The Truth Will Set You Free

Luther Walker

In the Gospel of John, the author records a statement from Jesus to the Jews who believed Him. If they abide in His word, they will know the truth, and the truth will set them free.

Therefore, Jesus said toward the Jews believing Him, “If you abide in My word, truly you are My disciples and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

The response of the unbelieving Jews was to refute their need for freedom immediately. However, all those who sin are slaves to sin, John 8:33. The sin referred to here is not the acts of sin that a person does. Instead, it is specific to the sin nature of a person. All those doing sin (the act of lawlessness) are slaves to the sin [nature].

As the steward of our dispensation, Paul is given instructions on how to have victory over the sin nature. In Romans chapters six through seven, he writes of his experience with applying the doctrine of the truth in comparison to how the law works against the sin nature. Through this, we clearly understand what Jesus was referring to as the truth. The truth is a specific doctrine that frees a person from slavery to commit sin so that he is able to produce righteousness.

The first aspect of this doctrine is to know. Those who abide, feel at ease, in His word must know it.

Know that we have died with Christ and have been raised to walk in newness of life.

Or do you not know that as many as have been immersed into Christ Jesus, into His death have been immersed? Romans 6:3

Therefore, we have been buried with Him through the immersion into the death, in order that just as Christ was raised out from the dead through the proper opinion of the Father, thus also we in newness of life should walk. Romans 6:4

This knowledge brings the understanding that since Christ’s death is attributed to all who are in the Christ, His resurrection is also imputed to them. The Christ is the new creation God made in raising Jesus, in which Christ is the head and the Church is His body, 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:22-23. All who believe the gospel for salvation, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, are immersed into the body of the Christ, 1 Corinthians 12:12-13, and, therefore, Christ’s death and resurrection are credited to them. Thus, since we have died with Christ and are raised to walk in newness of life, the sin nature has been rendered ineffective. In Christ, we are no longer bound to obey the sinful desires that plague us. Instead, we have the freedom to act righteously.

experientially knowing this, that our old man was co-crucified in order that the body of the sin [nature] should be rendered ineffective, so that we are no longer slaves to the sin [nature]. Romans 6:6

Our next logical step is to take God at His word and reckon Christ’s death and resurrection to ourselves.

Thus also, you should reckon yourselves to be dead. On the one hand [to be dead] to the sin [nature], on the other hand, living ones to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:11

Since we have died to our sin nature in Christ and are raised to walk in newness of life, we are to yield our members to righteousness rather than permitting our sin nature to use them as instruments of unrighteousness.

Therefore, stop letting the sin [nature] reign as king in your mortal body unto obedience to its desires.  Neither present your members instruments of unrighteousness to the sin [nature], but present yourselves to God as out from the dead being living ones, and your members instruments of righteousness to God. Romans 6:12-13

Although we are not fully redeemed at this time, therefore, we still struggle with the desire to do wrong, we have a part of us that cannot be corrupted.

Your souls have been purified in obeying the truth through the Spirit in unhypocritical fondness of the brethren, love one another fervently out from a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides into the age. 1 Peter 1:2-3

God’s seed has been placed in us; therefore, we cannot habitually sin.

Everyone born out from God does not habitually sin, because His seed abide in him and he does not have the inherent ability to habitually sin because he is born out from God. 1 John 3:9.

When we apply the truth, we use the part of us that is saved to overcome the sin nature by taking God at His word and walking in the newness of life we have in Christ as we seek to follow the desires from the Holy Spirit, which are in direct contrast to those of the sin nature. We cannot sin when we are doing the desires from the Holy Spirit.

I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you desire. Galatians 5:16-17

Law does not produce freedom. The sin nature uses law to deceive us and make it impossible to live out the righteousness we have in Christ.

For the sin [nature] taking opportunity through the commandment deceived me and through it [the commandment] it killed. Romans 7:11

Through law we gain the full experiential knowledge of the sin nature.

Therefore, what will we say? Is the law sin? May it never come to be! But the sin [nature] I would not have experientially known except through law, for I would not intuitively known the covetousness, except the law said, “Do not covet.” But the sin [nature] taking the occasion through the commandment, worked out in me all covetousness, for apart from law sin [nature] is dead. Romans 7:7-8

Through grace, we obtained the ability to walk by the Spirit, freeing us from slavery to sin, which law could not do.

I am a wretched man. Who will rescue me out from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord; therefore then, I, myself, on the one hand with the mind, serve to a law of God, on the other hand with the flesh, [serve] to a law of sin. Then now there is no condemnation to the ones in Christ Jesus, for the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of the sin [nature] and the death. Romans 7:24-8:2

Know – Reckon – Yield. The truth sets us free to live a life of righteousness in Christ and reject the desires of our sin nature to do wrong.