JOHN 8:31-32 NRSV 31 Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
Notice carefully what Jesus actually said. It is not those who “start in the word” or “try the word for awhile” who will be made free. You must continue in Jesus’ message — His Word. It must be His accurate message — not just someone’s idea about it, or religious tradition.
Some translations use the word “abide” instead of “continue.” Abide means to stay somewhere continually. Either way, the meaning involves staying with it.
Note what Jesus said in verse 32, “and you will KNOW the truth . . .” Just hearing truth does not necessarily make you free. You must KNOW it is the truth. When you KNOW something, you will act on it. If you are not acting on something, you do not yet truly KNOW it. You act on what you know.
Hearing the truth is not enough. Loving the truth is not enough. Even speaking the truth is not enough. You must continue until you know that you know that you know that you know. Only then are you at the point where truth will make you free. Because only then will you be able to act with faith and boldness on God’s Word.
The devil is against you and is intent on keeping you in bondage. Only when you KNOW where you stand will you act in faith and overcome the strategies of the devil.
You may ask, “How can I KNOW the truth? I just have weak faith.”
Jesus gave the answer: continue in His Word. As you continue in the Word of God you will become convinced — you will know — you will have faith. When you reach the point of knowing something — you will act on that knowledge. In this way the truth will make you free.
This works in every area of life: your relationships, your health, your finances — everything. Continue in the Word of God on any subject — and you will eventually see the fruit of freedom in that area of your life.
God gave you His Word for your benefit — not for His benefit. God already knows the truth, and always acts on it. Because God loves you, He gave you His Word to help you.