Does the Truth Always Set Us Free?

A few nights ago I went to bed early, leaving Joyce to watch an interview with a well-known journalist/writer that we have read and listened to for many years. He is articulate on many subjects; economics, politics, philosophy, education and even why people do what they do. We have wondered if he is a Christian, because much of his world view seems to be Christian.


He is making some changes in his life, and the interview started with the recent death of a man he had known for over 30yrs. He visited him the day he died and said that he was as full of faith and joy in his dying as he had been in living. He stated fervently that he wanted what that man had, hence making some changes in his life to try and get it.

Joyce and I discussed this yesterday over our morning coffee. One of this man's favorite writers was
C. S. Lewis, and he quoted him, as well as several other Christian writers. He knows who Jesus Christ is but has been sitting on the spiritual fence most of his life. Joyce said he seemed anxious and unsettled. Later in the afternoon as I was on the computer and Joyce was busy in the kitchen, she said she was so sad, because it seemed to her that if ever she had seen a man who had waited too late to make a decision it was this man. He had spent his life reading, discussing, writing, researching the truth about all things pertaining to this life, as well as what isn't the truth, without ever personally acting on the one basic Truth he needed to be free; that of placing his faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice that makes it possible for him to become a child of God. Now it seemed to her he was unable to do so.

My thoughts went to Jesus' quote: “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” You see it written on plaques, billboards, in classrooms, etc. Even if people don't know who said it they know the quote. But is it always true? It is IF you include His previous words: “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Ah, there's the rub, as they say! The conditions are clear; you must believe Him and live by what He says. That makes you His disciple.

Then there is this business of abiding in His word; that is the life-long commitment of a disciple. The beauty of it is that the more you study Jesus' Words and incorporate the truth they teach you into your everyday living, the more freedom you experience. Why? When you became His disciple you received the Holy Spirit. In John 16 Jesus called Him the Spirit of truth and declared to His disciples that He would guide them into all truth. The truths in God's Word give a divine perspective about the journey you are on; what is real and what is just “smoke and mirrors.” The Holy Spirit helps us understand.

And the more you understand what is important and what isn't in this life the more your confidence and trust in God grows. Jesus was so right when He said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” Abraham was so convinced that he packed up everything and followed God's leading to a land he had never seen. Joshua felt so strongly about it that he told the children of Israel to choose whom they would serve, but as for him and his house, “We will serve the Lord.” David wrote that God was his strength, his rock, his deliverer in whom he trusted. Jim Elliott saw the reality of it all when he said that no man is a fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. C. S. Lewis said: “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” The truth will change you and everything around you, but ONLY if you act on it.

Chesterton said the danger of disbelieving in God was not that of believing nothing but that of believing everything. The anxiety I see in people is that they are believing everything out there, knowing most of it is a lie... but not believing anything can be done about it. So sad, so sad.