Bible Reading: John 8:31-38
“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32)
All of us know of the bondage of sin. It holds on to us fastly and will not let go. Time and time again, we fall into the same sins. It is hard to get out. It is hard to change.
In reality, by our own power and might, we will never win. We are slaves in sin. Slaves have no right or capability to leave their master. Their right to resign from their job has been sold away. As slaves to sin, we cannot escape sin unless someone ransoms us. And, that ransom is ultimately found in the Truth, Jesus Christ.
Only by the power of the death and resurrection of Christ, we are set free. It is only because of Christ’s atoning work on the cross that are we able to defeat sin. There is no credit for us in our salvation. It is 100% the work of God. It is 100% a free gift of unmerited grace. We do nothing to earn our ransom from sin. Christ is the one who comes and ransoms us out of His love for His people.
It is because of Christ’s work that we are made disciples. Christ called us out of our deadness in sin to live as His disciples. He has given us new hearts and new minds so that we can obey Him and follow Him; how we must praise God for His grace which He freely gives us. Romans 11:36, “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”
It is because of Christ’s work of initial justification that we can now undergo the process of sanctification. That is, day by day, we strive to walk with Christ in the new way - Christ’s way. This means leaving our old ways of sin and replacing them with ways of holiness. There are ups and downs on our journey. And sometimes, we feel as if sin has won over our lives again. What do we do in those times?
What sets out true believers from false ones is that their hearts have a longing to know God and obey Him. It may be tiny. However, every true believer desires to please God and follow Him even though it might seem impossible to do so. Though it is hard, we fight sin in our lives by obeying God’s word.
Again, the only one who has defeated sin once and for all is Christ. In His truth, we are set free from sin. And so, we continually need the Holy Spirit to work this truth in us and change our hearts so that we can turn from sin and obey God. However, we have a role and duty to play also. We must diligently seek God’s Word and obey it. To abide means to read, study and know God’s word. But it also means we need to believe it, obey it, and live it out. We must prioritise God’s word in our lives. We must prioritise obedience every day. As we enter the business of our day at school or elsewhere, we often forget about God’s word and our call to obedience.
Obedience is a very practical, hands-on application. It is not some major revelation and change in our lives. It is little intentional choices in everyday things. It is choosing to read God’s word instead of scrolling to Instagram. It is choosing to help a friend instead of selfishly minding your own business. It is choosing to fill your idleness with something useful to avoid sinful temptations and lustful thoughts. Abide in God’s word, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Lord, thank You that You have freed us from the bondage of sin through Jesus Christ. Thank You for Your free gift of grace. Help me in my daily struggle with sin. Though the ultimate victory is one, day by day, I still struggle. Though You have saved me, my heart still loves the world, and my heart is blind to Your grace. Please forgive me. Help me to abide in Your word. Strengthen me to win in obedience in the little choices I make every day. Teach me to walk in obedience. Thank You, God. In Jesus’ name, amen.