It’s important to recognise who Jesus was speaking to. If you follow this back to John chapter 8, in verse 30, the Bible says, 30 “As He spoke these words, many believed in Him”. Verse 31 says, 31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. What you just read was spoken to people who believed in the Lord, and then he comes down and he says in John 8:32, 32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). “As He spoke these words, many believed in Him”. This is really important. He wasn’t talking here to the people who didn’t believe in him. He was talking to those who believed in him, and in verse 31, it says, then Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him, if you continue in my word, then you are my disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. This is so important. He said to people who believed in him.
These aren’t people who didn’t believe, but these are people who believed in him. ‘If you continue in my word, then you are my disciples indeed’. The very use of the word ‘indeed’ means, in truth. In other words, there are people who claim to have a relationship with him, but it isn’t a reality, it isn’t true. The way you discern if people are true committed Christians is if they continue in the word until they are set free. The Bible says, if you continue in my word, then you’re my disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. The word, ‘know’ here, is more than just intellectual knowledge. It’s talking about you experiencing the word of God and the truths in it setting you free. So, the way you can tell if people are true disciples is if they have continued in the word until that word has set them free, and we’ve got multitudes of people today who say they believe in the Lord, but they aren’t free. You must continue in God’s word. It can’t be just enough to believe in Jesus and say that’s it. You need to continue in the word until you are set free. If you’re born again, you’re of your father God, you have his Spirit and you have a new nature, but you still have your old thoughts.
It’s similar to when Lazarus was raised from the dead, he came out of the tomb bound hand and foot in grave clothes. He was alive, but he still had all his grave clothes on him, and Jesus told them, loose him, and let him go. Until Lazarus was loosed, he wasn’t free, even though he was raised from the dead. And so, many people who put their faith in the Lord are born again, but they still have all of these old trappings of their old life. They’ve still got the values and the attitudes of the old life on the inside of them, but we have to loose them, and let them go. How do you loose them? Christ said right here, that you have to continue in the word until you become his disciple indeed, and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. It’s truth that sets people free from all of these wrong attitudes. I pray that you will continue in the word today.