John 8:31,32 - Are You Free in Christ?

John 8:31, 32; Are You Free in Christ?

John 8:31 (KJV)  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on 
him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 
John 8:32 (KJV)  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth 
shall make you free. 

John 8:31 (NASB)  Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who 
had believed Him, "If you abide in My word, then you are truly 
disciples of Mine; 
John 8:32 (NASB)  and you shall know the truth, and the truth 
shall make you free." 

John 8:31 (TEV)  So Jesus said to those who believed in him,  
"If you obey my teaching, you are really my disciples; 
John 8:32 (TEV)  you will know the truth, and the truth will set 
you free."  

John 8:31 (EAV)  So Jesus said to those Jews who had believed in 
Him, If you abide in My word [hold fast to My teachings and live in 
accordance with them], you are truly My disciples. 
John 8:32 (EAV)  And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will 
set you free. 

John 8:31 (TLB)  Jesus said to them, "You are truly my disciples 
if you live as I tell you to, 
John 8:32 (TLB)  and you will know the truth, and the truth will 
set you free." 

Growing up in a Christian home doesn't make a person a 
Christian, anymore than growing up in a university town makes a person 
intelligent. All either provides is an opportunity. 
That's what Jesus was saying to these religious leaders. Descent 
from Abraham gave them a special opportunity to know God. But if they 
had really been like Abraham, they would have acted as Abraham did 
and responded to God rather than plot to kill God's Son. 
Mere opportunity to know God doesn't count for any more today 
than it did then. We must seize the opportunity, and respond to Him, 
now as then. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary] 

Some paid attention to Jesus' words without necessarily 
committing themselves to Him personally (cf. 6:53). It was possible to 
"believe" in the message of repentance and the coming kingdom without 
being born again. Continuing in the truth is the sign of true 
followers and learners (disciples). If they really grasped His message, 
they would find salvation truth. Knowing this salvation truth would 
liberate them from their bondage in sin. [Bible Knowledge Commentary] 

It is not enough to receive God's truth-- we must retain and 
walk in it. And it is only when we receive the truth, love it, keep 
it, and walk in it, that we are the genuine disciples of Christ. 
(Adam Clarke Commentary) 

"Truth" is that which is in full correspondence with reality. We 
can't know this kind of truth in theory, but must experience the 
reality Jesus' words portray by putting them into practice. [Victor 
Bible Reader's Companion] 

When a person "hold[s] to My teaching" (8:31) he orders his or 
her life by it, and in doing so begins to experience reality! It is 
this, the experience of that reality portrayed in the words of our 
Lord, that makes us free. We are free from the shadowy world of 
illusion through which men stumble, grasping at phantoms that appear 
desirable but which in fact bring only suffering and pain. We are freed by 
Christ's words to know what is right and good, and by choosing the right 
and good we discover that which is best for us and for others. The 
greatest freedom of all is freedom from sin and its effects. [Victor 
Bible Background Commentary] 

To practice Jesus' teachings is to experience a truth that 
brings total freedom... To "know" the truth is not to intellectually 
comprehend, but to experience. To know the "truth" is not to focus on a body 
of knowledge, but to live in touch with reality as God knows 
reality. To "hold to" Jesus' teachings is not a reference to doctrinal 
purity, but to a commitment to put Jesus' teachings into daily practice. 
To be "free" is not to live selfishly, doing whatever one wants 
whenever one wants, but to live a disciplined and godly life which 
releases us from our bondage to sin so that the choices we make lead to 
what helps us rather than to what hurts. All this can be found if we 
are only willing to really be the disciples of Jesus. [Victor 
Teacher's Commentary] 

God sent Jesus to tell people the truth that would set them free 
from their sins. [Disciple SB] 

The truth which Christ teaches tends to make men free, . Justification makes us free from the guilt of sin,... 
sanctification makes us free from the bondage of corruption, (Matthew Henry's 

