By Don Wright
Jesus once said, “1f ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (in. 8:31, 32). Many wonderful thoughts can be gleaned from the words which Jesus uttered here. We are made aware of some exceptional realities that come as a result of one continuing in the words of Jesus.
We Are Disciples of Christ
One who continues in his word is his disciple. What a privilege it is to be a disciple of Christ. We become learners of Christ, and he becomes our teacher. It is always a special claim to be taught of a great teacher, and Jesus is the greatest teacher of all. As his disciples we learn not only things pertaining to the here and now, but also of things pertaining to eternity. Only Jesus our teacher has the wonderful words of life (Jn. 6:68). All Christians who continue in the words of the Savior, figuratively sit at the feet of Jesus and learn of his wisdom.
We Are Set Free
Jesus also spoke of being set free. This, of course, does not refer to any type of physical freedom; it deals with being freed spiritually. There is no greater bondage than that of sin. Therefore, there is no greater deliverance than that from sin. Now there is only one way to obtain this freedom under consideration, and that is by abiding in the words of Christ, i.e., by obeying and standing in the gospel of Christ (Rom. 6:1-18). As long as we stay away from sin, our former master, and serve our new master, Christ, we are free. This is a reality that comes as a result of continuing in the words of Jesus Christ. The only way we can lose our freedom is to turn back and serve sin again.
Continuing in The Words of Christ
Finally, Jesus said, “If ye continue in my word . . . ye shall know the truth.” Knowing truth is vital to any soul. Without knowledge of truth one cannot be saved, for it is truth that teaches us how to take advantage of the salvation that flows from Calvary. It is truth that tells us that we must believe on Jesus, repent of our sins, confess Christ with the mouth, and be buried in the waters of baptism. Peter said, “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth …” (I Pet. 1:22). He went on to affirm in ver. 24 that we are born again of the incorruptible seed, i.e., the word of God (truth). It is obvious, then, that truth is important to all of us. And how is it that truth is made known adequately?
By one continuing in the word.
Some truth is comprehensible at first glance. However, there are other truths that can only be fully comprehended and appreciated by contemplation. It necessitates a continuing in the words of Christ. If we have the willingness to study like we ought to, and to continue in those words of Christ, Jesus assures us that we shall know the truth. We will be familiar with the doctrine of Christ and with the will of God. We will know assuredly what God would have us to do in order to establish and maintain fellowship with him. It is in this that we find true freedom. We find comfort in realizing that we are heaven bound. We know that we are heaven bound because we know the truth. We know just what God demands, and we know whether or not we are following those demands. Some openly admit that they are not quite sure of whether or not they are heaven bound. My advice to them is search the Scriptures. There is no reason why we should not know God’s will. We have the truth where his will is revealed. It is up to us to learn it. Paul said, “Study to show thyself approved unto God” (2 Tim. 2:15). To study regularly and to familiarize ourselves with the word of God is in part what is involved in continuing in the words of Christ.
Is continuing in the words of Christ worth the effort? Yes, for then you will be a disciple of Christ, you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.
Guardian of Truth XXXIX: 2 p. 21
January 19, 1995