July 4, 1999, posted, July 18, 1999 (Only got through the first page of these notes)
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. 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. 37 I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.
This is "Independence" day, so I should say something about independence. Independence is, rightly or wrongly, associated with freedom. Though Scripture does not use the word INDEPENDENCE, it certaily sais a lot about FREEDOM.
Biblical freedom is quite different from what is considered FREEDOM by society in general. However, civil FREEDOM results from Biblical FREEDOM.
When individuals are bound by their fallen desires lust, hatred and anger, then oppressive laws must follow to keep those things from destroying others.
A greatly misused verse is v. 32, And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. This verse is used to say that civil freedom is the result of knowing the truth about something. But the Biblical meaning of truth and freedom is explained by Christ.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Christ, the Word of God, is the truth.
V. 32, Christ spoke of freedom, and his hearers understood him to be speaking about freedom from bondage, or civil freedom. That is, lack of oppression by civil authority.
In other words, freedom to travel as we please.
Freedom to associate with whom we please.
Freedom to say what we please.
Freedom to worship the God of the Bible as we please.
Freedom to spend our money as we please.
Freedom from interference as we go about our buisness.
V. 33, Christ told
Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
Justification makes us free from the guilt of sin. It makes us free from fear, both the fear of men and the fear of death. It makes us free from the bondage of corruption of sin. It frees us from the yoke of the ceremonial law, and from the burdens of the traditions of the elders, of men. It frees us from our spiritual enemies, the power of the devil. It frees us to serve God and approach him as children to a loving father. It frees us from false notions (know the truth of God's word). It frees us from the dominion of lust and passions, and restores the soul to proper self-government. (As self-government is lost, civil handedness must take control. The constitution is based upon godly self-government.)
2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
The enemies of Christianity say that they believe in freedom, but actually they only desire to be free to pursue the things they are in bondage to, drunkenness, drugs, sex, and filth of all kinds. The lovers of porn. fight for "freedom of speach" so they can follow after the porn. That is not what freedom is all about.
Notice that rather than deal with the self-control issue, the child molestors and sodomites want to change the laws so they can follow after what they are in bondage to. One will either be in bondage to lust, and the end result is death, or they will be in bondage to the Lord, which is life. Gal 6:8
V. 33 never in bondage.
Here we see the blindness of those in bondage to sin. They would not admit that the seed of Abraham had been in bondage many times, to Asyria, to Babylon and to Rome. They were in bondage to the Egyptians, and the book of Judges records many times that they were in bondage to the various Canaanite nations, particularly the Philistines.
The unsaved person is blind to his condition, and will willingly lie to himself and to others in order to justify his bondage.
Note that those in bondage either cannot or will not admit to their bondage. They say, "we are only doing what we want to do." They see God's word as bondage, Ps 2. However, the word of God says they are in bondage to their fallen lusts.
The word of God is clear, those outside of Christ are in bondage. The lost see no need of Christ's freedom, only the Spriit can show them.
Make you free, sopke of spiritual freedom, for Israel remained in bondage to Rome. In fact, it was destroyed while in that bondage.
There can be no civil liberty without spiritual liberty.
We can speak of civil liberty and freedom and a crowd will come to hear us speak. They will agree and even donate money to promote civil liberty and freedom But speak of spiritual liberty and freedom, and folks will hide from you.
In fact, history tells us that there were false teachers who came along after Christ promising civil freedom and liberty from Rome. They gained many followers, and over 3 million were destroyed in the revolt against Rome for civil liberty and freedom.
Warn folks about the encroachments agaisnt their civil liberty and property, tell them of abouit the damage about to be done to their homes by civil authority, and they will unite together in revolt. Tell them about the danger afforded them, their families, their communities by Satan and the liberty in Christ, and they will laugh at you. Warn people about the danger to their eternal homes from Satan, and they will dismiss you as a fanatic. Warn them about the danger about their temporal homes by ungodly authority, and they will come hear you.
V. 34, Christ answered them by explaining true bondage and liberty. Christ did not argue with them, but continued to explain the truth to them. He depended upon the word of God to do its work. He knew only the word could bring repentance, that is a change of attitude and opinions.
V. 34, Christ, God with us, told us that the state of sin is the state of bondage. There is no way to avoid the issue, so we must dismiss it as did the ones Christ is speaking to, or face up to it, and come to Christ, v. 36.
He told them that despite their physical membership in a church, they were still in bondage.
Whosoever committeth sin, and all have sinned. So man's natural state is bondage as a servant of sin, and he knows no better until the Spirit shows him otherwise. Paul spoke as though this fact is hidden to the sinner:
(PRI, early Friday morning told of the islands in the Chesapeake bay, where crabs are king. They make their living gathering soft shell crabs. There are no cars on the island, nor theators, nor any other amusments, including no alcohol. The island has been settled for over 300 years, and the way of life has remained basically the same for decades. But this last week, something happened for the first time: a theft took place. Some one broke into the crabbing huts, and stole several hundred crabs. It turned out that the person who did it was a 24 year old on the island who every one knew. He stole the crabs to finance his crack cocaine habit. He was in bondage to his sin; he could not stop, so he stole to finance it. This is typical of sin.)
Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
V. 35, note the Lord condemns their pride, reminding them that the end will come, and they will face God. However, those in Christ have assurance of they can face God with a clear conscience.
V. 36, notice the promise of liberty and freedom. The true freedom and liberty is in Christ. Everything else falls into the realm of unimportance.
Note also the claim to Abraham. It was a physical claim. "Look how good my fatehr, mother was, I must be ok." and they were content to be slaves.
Luke 16:24, Father Abraham I am in hell, in torment. There was nothing Father Abraham could do. The die had been cast, the decision had been made.
The title to heaven must be upon what we have done with Christ.
