know the truth [regarding salvation], and the truth will set you free [from the penalty of sin].”

Scripture tells us that if we hold to Jesus’ teaching, know it, walk in it, abide in it, and follow it, then we are truly His disciples or His students. Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing (John 5:19, 8:28, 12:49) so holding to His teaching and following in His ways is also holding fast to the Father’s heart and ways. Once we meditate on and align ourselves with His truth, THEN we will know it and the truth of His goodness, love and salvation that rescued us from the penalty of sin and death (John 3:16-17) - THIS my friends is the truth that will set us free.

1.) Abide

To abide in Him (Jesus words, life and resurrection), it is necessary to read the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and see what He taught so we can live in accordance with His teachings. It is here that we'll discover how and why He lived, died and rose again. What is the purpose of the resurrection and what power does that have in my life today? We will discover what mysteries He spoke of and revealed. We will see what moved him with compassion and therefore into action. What questions He asked the pharisees to reveal the nature of their hearts and in turn the nature of ours if we let it.

Listening to podcasts and sermons on a Sunday are great, but alone they are nothing compared to pulling apart the gospels (really the whole Bible from beginning to end) for yourself on your own time. It is here that your heart is revealed to you, and you can sit with Father God and ask all the questions you'd like. He loves to be with you. He loves your questions... He made you and know's how you tick, what you need and right where you are.

2.) Discipleship

To be a disciple/follower of Jesus it's imperative that we choose to remain in a constant state of learning and transformation coupled with the laying down our lives on a daily basis. We aren't following Jesus anywhere if we constantly dictate the terms of our following, spouting our "truth" that we'd like Him to come into agreement with so that we feel better about our decisions, ways of thinking or lifestyles - strong but true (hello, we've all been there - I've been personally wrestling with something all morning). 

"23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? 26 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels." - Luke 9:23-26 NIV

Laying down our lives, ideals, ideas, habits, ways of thinking and living is very unpopular or has been deemed "outdated" in today's society. In nations where persecution runs rampant for those that proclaim Jesus as Lord and Savior, physical death or incarceration is always a real possibility. Those who choose to follow Jesus literally count the cost and then make a conscious choice to lay down their lives (John 15:13, Luke 9:23-26) because they actually may die for what they have given their lives to. Sometimes it's hard for us to grasp this in our western world but the moment we say yes to Jesus, we willingly surrender walking in "our ways" and go on an incredible adventure discovering the truth that has the ability to set us free when we meditate on it and align ourselves with it. Every day we can become more like Jesus as we choose to surrender to His miraculous love and truth. He takes us in as we are transforming us into His likeness.

 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. - 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 NIV

3.) Walk in Freedom

As we abide and live in accordance with Jesus ways while walking in the reality of His resurrection power in our daily lives, we discover the powerful truth regarding our salvation and the fruit of our lives becomes HIs freedom and wholeness. Am I doing this perfectly yet? No way! Is it my aim to learn more every day, have my heart revealed and healed, and become more like Him? YES!

It's a free will choice to align ourselves with the truth of Jesus life, death and resurrection when all hell breaks loose and our present pain reminds us of the circumstance we have to stare in the face. It's a choice to still ourselves when we just can't seem to stop trying to fix or control everything with our bare hands and Instead of meditating on and soaking in His goodness. It's a choice to turn from our ways and turn to Him on a daily basis.

HIs truth sets us free.

He is The WAY, The TRUTH, and The LIFE that we seek. (John 14:6) 

 

Thank you William Booth

Call me strange, but I love a good warning. Especially a warning that opens my eyes and causes me to cry out to God for the solution. This particular "warning" from William Booth, founder of The Salvation Army, an honored general who has gone before us, has opened my eyes and won't leave me alone.

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“The chief danger that confronts the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, heaven without hell.”  - William Booth - Founder of the Salvation Army

This whole quote is enough for each of us to meditate on until its so deep within us, that we can’t help but be moved to action to see this changed in our lifetime.

When I look around the church today, I do see this. But more than seeing the problem that faces our generation, I see hope. I see the answer. It is in God and His inexplicable love, and it is within you and I. Christ in us the HOPE of glory! We can change this. But we have to wake up.

So often I see Christians who are saved but not free. Saved but unactivated in their faith. Saved but not empowered. Saved but in countless ways tolerating their pain and chains as a normal part of life. Saved but lacking the knowledge or understanding of their God given authority… I see Christians “doing” Christianity without actually following Jesus Christ. We’re willingly following Jesus to heaven, but refusing to get out of our Christian high towers. Instead we're filled with opinions (that we freely give behind the safety of our computers), but often times those opinions lack the knowledge of the word of God, or are void of any action to actually live by the "convictions" we've so freely shared with the world. At times we've hemmed ourselves in with the safety of our Christian surroundings (I've been guilty of this), while we're beckoned to be freedom facilitators that see His Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. That my friends is an uncomfortable life... A life truly crucified with Christ (Gal 2:20). One that calls us out to understand our position of “royalty” and authority is given for the sake of others.

"23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me." - John 14:23-24 NIV

Notice it says "obey my teaching", not "quote my teaching",  or"know my teaching better than anyone else", it simply says obey, and then the promises follow. We can quote scripture, know scripture, use scripture out of context, have an opinion about scripture, but until we live it and live in it, there is a point of inactivity in our faith. And I would go so far to say that we're acting as disobedient kids.

I want to focus on one part of this quote for this particular article, and that is salvation without regeneration.

Regeneration is to be renewed or restored back to our original purpose. We were never meant to only be saved. Don't hear what I'm not saying, salvation is the point of entry, and the greatest, most mind bending miracle into our new life with Christ to which everything He has is ours. This is the front door into the palace of our new life. This is adoption into the greatest family ever! What a position that we live from!

From the point of salvation, we have a mission of renewal and regeneration of ALL things. First to be renewed and restored in our own lives (because WE ARE a new creation, this is not semantics, it is our reality), and then to facilitate the same thing in the lives of those around us, and the atmospheres we occupy - to be saved AND free, and then give what we have away.

We are each called to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8), and see the kingdom of heaven infiltrate earth (Matthew 6:10)whilst we occupy the planet. We don’t just sit here and occupy till Jesus comes back for us, we are facilitators of the freedom and power of the Kingdom of Heaven. And we have been given all authority from Jesus to do so, and are enabled by the gift and the power of the Holy Spirit to execute the mission.

We are at war and we win. So we must fight accordingly.

"There may be breaks between battles but it doesn't mean the war is over. You can take that time between to nap, or, you can take it to re-equip. Victory is yours, it's just a matter of how long you want the battle to go on before you take it." - Kris Vallotton, Spirit Wars

Salvation WITH regeneration is our responsibility. Satan will try everything in his power to usurp (take a position of power or importance illegally or by force) what has been freely given to you. Don't allow him the pleasure.

If you're okay with going to war, freedom and restoration are yours. And then you have the privilege of giving it away to all you meet.

So thank you William Booth for going before us and opening our eyes. May we take heed and make an eternal difference on earth while we're alive.