May 24

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The word “truth” is a most interesting word in any language! Here are a few words from other languages which mean truth: 1) the Latin word is “veritas;” 2) the Danish is ‘”sandhed;” 3) the Italian is: verità’;” 4) the French is: “vérité;” 5) the Dutch word is “waarheid; and 6) the Russian word is: “истина.” There we have a few words that equals our English word “truth!” You should have noticed that the Latin and the Italian word for “truth” are nearly the same.
Now, here are a few “nearby words of ‘truth:” 1) trustworthiness; 2) trusty; 3) truthful; 4) truthfully; and 5) “truthfulness.” Also, notice these “related terms of ‘truth:” 1) half-truth; 2) home truth; 3) gospel truth; 4) not an atom of truth; and 5) that is the literal truth. Now, having looked at the word “truth” in different languages, “nearby words of truth,” and “related terms of truth,” it is time to get at the word “truth” as used by Jesus when speaking to his disciples: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). It is most important that we pay attention to the context in which Jesus is speaking. First, Jesus is addressing “those Jews which believed on him;” second, Jesus used words that identify the “true” disciple: “if ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;” third, Jesus sets forth those who will know the truth as he spoke to his “disciples”: “And ye shall know the truth;” and fourth, Jesus reveals the result of knowing the “truth,” when he said: “and the truth shall make you free.” With this we turn our attention to the word “truth” itself!
Jesus’ words imply another truth; the people he was speaking to did not know the “truth” of which he spoke! As he said: “If ye continue in my word;” with this Jesus limited the context to these people. For he said: “And ye shall know the truth!” Hearing nothing else, some of those before him objected to his words: “They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed;” Here they are declaring that their “freedom” was in being physical descendants of Abraham’s seed!” Here they were declaring their own “freedom” without the “truth” of which Jesus is speaking! They farther said: “and were never in bondage to any man.” With these words, the unbelieving Jews lied as they said: “how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?” (John 8:33). This brings us to the question, “What is the context of the truth of which Jesus is speaking?”
Truth may be used in several different contexts and it is ever clear that Jesus and the unbelieving Jews had a difference of mind, of context: 1) we “were never in bondage to any man,” clearly revealing that they were speaking of physical freedom and even their words were not true; 2) Jesus revealed a great truth, which all mankind should take notice of, they said: we “were never in bondage to any man” but Jesus said: “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” Question: Where these unbelieving Jews under Roman rule? The answer is “yes!” They obeyed the Romans; thus, Jesus lets it be known that they were then, the servants of the Romans. When Jesus said in like manner: “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin,” he clearly was not speaking of physical freedom but spiritual! Freedom from sin, which is the greatest freedom man may have! But, like these unbelieving Jews, so many today are willing to address “freedom” in the context of the physical and not in the spiritual context. Their own spiritual state, wherein Jesus said: “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” Thus, Jesus has identified their spiritual state, wherein they stood, at the time Jesus spoke: they were “the servant of sin!’
There are at least two ways the word freedom maybe used: 1) physical and 2) spiritual! Spiritual being the greater! In which of these was Jesus addressing, when he said: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free?” Jesus was clearly speaking of the “spiritual” freedom! “Truth” as used by Jesus was in a context of making mankind free from sin! With this, Jesus said: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Those unbelieving Jews were not going to receive the “truth,” of which Jesus spoke when he said: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
No, the “truth” of which Jesus spoke, was to those Jews which “believed” on him! They were to receive the “truth,” the power to free them, free them from sin! So, what were they to receive? They were to receive the “truth;” which is equal to the gospel of Christ, of which Paul said of it: “the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16). It took place on that great Pentecost day, wherein Luke wrote: “Then they that gladly received his (Peter’s) word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” The term “word” is here used to equal the “truth,” and the “gospel of Christ! For each, is another way of saying the same thing; and is the power to make one “free;” free from sin, when believed and obeyed!

Frank R. Williams

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