The claim to Abraham is legt, but it must be to his spiritual seed. Book of Gal.
Christ sets the prisoners free in justification, by making satisfaction for our guilt (on which the gospel offer is grounded, which is to all a conditional act of indemnity, and to all true believers, upon their believing, an absolute charter of pardon), and for our debts, for which we were by the law arrested and in execution. Christ, as our surety, or rather our bail (for he was not originally bound with us, but upon our insolvency bound for us), compounds with the creditor, answers the demands of injured justice with more than an equivalent, takes the bond and judgment into his own hands, and gives them up cancelled to all that by faith and repentance give him (if I may so say) a counter-security to save his honour harmless, and so they are made free; and from the debt, and every part thereof, they are for ever acquitted, exonerated, and discharged, and a general release is sealed of all actions and claims; while against those who refuse to come up to these terms the securities lie still in the Redeemer's hands, in full force.
[2.] He has a power to rescue bond-slaves, and this he does in sanctification; by the powerful arguments of his gospel, and the powerful operations of his Spirit, he breaks the power of corruption in the soul, rallies the scattered forces of reason and virtue, and fortifies God's interest against sin and Satan, and so the soul is made free.
[3.] He has a power to naturalize strangers and foreigners, and this he does in adoption. This is a further act of grace; we are not only forgiven and healed, but preferred; there is a charter of privileges as well as pardon; and thus the Son makes us free denizens of the kingdom of priests, the holy nation, the new Jerusalem.
(2.) Those whom Christ makes free are free indeed. It is not alhywv, the word used #Joh 8:31 for disciples indeed, but ontwv--really. It denotes,
[1.] The truth and certainty of the promise, the liberty which the Jews boasted of was an imaginary liberty; they boasted of a false gift; but the liberty which Christ gives is a certain thing, it is real, and has real effects. The servants of sin promise themselves liberty, and fancy themselves free, when they have broken religion's bands asunder; but they cheat themselves. None are free indeed but those whom Christ makes free.
[2.] It denotes the singular excellency of the freedom promised; it is a freedom that deserves the name, in comparison with which all other liberties are no better than slaveries, so much does it turn to the honour and advantage of those that are made free by it. It is a glorious liberty. It is that which is (so ontwv signifies); it is substance #Pr 8:21; while the things of the world are shadows, things that are not.
4. He applies this to these unbelieving cavilling Jews, in answer to their boasts of relation to Abraham #Joh 8:37:
"I know very well that you are Abraham's seed, but now you seek to kill me, and therefore have forfeited the
honour of your relation to Abraham, because my word hath no place in you."
(1.) The dignity of their extraction admitted:
"I know that you are Abraham's seed, everyone knows it, and it is your honour."
He grants them what was true, and in what they said that was false (that they were never in bondage to any) he does not contradict them, for he studied to profit them, and not to provoke them, and therefore said that which would please them: I know that you are Abraham's seed. They boasted of their descent from Abraham, as that which aggrandized their names, and made them exceedingly honourable; whereas really it did but aggravate their crimes, and make them exceedingly sinful. Out of their own mouths will he judge vain-glorious hypocrites, who boast of their parentage and education:
"Are you Abraham's seed? Why then did you not tread in the steps of his faith and obedience?"
(2.) The inconsistency of their practice with this dignity: But you seek to kill me. They had attempted it several times, and were now designing it, which quickly appeared #Joh 8:59, when they took up stones to cast at him. Christ knows all the wickedness, not only which men do, but which they seek, and design, and endeavour to do. To seek to kill any innocent man is a crime black enough, but to compass and imagine the death of him that was King of kings was a crime the heinousness of which we want words to express.
(3.) The reason of this inconsistency. Why were they that were Abraham's seed so very inveterate against Abraham's promised seed, in whom they and all the families of the earth should be blessed? Our Saviour here tells them, It is because my word hath no place in you, ou cwrei en umin, Non capit in vobis, so the Vulgate.
"My word does not take with you, you have no inclination to it, no relish of it, other things are more taking,
more pleasing." Or, "It does not take hold of you, it has no power over you, makes no impression upon you."
Some of the critics read it, My word does not penetrate into you; it descended as the rain, but it came upon them as the rain upon the rock, which it runs off, and did not soak into their hearts, as the rain upon the ploughed ground. The Syriac reads it,
"Because you do not acquiesce in my word; you are not persuaded of the truth of it, nor pleased with the
goodness of it."
Our translation is very significant: It has no place in you. They sought to kill him, and so effectually to silence him, not because he had done they any harm, but because they could not bear the convincing, commanding power of his word. Note,
[1.] The words of Christ ought to have a place in us, the innermost and uppermost place, --a dwelling place, as a man at home, and not as a stranger or sojourner, --a working place; it must have room to operate, to work sin out of us, and to work grace in us; it must have a ruling place, its place must be upon the throne, it must dwell in us richly.
[2.] There are many that make a profession of religion in whom the word of Christ has no place; they will not allow it a place, for they do not like it; Satan does all he can to displace it; and other things possess the place it should have in us.
[3.] Where the word of God has no place no good is to be expected, for room is left there for all wickedness. If the unclean spirit find the heart empty of Christ's word, he enters in, and dwells there.
Matthew Henry to here
Independence is defined as "freedom from control or influence of another or others." A secondary definition of Independence is "the successful ending of the American Revolution."
INDEPENDENCE, or FREEDOM
Sad to say, many people train to be independent. That is, they desire to be self-reliant, able to determine their own future. They desire to be free from any restraint, particularly free from any restraint that might be upon them from God.
However, the reason they want to be independent, or free, is so they can be free to do their own thing.
Every day should be independence day for us.
Sad to say, many feel that "independence" is independence to their own thing.