March 15, 2015

Is The Truth Enough For You – Philip C. Strong

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

The Savior of the world uttered these words, “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free,” John 8:31-32.  It is worthy of note that Jesus spoke these words to “Jews who had believed in Him.”  There are a few salient points from these things that need to be understood:

  • Believing in Jesus is obviously not the same as abiding in His word, being His disciple, knowing the truth, or being made free by it.
  • This is so because the conditional word “if” is used.  Thus, being disciples, knowing the truth, and being made free by the truth, are all dependent upon a willingness to meet the condition of abiding in the truth.  Such a conclusion is not opinion, but the simple grammatical requirements of the spiritual truth Jesus spoke.

Now, what does all of this mean?  It means exactly what Jesus said despite modern thinking and teaching to the contrary.  One cannot be a disciple (follower) of Jesus merely by believing in Him (that he is the Son of God) – even the demons do more than this, James 2:19, “You believe that God is one.  You do well; the demons believe, and shudder.”  Furthermore, it also means that one cannot know the truth or be saved by it unless one is willing to abide in the Words of Jesus.   Jesus went on to explain these things further in John 15:1-10 where abiding in Him and abiding in His love were inseparably linked to keeping His commandments.  Thus, receiving the salvation lovingly offered by Jesus and becoming a disciple of His requires more than just belief- it also requires obedience.  Such is well illustrated in John 12:42, “Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue.”

But let’s take these things in a slightly different direction now.  If you believe in Jesus, and abide in His word, and thus become a disciple and are made free, is that enough for you?  In other words, is that really what you want?  Think about it.  Is discipleship really what you want from Jesus?  It has its own set of requirements:

  • Loving Jesus more, and putting Him before even your own family, Luke 14:26;
  • Self-denial, Matthew 16:24a; and,
  • Following Jesus, even if it costs you your life, Matthew 16:24b-25.

Likewise, is the freedom from sin and its consequences enough for you?  This is what His sacrifice, His word, and His body (the church) are all about- but is this really what you want?  Or, are you looking for and desiring other things from Him, His word, and His church? Like for instance:

  • The ability to accept Him on any terms that are agreeable to you regardless of what He says?  Luke 6:46-49
  • The ability to worship Him anyway you please regardless of what He says?  John 4:23-24
  • The ability to feel good about yourself and the way you choose to live regardless of what He says?  John 12:48
  • The solving of all your earthly problems and ills so that life is “heaven on earth”? Matthew 10:24-39

Jesus died to provide salvation, Romans 5:9-9.  His word was given to us by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to provide salvation, Romans 1:16-17. His church was founded to be the foundation and support of truth to the provision of salvation, 1Timothy 3:15.  Is this enough for you?  It is if you understand that sin and its consequences are the biggest and most important problem we face in this life.  More than any academic, political, societal, familial, or even health-related issue, the guilt of sin and the subsequent need of salvation is man’s most important endeavor.  Jesus is the way, and provides the solution, if we will but believe, obey, and follow.

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