"When the Truth has come", Pastor Robb CAGER, III

“When The TRUTH has Come”,                                                   John 8:31-39
One of the most often quoted, and widely memorized passages of Scripture in The Churches of Christ is the statement made by Jesus, in John 8:32, “And you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free”. This particular Scripture is often employed by many sincere Christians in order to justify their separation from other Christians, over what they conceive to be the truth, or rather, what they have been taught to believe to be truth. As disciples of Christ, the question which confronts us, is what is this Truth that Jesus alludes to, in our text? (in John 8:32) The misappropriation of this particular verse has, in many respects, fractured the Church into warring denominations, with each claiming to be the only ones with the Truth, which thus condemns the rest to the devils hell. But I stopped by this morning, on my journey through earth to heaven, to let you know that, the Truth is not one denomination’s slant, it is Jesus! Jesus identifies himself as such, in John 14:6, saying: “I am the way, the Truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”. Forasmuch then, as Jesus is the Truth, men walk contrary to the intentions of GOD, until Jesus has come, and taken up residence in the hearts of men. Until the truth has come, and is allowed to enter into the heart of a man, that man walks in perpetual incompleteness, and imperfectness of purpose. “When the Truth has come”, only then will man have the wherewithal to walk uprightly before GOD, worshipping, and serving Him in righteousness, and holiness all the days of our lives; Only “When the Truth has come”, can man wax obedient to Jesus’ admonition of Luke 6:28, to “Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you”. Only “When the Truth has come”, will GOD’S children be able to lift up our eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh our help, and exclaim from the heart the words which Dr. Martin Luther KING, Jr., so emphatically proclaimed on the steps of the LINCOLN Memorial, nearly a half-century ago: “Free at last! Free at last! Thank GOD almighty, I’m free at last!!I have three brief points, and we’ll be done.
(1) When faced with the Truth, the world’s lies lose their ability to hold men captive: In verse 34 of our text, Jesus says in substance, whoever repeatedly commits sins, is a slave to that thing. Certainly, we all know someone, or are related to someone, or even ourselves, who are addicted to something. The obvious things that come to mind, are drugs, alcohol, and the like. Experts have determined, that these United States is the number 1 procurer of illegal narcotics in the world. That’s because many people have opened up that particular door, and the enemy has gotten a stronghold upon that persons life, to the end that no matter the risks, or the consequences thereof, that person will find a way to consume drugs. I can remember several years ago, a great young basket ball player, here in Dallas: Roy TARPLEY. TARPLEY was suspended several times, for using cocaine. They once suspended him for an entire season, without pay. When he came back, they rewarded him with a new contract for something like 77 Million dollars, all he had to do was refrain from smoking crack. What did he do? He smoked crack, because the devil had a stronghold on that particular area of his life. He ended up losing everything. And it’s not just drugs, whatever thing we just can’t find the wherewithal to refrain from doing, we’ve allowed the devil to enslave us in that area. Thus Jesus says essentially, He, the Truth, when He has come, and we’ve allowed Him to take residence in our hearts, will liberate us, or make us free from the bondages which we’ve allowed. Some people have never consumed drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, or any of those things; they may have been in Church all of their lives, but they’ve never heard a rumor that was unworthy of being repeated. Just as the smoker, or the alcoholic or drug addict has become enslaved to that particular thing, the gossiper is held in captivity as well. The Bible says in James 3:8-10, “But the tongue, can no man contain; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we GOD, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of GOD. Out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be”. But Jesus says that if you’ll hear His word, and continue therein, or allow His word to carry out it’s intended operation, you’re indeed a disciple; because the Truth has come; you’ve become familiar with Him; you’ve embraced Him, and now, you know Him. Jesus says, you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free. When faced with the Truth, the world’s lies lose their ability to hold men captive. The Bible tells us in 1 John 2:15-17: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of GOD, abideth forever”. Yes, when faced with the Truth, the world’s lies, lose their ability to hold men captive.(2) The Truth liberates us from the traditions of old:Many Christians have allowed others to place them under the captivity of traditions. Jesus says in substance, in Mark 7:13, the traditions of men have made the Word of GOD to no effect. When men have not known the Truth, the handed down traditions of men are all they have to embrace, as it pertains to righteousness. For this reason, it is imperative that when you sit under anyone’s teaching, you need to have your Bible open, and following along with what’s being taught. Many have been led astray, because they accepted as Truth, what the “Preacher” was preaching. Little did they know, that everyone who says GOD called them to preach, has not heard the voice of GOD. Many say they were called, but in reality, they just went. And the Bible says that they teach for doctrine, the commandments of men. Yes, many are trying to live their lives by the traditions of men, because they have not known the Truth of GOD. But when the Truth has come, all the traditions of men, which testifies not of the Truth of GOD, are thereby rendered useless. This walk with GOD is too vital to where we spend eternity, to be reduced to what one has heard, or how logical it seems, or how it feels. But the Bibles tells us in Roman 3:4: “Let GOD be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thou sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged”. I don’t know about you, but I want to be justified when I stand before The LORD, to receive for the things which I have done. But in the meantime, the Bible tells us in Romans 5:1, “Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with GOD, through our Lord Jesus Christ. The traditions of old cannot, in any wise accomplish what GOD has promised, and serves only to be a stumbling block in the paths of the children of men. The Truth liberates us from the traditions of old!

(3) The Truth sets us free from self-condemnation:The presence of the Truth in our lives empowers GOD’S children with the necessary resolve to rise up again, after we’ve fallen down. If you’ve never fallen down, in this Christian journey, then this part is not for you. But, for all of us who’ve allowed the cares of this world to cause us at anytime to become entangled therewith, don’t become consumed with guilt, and self-condemnation. The enemy attempts to exploit your emotions to the end that you’ll remain in your present state, throw up your hands, and cease to follow after the LORD. In Revelation 12:10, the bible refers him as the “accuser of the brethren”. Long after you’ve repented, and GOD has forgiven you, the devil continues to remind you of past failures. But when the Truth has come, and taken residence in the heart of a man, He authorizes man, by the words He gave by inspiration of the Holy Ghost to the Apostle Paul in Philippians 3:13-14, to arise from the failures of the past, saying, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing which I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of GOD in Christ Jesus”. Yes, you’re authorized by the Word of GOD, to get up, shake yourself off, and continue on. Paul asks in Romans 8:33-34, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of GOD’S elect? It is GOD that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of GOD, who also maketh intersession for us”. The enemy can’t condemn you, and you can’t condemn yourself. The Truth sets us free from self condemnation.                                                                     Summary:We’re talking about, “When the Truth has come”, and taken residence within the hearts of GOD’S children, and the ramifications thereof. Jesus, in our text, teaches that true discipleship comes only as a result of continuing in His Word; and that as His followers, or students, we’ll come to the knowledge that He is indeed the Truth. Men cannot be made free from the servitude of sin until the Truth has come. When the Truth has come, the world’s lies lose their ability to hold men captive. But the Truth stares the  lusts and pride of the world in the face, and says “give me my child”! When the Truth has come, the traditions of old are no longer able to prohibit the children of GOD from walking in the liberty which GOD has ordained. But the Truth opens the eyes of GOD’S children, and allows us to see His purpose. When the Truth has come, self-condemnation loses it’s grip, because when we fall, Truth has licensed us to arise, and proceed.
                 Peace and blessings always
                        Pastor Robb CAGER, III

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