As Jesus spoke in the temple at the Festival of Shelters in Jerusalem, many who heard what He said about His Father and His own mission believed in Him.
It was to these people who believed that Jesus addressed His famous words about the truth and freedom.“You are truly My disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings,” He said. “And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.” John 8:31,32 NLT.
The news of freedom in Christ is wonderful news–to those who know or have known the bondage of sin and self-righteousness. It is not only the slaves of really awful sins that need this freedom; Jesus offers freedom from the treadmill of religion without life, the constant striving and failure to keep the perfect standard of God without the Power of God.
Those who remain faithful to the teachings of Jesus are the ones who are truly His disciples. As Jesus so memorably said at another time, those who hear what He says but do not put it into practice are foolish, like a man who built his house on the sand. Like most endeavors in life, you cannot claim the title unless you have fulfilled the requirements.
These true disciples, Jesus said, will know the Truth, and the Truth will set them free. Those who genuinely believe in Jesus, who set out to faithfully keep His teachings, discover great truths, only two of which I will discuss today.
The first is that no one can keep Jesus’ sayings in his own strength. And the second is that Jesus Himself is there to enable us to keep His sayings. “Without Me, you can do nothing,” He said. “Abide in Me, and you will bear much fruit.”
“Be perfect, as your Father in Heaven is perfect,” Jesus told His followers. This is a truly impossible standard for a mere man; but Jesus, the dearly beloved Son, Who brings great joy to His Father, has offered to live His own Life through us, just as the root and trunk of the vine provide the sap of life to the farthest branches that have been grafted into the vine.