The Truth Shall Make You Free

By John Thiel


John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

The truth shall make you free.  These are the words of Jesus and they are exactly what they say.  The truth shall make you free.  It is my intention at this time to spend time together in contemplating the words of Jesus as they are written in John.

John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

The Pharisees as usual, did not understand what Jesus meant. He had to tell them that He who committeth sin is the servant of sin.  He is a bond servant to sin. He can’t help himself. Jesus is able to make us free but how did He put it in the beginning? You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.

This is for our contemplation, to know the truth and by that knowledge, to be set free as Jesus expressed. By sin we are the servants of sin. We are in bondage to it.  It was at His conception when Joseph discovered his newly wed wife was pregnant already before he had a relationship with her. The words that came from the angel in Matthew 1 are of very meaningful import and application.  While he was thinking to privately put away Mary, while he thought on these things, the angel of the Lord appeared.

Matthew 20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

In John 8 Jesus said the truth shall set you free. What did He mean? To set free from sin.  The words of the angel in Matthew are very explicit.  He shall save His people from that bondage.  He shall save His people from their sins. As we seek to comprehend the truth on this matter, the living experience, let us first examine what He meant when He said He who commits sin is a servant of sin.  What is this bondage?  In experience?  The words of Apostle Paul in Romans 7 are very clear. He is talking of the bondage of sin. 

Romans 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

Sin has made me a captive.  I am sold under sin.

Romans 7:15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would that do I not; but what I hate that do I. 

He is describing the bondage that he finds in his life.  That he wants to do the right but fails miserably.  The very thing that I do, I don’t really agree with. 

There is something that is holding me here.  I am bound by sin that dwells in me.

Romans 7: 17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18 For I know that in me is in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

Here is the description of the bondage. The apostle in his effort to come free of this, comes to the words of verse 23 where he describes this bondage some more and then cries out.

Romans 7: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death ?

Captivity to what? The law of sin in his body. In His members. It’s captivity that Jesus says I will set you free.  How will you be set free? By the knowledge of truth, that will set you free. The cry of the apostle – o wretched man that I am, I need deliverance.  I need saving.  I need saving from a reality that is in my being.  I need saving from the law of sin which is in my members. 

By sin we have been severed from the life of God. Our souls are palsied…. The sense of sin has poisoned the springs of life.88 FLB 87.2

By nature we are alienated from God. The Holy Spirit describes our condition in such words as these: “Dead in trespasses and sins;” “the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint”; “no soundness in it.” We are held fast in the snare of Satan; “taken captive by him at his will.” Ephesians 2:1; Isaiah 1:5, 6; 2 Timothy 2:26. God desires to heal us, to set us free. But since this requires an entire transformation, a renewing of our whole nature, we must yield ourselves wholly to Him. FLB 87.3

There is the cry, the cry of the soul that cries out for the Lord to save me from this condition and God is telling us, I desire to heal you, I desire to free you but it needs to be a freedom that is workable in reality. Not just in a wonderful thought.  Why was the sacrifice of Jesus necessary.

The infinite value of the sacrifice required for our redemption reveals the fact that sin is a tremendous evil. Through sin the whole human organism is deranged, the mind is perverted, the imagination corrupted. Sin has degraded the faculties of the soul. Temptations from without find an answering chord within the heart, and the feet turn imperceptibly toward evil. MH 451.2

You don’t even know what they are doing.  Your feet are turning imperceptibly towards evil. You find yourself doing things that your inmost conviction that God has put into your heart, is overcome.  That’s what apostle Paul was talking about.  We are trying to understand what it means to be set free from this captivity because our bondage is practical. It’s a reality. We know it by experience. Can you identify/resonate with Apostle Pauls words? I know I am doing something that my conscious tells me I have to stop and I’m having a hard time stopping.

We become overwhelmed with the discovery of certain trappings that we are in and we have to shake ourselves from this captivity and we find it impossible.  Oh wretched man that I am the apostle cries out. I need a practical answer to be set free. It’s not a wonderful forensic expiation.  Forensic means legally. Many today have a legal religion not but not a practical freedom from sin. 

We need a practical answer to our captivity and Jesus said, you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.  Knowledge comes into activity. 

Adam and Eve

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  When they ate of that tree, what was their experience it was a living reality that now they knew good and evil and they ran away from God.  There was a rift that took place and they were trapped by Satan.  It was a living experience.  The knowledge and everything that God puts in his word in regards to knowledge has to do with a living reality.

As the bondage is a living reality, a knowledge of experience.  The answer to be released from that bondage must be a knowledge of practical dimensions. Of an experience – I need to know the living activity of this.  Something I need to know the truth in such a way that I can reason from cause to effect. 

Cause to Effect

It is essential to reason from cause to effect in relation to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Faith should be cultivated. If it has become weak it is like a sickly plant that should be placed in the sunshine and carefully watered and tended. The Lord would have every one who has had light and evidence cherish that light and walk in its brightness. God has blessed us with reasoning powers so that we may trace from cause to effect. TMK 230.2

This is essential and if He wants us to have this in reference to our faith, then we must understand the answer that is given from Gods word that we have truth that will set me free in reality from my captivity. 

