So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
– John 8:36
No Longer Slaves
The Gospel of John was written by the Apostle John who referred to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” He was with Jesus during His ministry as an eyewitness to all Jesus did and was. The primary purpose in his gospel was evangelistic: to teach new converts and to build up believers. John states his main purpose clearly at the end of chapter 20: “…that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31).
Jesus is the Son of God who sets us free. After His baptism, as Jesus came out of the water, the heavens opened, and the Spirit of God descended upon Him like a dove. “And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased’” (Matthew 3:17). Jesus’ Sonship is affirmed by God himself. Proverbs 8:23 tells us, “I was formed long ages ago, at the very beginning, when the world came to be.”
Just prior to our memory verse, Jesus tells his listeners, “…everyone who sins is a slave to sin” (John 8:34). From the time Adam and Eve first decided they knew better than God, were tempted by Satan, and stepped over the forbidden line (Genesis 3), humanity has been the slave of sin, the slave of Satan. Slaves are under the influence of their owners; they are not free. If we are slaves to sin, our owner is Satan. The only person who can free us from Satan’s influence is our triune God, our Creator and true owner. Jesus has the authority to free us from Satan’s power and enable us to become children of God. He did this willingly by going to the cross and shedding His blood to forgive our sins and to provide us with freedom from sin.
What is our attitude toward Christ? Do we see Him as our Master? What is our response to His ultimate sacrifice? By intentionally turning our hearts away from areas in conflict with His Word, we are inspired by His Spirit to discover and live according to His will. We identify as belonging to Jesus alone; our willingness to serve and obey Him enables us to do His work—work that really matters.
by Elder Joe Heffelfinger