Know the Truth
It's important to note that Jesus is talking to believers in this passage. In this, he gives us the key to assurance in the faith.
If you hold to my teaching
There are two key points in this phrase:
· If you hold—note, not read, not had it at one time, but hold—bulldog firm to the end. This is about a lifelong commitment, not a study session.
· To my teaching—not that of the spellbinder of the hour, or of the local pulpit egotist. Your teacher should always point you to Jesus Christ and his teaching.
You are my disciples
· Have you ever wanted to be sure that you're a Christian? Now you have the test. Note that he says you "are" - not "will be."
· There is a difference between being named a Christian and being one; that difference is holding the teaching. If you do, you are; if you don't, you aren't.
You will know the truth
· Know—not "think" or "maybe," but know the truth. You will have it for certain.
· The truth—despite what the world thinks, not "a" truth. Truth comes from God, and this is the only path to Him.
· Ultimately, this means that you will know the Truth—Jesus, the Christ—intimately and personally.
The truth will set you free
What is freedom? Is it not being completely what God designed you to be? Release an antelope in a crocodile infested river and it is not free; it is lunch. Release it on the plains and it is free, for God designed the antelope for the plains.
Man, in the original design, was intended to be free from sin. That's part of man's freedom, and it is achieved only by being a disciple of Christ. If you are not, you are a slave to whatever sin masters you.
Test yourself. Are you following in the steps of Christ by holding to his teaching? Are you indeed his disciple? Do you know the truth? Are you indeed free?
And if not, whose fault is it? Our Lord's teaching has not changed; he still seeks the slave to free him.