Freedom is not unrestrained indulgence in anything we may want 
to do when we want it. Freedom is being who we really are, 
creatures shaped by God for fellowship with Him, creatures who find joy 
and fulfillment only in loving and serving Him. Freedom is freedom 
to be who we are intended to be. And the way to freedom is marked 
out by the words of Jesus Christ. [Victor Bible Reader's Companion] 

Jesus himself is the truth that sets us free (John 8:36). He is 
the source of truth, the perfect standard of what is right. He frees 
us from the consequences of sin, from self-deception, and from 
deception by Satan. He shows us clearly the way to eternal life with God. 
Thus Jesus does not give us freedom to do what we want, but to follow 
God. As we seek to serve God, Jesus' perfect truth frees us to be all 
that God meant us to be. [Life Application SB] 

Freedom is the privilege of those who are willing to obey.  It 
is a privilege which carries many responsibilities.  It is not an 
automatic right.... 
Jesus said, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make 
you free" (Joh.8:32).  Truth makes us free because it gives 
understanding.  Understanding helps us accept the necessary conditions, 
restrictions, and discipline which must prevail if there is to be true 
freedom.  To obey the truth of God's Word makes us free from the slavery 
of evil habits, desires which harm us, and behavior which dishonors 
the Lord.  Liberty is not the result of human achievement.  It is 
the result of obedience to God.  Disobedience means loss of 
If freedom is to be real and lasting, it must be controlled by 
love.  Freedom to do as one pleases, without regard for others or for 
the circumstances, is destructive.  Christian liberty is freedom to 
love and to serve.  It is abused when it is made an excuse for 
loveless behavior or inconsiderate action. 
Real freedom is found in  serving God.  With our minds centered 
on Christ and what He would have us do, the self-centered desires 
and degrading habits of life are crowded out.  Life is complete and 
happy when we surrender ourselves to God, whose yoke is easy and 
burden is light (Mat.11:30).  [Lucille Sollenberger; Time with God SB] 

Discipleship involves constant obeying of the word of Jesus. We 
study it not simply for academic satisfaction or for intellectual 
appreciation, but in order to find out what God wishes us to do. The disciple 
is the teamer who learns in order to do. The truth which Jesus 
brought is designed for action. [Barclay Commentary] 

Discipleship involves constant listening to the word of Jesus. 
It was said of John Brown of Haddington that when he preached he 
paused every now and then as if listening for a voice. The Christian is 
the man who all his life listens for the voice of Jesus and will 
take no decision until he has first heard what he has to say. 
[Barclay Commentary] 

is what the young man asked, and it seemed like it from where I 
sat - for he was on the other side of the bars. 
His life story was one continual conflict with the law.  He was 
sent to reform school as soon as he was old enough.  He was an 
"alumnus" of the advanced school for incorrigible youth.  Now he had 
matriculated into the "big house" - his entrance examination came by way of 
an armed robbery. 
Sitting in the gray atmosphere of prison, he was seeking some 
way of escape - then found it in the Bible.  Now, as he expressed 
it, he was no longer in prison; he was free in Jesus Christ.  So he 
emphatically stated, "You think I'm in jail?  No way!  You want to know who's 
in jail?"  He swept his hands in a wide circle.  "I'll tell you.  
All those people who don't know Christ - they're the ones in jail." 
I wonder how many people have really considered the freedom in 
being a steward of God.  The only other alternative is slavery to 
Satan.  One or the other. 
Jesus said if we made the kingdom of heaven our first 
consideration, all the things we normally worry about would be provided for us 
by His Father. 
But too many people don't want to be stewards, and find 
themselves in slavery to the devil - slaves to habit, slaves to vices, 
slaves to fashion, slaves to jobs, slaves to uncertainly and concern. 
God doesn't want us to be slaves to anything.  He wants us to be 
obedient and trustworthy ... free!  [SDA Stewardship Devotional] 

