John 8:32-36 | 2 Corinthians 3:17 | 1 Corinthians 6:12 | Galatians 5:13,24
“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”John 8:32 NLT
Jesus told those who believed in him that if they stayed faithful to his teaching, they were truly his followers (John 8:31) and that they would be set free by knowing the truth. Many of them had not even known they needed to be set free from anything in the first place! “We have never been slaves to anyone,” they told him (v. 33).
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin.John 8:34 NLT
Jesus replied that sinners are slaves to sin. Man, was he right! Anyone who has tried to overcome an addiction knows how true this is.
He tells us that, as slaves, we are not permanent members of God’s family. But if we follow him, he will set us free and make us his sons and daughters–eternal members of his family.
“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.”John 8:35-36 NLT hs
That’s huge! As a follower of Jesus Christ, you are free!!
For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.2 Corinthians 3:17 NLT
Quick question: what are you going to do with your freedom?
You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything.1 Corinthians 6:12 NLT
The Apostle Paul warns us that even though we, as followers of Christ, are free from our slavery to sin, we can still choose to live as slaves by choosing to keep sinning. Why? Because Jesus gives us true freedom: in which we have the choice to live how we want, regardless of the consequences. (Now that’s freedom!)
You don’t have to be a slave to sin–if you don’t want to. You can choose to live however you want, sinning or not. Jesus gives you that power.
Where does that leave us?
For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.Galatians 5:13 NLT
Paul advises we use our freedom to serve each other. And use the cross of Christ to put our old ways to death.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.Galatians 5:24 NLT
Christian, be free! And enjoy your freedom as you serve God’s Kingdom.
Questions for Group Discussion
- Have you ever tried to stop (or start) doing something and found you could not? Maybe you tried to quit chewing gum, watching or reading certain material, scratching an itch, or eating certain foods, or start exercising regularly. Did you feel powerless?
- Would it really be freedom if we could only make the right choice?
- How conscious are you of the freedom Jesus gives his followers?
Challenge: Use your Freedom
So Jesus has given you freedom… What will you do with it?
We challenge you to use your freedom as Paul advises in Galatians 5:13
- Read Galatians 5:13
- Answer these questions:
- Who is Paul suggesting you serve?
- What does it mean to serve them “in love”?
- Find 3 ways you can “serve one another in love” as Paul says. Then do them. We’re expecting these to be one-offs–not ongoing things. That’s a bigger commitment which you can make later. 😉