About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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Truth That Sets You Free


Our western world judicial system has traditionally upheld the ideal that if we know the truth the truth will set us free.  This cherished ideal, which I believe is engraved on a wall in the United States Supreme Court building, was written into the pages of our Bible.  Jesus said; "You will know the truth and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32).  These words presuppose that Jesus is the ultimate universal truth (John 14:6) and thus knowing Him will set us free, but set us free from what?


Jesus wasn't talking about political or social freedom as the Jews who heard His words thought.  "We are Abraham's descendents," they said, "and have never been slaves of anyone.  How can you say that we shall be set free" (John 8:33)?  Their response was utterly ridiculous.  In past centuries Jews had been enslaved by Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, and Greece. As they stood before Jesus on this occasion they were under Roman domination.  Jesus clarified things when He said; "Everyone who sins is a slave to sin."  Jesus was talking about being free from sin and its devastating consequences. 


The hippies of the 1960's cultural revolution preached their brand of truth which allowed them to freely express a social morality not seen in such openness in our Reformation influenced western world.  Jesus and the hippies were miles apart on this issue.  According to Jesus, His truth would set people free from sin.  According to the hippies, their truth would set people free to sin. 


The 1960's are a fast fading memory but its philosophical approach to life remains with us.  Many hippies of yesteryear are today's social political leaders.  For them, truth is relative. It's not absolute and universal.  Truth varies from person to person, place to place, time to time, and culture to culture.  Judges 21:25 says it well.  Israelis forsook the absolute authority of God and by so doing individual Israelis did what seemed right in their own eyes.  In other words, each individual defined truth for himself.  What was right or wrong for one wasn't right or wrong for another.  This leads to cultural chaos.     


The concept of freedom didn't originate with the hippies, the American Constitution, Martin Luther, or even Jesus' remarks in John 8:32.  It originated with God at creation.  "And the Lord commanded the man, 'You are free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die (Genesis 2:16 - 17 NIV).'"  


Note that before God gave the command He told Adam that he was free.  God created man to be free in all aspects of his existence, but, freedom had boundaries as seen in the command.  When Adam sinned by stepping beyond freedom's boundaries he opened the floodgates of death, decay, and destruction that invaded every molecular structure of creation.     

Ever since Adam overstepped these boundaries there has been no real freedom apart from the submission to God, the absolute truth.  Our western world has stepped beyond these Biblical boundaries, into the same world of death, decay, and destruction that Adam entered.  It's a world of chaotic conflict.  Our daily news reports prove that to be true. To put it bluntly, the west is committing cultural suicide.  No civilization is free when it is dead. 


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