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True Freedom [4-14-19]

***NO AUDIO WAS RECORDED FOR THIS SERMON***


John 8:31-59


In John 8:31, Jesus says, "If you abide in my word." Abide in his word.


What does it mean to abide in something? It means to live in something. It means to hold on tightly to something. It means to draw your life from something. When you are abiding, you are holding on tightly to something.


Picture yourself on a mountain climbing expedition. You're a newcomer to mountaineering. You are climbing with an expert climber. The expert goes ahead of you. She places the ropes, anchors, and belaying device. That last one is really important, because it stops a climber's fall. That piece is essential. There's also carabiners and camming devices and a chest harness. That last one keeps your body upright in case of a fall. You don't want to be dangling upside down off the face of a mountain. Your equipment list is substantial.


As the rookie climber, you are trusting the experience and expertise of the lead climber. You look, seeing how far you've gone up, and how far there is to fall, and realize then and there how much you're going to abide in the rope and the climbing guide. You're not going to shrug and say, "I can do without the expert. I can do without the rope. I can do without the belaying device." No, you are going to abide in all those things.


Jesus Christ has gone ahead of us. He has shown us the way. Jesus has left us something to hold on to. He's taught us how to live. We need to abide in what Jesus has taught us. But it's deeper than that. It's more than what Jesus taught us. It's who he is. Jesus hoists us up on his back and takes us up the mountain. We draw our life from him. And if we abide in his word, we will know the truth. The word of Jesus is truth, and truth is life.


I think most people want to know what's true and good and right. What does the truth do? It sets us free. I think we all want freedom. Some people might say, well, I live in American, land of the free and all that. But that's not the kind of freedom Jesus is talking about. He's talking about freedom from sin and death. And wi