To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
“To the Jews who had believed Him...”
References verse 30. Since so many had turned away, Jesus possibly was trying to encourage those that had placed their faith in Him and help them not turn away.
“If you hold to my teaching...”
We see this is several other references in John
“If you love me, you will obey what I command.
Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”
Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
Jesus is pressing the idea of continuing:
Sometimes on the journey we want to give up and give in to the pressures
What happens when you hold on to the teaching of Jesus?
Obeying His Word produces growth. Growth produces freedom from the bondage of sin.
Jesus has something to say to those who listen to Him.
Jesus cherishes the beginnings of grace: Picture the shepherd gathering weak little lambs into arms.
Obeying the commands of Christ/Holding on to His teachings helps define the true character of the disciple:
Continue in His Word
Implies there are some who profess but do not continue in His Word
To be strong in faith one needs to be sound in faith
If you come to Him then it is best for you to abide in Him
Those that continue in Christ’s teaching are disciples
verse 32 shows the privilege of a true disciple
knowing the truth
being freed by the truth
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,
“Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”
What does sin do to us?
Knowing this salvation truth means that one is liberated from the bondage of sin.
At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.
By receiving the truth in Christ, Freedom happens.
They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
Do you see the emphasis of the Jews on tradition? Fiddler on the Roof: TRADITION!
So which is best, the teachings of Christ or tradition?
Which are you following?
This is the first of 11 references to Abraham in John’s Gospel. People seemed to think that because they were Abraham’s descendants they could inherit the kingdom of God.
My grandparents built Harmony Baptist Church so that makes me a life long member?
John the Baptist warned about this thought:
And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.
Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.
There is an air of pride prevailing here:
“How dare you say that we are slaves?”
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.
Jesus says “I tell you the truth” 3 times in this chapter. The emphasis is “you need to hear this.”
Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
What are you enslaved to?
Sin promises freedom but cannot deliver it
For the addict it is a drug, the next high
for the co-dependent it is that other person
for the legalist it is the law
The very act of sin reveals that the one doing sin is under the authority of the sin.
Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.
A son can receive the inheritance
The slave can be sold
and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.”
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
This is not the son of the household, it is the Son of God!
Jesus enjoys the inalienable rights as the unique Son of God, and the ability to exercise full authority given to Him by the Father to Free!
So those He frees, are free indeed.
True freedom is not the liberty to do anything we please- by the liberty to do what we ought.
Freedom from judgement
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
Freedom from the power of death
“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.
Freedom to be adopted into the family of God
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—
I know you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word.
Jesus comes back to this statement. Even in the Old Testament, physical descent from Abraham wasn’t sufficient to determine the line of the seed.
But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.”
Ismael was born out of the content of the promise and covenant.
A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God.
“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh— Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the desert in distant places. For all these nations are really uncircumcised, and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.”
John would later write that spiritual decent is more applicable than physical descent.
This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.
Previously in and 8:20 we see the murderous attempts when Jesus calls into question the religion practices instead of the relationship. Reason for this comes about when we do not have room for His Word.
Do you have room for Jesus’ words?
What is the centerpiece in the library of your heart?
I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you do what you have heard from your father.”
Do you have your Father’s tendencies?
Walks like his daddy
acts like his daddy
The Doctrine of Christ was from Heaven:
copied from the counsels of infinite wisdom
first hand testimony
lodged in His eternal word
their doings are from their father
Who was their father? Jesus in calls him the devil.
“Abraham is our father,” they answered. “If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do the things Abraham did.
They missed when Jesus was speaking of this, yet Jesus makes it clear that if they were Abraham’s children, they would have obeyed.
For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”
And he is also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.
As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things.
You are doing the things your own father does.” “We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”
But you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us or Israel acknowledge us; you, O Lord, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name.
Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.
What do you think Jesus did when they said that?