ODJ: true freedom

March 30, 2013 

READ: John 8:31-38 

So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free (v.36).

Many countries annually exercise their freedom to literally change time. I experienced this timely change when I was in America a few years ago. During my visit in the spring, I witnessed Daylight Savings Time—a national law that calls for all clocks to be set back by one hour. It’s designed to save energy, and it also leads to lighter mornings for children who are heading to school. Interesting!

In our postmodern world, freedom to change is a treasured commodity. It goes hand in hand with individual rights. We see freedom as the liberty to follow our preferences, the ability to do whatever we want. No constraints. No rules.

Sound good?

The Bible reveals that this isn’t real freedom. In John 8:34 Jesus asserts, “Everyone who sins is a slave of sin.” In other words leading a self-centred life—to do our own will, to follow our willful desires and preferences—will lead to bondage to sin. Not freedom. But if we remain faithful to God’s teaching, then we “will know the truth, and the truth will set [us] free” (v.32).

Satan has switched the price tags in the world. He makes the priceless stuff that brings eternal joy look worthless, while the junk that leads to addiction and enslavement he presents in attractive packaging. We desperately need God’s truth—truth that enables us to see things in their true perspective.

The apostle John, in chapter 8 of his gospel, presents an interesting ‘cause and effect’ pattern. To experience freedom we must first know the truth. To know the truth we must first obey God’s Word. The initial step to freedom begins with obedience. Counterintuitive? Yes. But the fact remains that true freedom is only possible when we live under God’s loving authority. —Poh Fang Chia

› 1 Samuel 20:1-42

Read Psalm 119:45 to discover where we find real freedom.
What are some commandments from God that lead to freedom? What keeps you from experiencing true freedom in Jesus?
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