John 8:31-32 “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Drawing on this verse you can gain two pretty obvious things. The first thing that jumps out to readers and listeners is that there is a purpose for the truth. The truth has an agenda/meaning, and it is an important one. The second should be that you have to KNOW the truth in order for it to fulfill it’s purpose in you. Truth does no good to one who is ignorant of it. There is also something to be learned in what is not said in that scripture. There are no guarantees that the truth will feel good when you hear it, or that being set free is painless. Let’s dig a little deeper.
The truth is a foundation to all things in life; relationships, business, finances, and most importantly your salvation. In Ephesians when speaking of putting on the whole armor of God, the author directs you to first put on the “belt of truth,” why is this? Truth is that vital first step to be ready for battle (or everyday living). A warrior in those days without a belt would have been useless as their battle attire got in their way unless held back by a belt. So a person cannot begin to win in life without knowing the truth, especially Christians. We are constantly under some form of attack by the Enemy (the author of lies) trying to drag us away from the truth of Christ Jesus. As a result of it’s importance, Christian’s must seek the truth. We must not fall prey to the lie that the truth is relative and different for everyone. The bible is the word of truth, Christ is THE TRUTH, and we are guided toward the truth by the Holy Spirit. The truth must be looked for, needs to be found, and once found you must cling to it.
Once you find the truth, how does it set you free? There are a few ways this applies here. The first is that accepting Jesus Christ sets us free from our past sins and free from the penalty of hell (for those who truly accept Him and walk in his ways). That is usually the first, and only, thing people take away from this scripture. This does however apply to something else, when we know the truth we are set free from our prior ignorance. It’s like walking into a pitch black room. You fumble around, feel fear, and run into things. If a bright light then floods the room you feel pain in your eyes, but are soon able to see clearly and move forward with confidence. The truth can be very painful to hear, or to tell others, but the truth is always good. Even if told by a person with bad motives, the individual hearing the truth is still set free to make changes and improve their life. There is not enough knowing of the truth today, and usually when people do hear the truth they do not act upon it.Correcting your (or any group or thing’s) errors is the whole point for the truth. You do not tell others the truth so they do nothing, or so they feel bad, but so they will make better choices in the future. The same is true when God (or other people) tells us the truth.
As Christians we are to be the light (truth) of the world. We are also to learn the truth about ourselves and be on a constant journey with Christ. No one said it would be easy or painless. That is the last point in this article. If you read John chapter 8 you will see that Jesus spoke about the truth directly after he was admonishing the Jews and handing them the truth. There was no sweetness in the telling of these facts to them. That is sometimes how the truth is; hard to give and hard to take. It must be spoken and taken though, the only alternative to the light of truth is darkness. Once you know the truth, choosing to ignore it or do the opposite has even worse consequences. So seek the truth, act upon it, and when it hurts do not give up but hold fast to it. These are not options to Christians.
Other verses about truth:
Ephesians 6:14 “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist…”
Psalm 15, Psalm 25, Psalm 119, Psalm 145, Proverbs 12:18-22,
Zechariah 8:16-17 “These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts; do not plot evil against each other, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this,” declares the LORD”
John 3:20-21 “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”
John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”