"If you hold to my teaching, you ... will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:31-32
As a Jehovah's Witness for almost forty years, Ilya tried his best to earn his salvation, and he thought he was pretty good at it. But one day he heard a Christian radio program about salvation in Christ. For Ilya this was a real eye-opener. He started studying the Christian Bible and even visited a local Christian church.
Today Ilya is a member of an evangelical fellowship, professing Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. He loves talking about the liberating power of the gospel. He says that studying the Bible has helped him break free from all the lies he was taught for so many years.
In our verses for today Jesus teaches about freedom and slavery. For him these are not just political but mainly spiritual conditions. Jesus' message to us is crystal-clear: things like our religious background, our ethnicity, or our cultural heritage cannot set us free from our slavery to sin. We are too weak to liberate ourselves. Only God's Son can set us free. And we find this real freedom when we hold to his teaching.
Note that "holding to" means much more than just listening to the gospel and politely nodding to it. Holding to Christ's teaching means responding to biblical truth by believing it and changing our behavior. That's how God's truth sets us free. That's how we become God's children. That's how our spiritual journey begins.
Heavenly Father, we praise you for the liberating message of the gospel! Open our hearts and minds to your truth. Give us strength as we seek to hold to Christ's teaching. Amen.
See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!