I don't know any issue on which I've heard preachers fudge more 
often. Some minister's on a radio or TV talk show are accused of 
believing that only Christians are God's children. The others there are 
incensed at the very thought of such raw prejudice, and the poor preacher 
stumbles and mutters. On the half dozen or so occasions I've heard such 
confrontations, the preacher has quickly backed off. If he did believe 
non-Christians aren't God's children, he wasn't about to admit it and take all 
that heat. 
I honestly don't understand why. Of course non-Christians aren't 
God's children. No way! 
This doesn't mean that every human being doesn't have great 
worth and value to God. Each of us is an object of His great love. 
After all, Christ died for those who were actively hostile toward Him 
because of sin and guilt. But none of that means non-Christians are in 
God's family. 
John 8 reports how Jesus insulted a panel of Pharisees far more 
than anyone's been insulted on a TV talk show. Jesus not only said 
God wasn't their Father; He said straight out that they "belong to 
your father, the devil." And Jesus proved His accusation by showing 
that the leaders' lies and anger at Him mirror the lies and anger of 
Satan at God. Of course they were the devil's children. They acted 
just like him! 
What bothers me about modern ecclesiastical fudging is that it 
prevents people from facing the most important issue anyone has to face 
in this life. Do we belong to God, or not? Are we members of God's 
family, or not? Will we spend eternity with God, or not? 
There's no room for "maybe" here. There's no room for just being 
nice, and saying what will make people feel good. These questions 
demand a clear-cut yes or no. A person is either a member of God's 
family through faith in Jesus Christ, God's Son, or he or she is right 
there in the devil's camp, with the folks who murdered our LORD. 
I know. It's not nice to say such things. It's not polite. It 
doesn't sound open-minded enough. It makes people angry when they hear 
us say it. I suspect many Christians fear that it will "turn people 
off" if they're told we don't think of them as children of God too. 
But it's not true to suggest that those who do not know Jesus 
can have a relationship with God. And it's not loving to let people 
think that they're all right when in fact they are lost. [The 365-Day 
Devotional Commentary] 

The way to life was to hold to his teachings (8:31) and keep 
(8:51) his words. [New Bible Companion] 

Freedom is the experience of life--of relationship with God, 
[Victor Bible Reader's Companion] 

Discipleship results in freedom... freedom from fear. The man who 
is a disciple never again has to walk alone. He walks for ever in 
the company of Jesus, and in that company fear is gone. [Barclay 

No man is truly free, but he in whose heart the power of sin is 
destroyed, and who has received the Spirit. (Adam Clarke Commentary) 

Spiritual confusion can only be conquered through obedience. As 
soon as we obey, we have discernment. [In His Time; My Utmost For His 
Highest re 2Co.11:3] 

The service of God is freedom from degrading vices and carnal 
propensities; from the slavery of passion and inordinate desires. It is a 
cheerful and delightful surrender of ourselves to Him whose yoke is easy 
and whose burden is light. (Barnes' Notes) 

The bondage of sin is the most grievous bondage; and freedom 
from its guilt and influence is the greatest liberty. (Adam Clarke 

Sin is addictive. It masters everyone who tries it. Sin promises 
freedom but cannot deliver. Only Jesus Christ can give true 
freedom--freedom to master sin and reach one's God-given potential. [Disciple 

The person who chooses sin is bound by invisible chains. [Victor 
Bible Reader's Companion] 

Knowing Jesus is freedom from the power of sin. Sin has a way of 
enslaving us, controlling us, dominating us, and dictating our actions. 
Jesus can free you from this slavery that keeps you from becoming the 
person God created you to be. If sin is restraining, mastering, or 
enslaving you, Jesus can break its power over your life. [Life Application 

The truth here means the Christian religion. Compare . The doctrines of the true religion shall make you free-- 
that is, it will free you from the slavery of evil passions, corrupt 
propensities, and grovelling views. The condition of a sinner is that of a 
captive or a slave to sin. He is one who serves and obeys the dictates 
of an evil heart and the promptings of an evil nature,... The effect 
of the gospel is to break this hard bondage to sin and to set the 
sinner free. (Barnes' Notes)