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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox

The Truth Will Make You Free

Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, ‘You will be made free’?”

Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. ~ John 8:31-36

Martin Luther King famously said: "Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty I'm free at last."

I'm free.

You're free.

How does that make you feel?

Do you feel free?

Do you know or believe what you are free from? Sin? Are you?

Do you need someone to tell you that? Is sin something you really thought (think?) you were (are?) a slave to?

And what exactly does Jesus mean by sin anyway?

First, perhaps a note that Jesus doesn't pluralize sin. That's important because most of the time I think we think of sin (or sins) what we are thinking of is breaking God's law or disobeying God.

But here Jesus I think is using sin as a singular condition - one I might capitalize to differentiate it from sins. So, Sin.

We are free from Sin.

Sin. As Luther might say it, the state of being curved in on ourselves. Simul justus et peccator

Or, to paraphrase David Lose, the state of being caught up in the power that seeks to rob of us abundant life.

Or, to paraphrase Rob Bell, the state of being caught up in the disruption of the peace - or Shalom - that God desires for the world. Being caught in a state of culpability in that disruption.

Anyway you slice it, a state of being. Not simply a little "s" disobedience of one of God's laws, but instead being imprisoned and separated from God's desire for peace - the Kin-dom of God.

Are you free from that?

Jesus says that when you know the truth, you are.

The truth shall set you free.

Justified through faith. Not by the actions of obeying a law so as not to commit a sin. But instead living into the faith that comes from knowing that the truth has set us free from the slavery of Sin.

Free at last, free at last, thank you, God almighty, that I am free at last. Amen.

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