We are living amid the perils of the last days, and we are to cleanse ourselves from all defilement, and put on the robe of Christ’s righteousness. RC 159.2

We are to put it on.  In this time in which we are living, with all the confusion that Satan has managed to bring before us, we need to know practical truth in regards to putting on the robe of Christ’s righteousness. 

The work of God is to be steadily carried forward. We are to bring ourselves, body, soul, and spirit, into subjection to Christ. Unless we do this, the health of both body and soul will be endangered. RC 159.2

God desires His workers to gain daily an understanding of how to reason logically from cause to effect, arriving at wise, safe conclusions. He desires them to add to the strength of the memory. We cannot afford to make mistakes. As little children we are to sit at the feet of Christ, learning of Him how to work successfully. We are to ask God for sound judgment, and for light to impart to others. There is need of knowledge that is the fruit of experience. We should not allow a day to pass without gaining an increase of knowledge in temporal and spiritual things. We are to plant no stakes that we are not willing to take up and plant farther on, nearer the heights we hope to ascend. RC 159.3

You will know the truth and the truth will set you free. It’s a knowledge that is derived from experience. We need to know what Jesus meant when he said that the truth shall make you free from this bondage of sin.

The highest education is to be found in training the mind to advance day to day. Logic reasoning from cause to effect – I will keep referring to these words.  Jesus addresses this reasoning logically from cause to effect. 

What does he say according to our scripture reading? Here are the words of Jesus to reason logically from cause to effect.  He is asking God to sanctify us.

John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

What is He saying? Reason from cause to effect. I sanctify myself so that from my experience, the experience of the truth, the fruit of experience of Jesus sanctifying himself is what we need to know so that we might be sanctified through the truth.  How dangerous it is for us to read the words shallowly.  Here is a description by Jesus that he made an experience through out his life, sanctifying himself so that we might study Him and be sanctified through the truth by which He sanctified Himself.  That is the importance of those words.

Give Diligence

Let us consider His meaning of sanctification of Him sanctifying Himself. How does the scripture spell out our sanctification? we highlighted through the beautiful gift of Jesus we might be receivers of his righteousness through justification. Besides justification, this beautiful gift… giving… what are we to do?  Give a diligent attention.  I have to be diligently adding to my faith. 

2 Peter 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

You will not be unfruitful. What is reasoning from cause to effect? It is the knowledge that is the fruit of the experience.  That is as we go through these steps that are practical experienced steps, we are diligently pursuing them.  We will not be unbarren or unfruitful in the knowledge. The knowledge of Jesus is necessary for us to be able to set free from our sin.

2 Peter 1:9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

This is the ministering of an abundant entrance into God. It goes into practical steps. Faith is to be followed by virtue, it says be diligent to do that.  After virtue, knowledge, temperance. These are all activities of practise. Not some forensic hazy words. They are practical realities that we must do. If you will do these things, then you will be fruitful.

All this discussion about Christ and His righteousness that just deals with expiation that deals with forensic activities to set us free so we are set free in our minds from condemnation.  That is not enough.  We must move on in sanctification.  She’s quoting 1 Peter 1:

We have men claiming sanctification. Their works will show if they are transformed into the image of Christ. Sanctification is not brought about instantaneously, but it is accomplished by climbing the rounds of Peter’s ladder of eight rounds. We must step on the first in order to reach the highest. This ladder reaches from earth to heaven, and every soul that enters the city of God will have to climb this ladder of self-denial, and this can be accomplished by laying hold of the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. Without this strength, temptation will sweep us down the current to final destruction. 3MR 84.2

Here you see again, reasoning from cause to effect, we are to actually climb this ladder of practical obedience in the plan of sanctification because this is sanctification.  Sanctification is not brought out instantaneously but is accomplished by climbing the rounds of Peter’s ladder.  If we don’t do this, what does apostle Peter say?  If you lack these things, you can’t see afar and you will forget you are purged from your old sins.

This is the practical reality of sanctification. Climbing the rungs of the ladder towards perfection. What did Jesus say? I sanctify myself, that they may also be sanctified through the truth. To be saved from sin, from bondage, I must know the truth, I must know Jesus in His life because He sanctified Himself so that we might know the truth by which we are going to be sanctified. This is the bible doing the talking. To be saved from the bondage of sin which was the promise – He shall save His people from their sins.

You sent
We hear it often said by people Jesus didn’t just save people in their sins. He saved them from their sins. To save us in our sins means we don’t continue sinning. We are changing, we are being saved from the doing from those sins. This is what it is about. Jesus says to be saved from the bondage of sin, you must know the truth of me sanctifying myself. That’s how you will be saved from your sins. I come here to show you the truth that you may be sanctified by the truth and you will know the truth if you continue in my word. You will know the truth because the truth will set you free.

Watch His Life

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life

By his death, we have been reconciled, we have been justified but to be saved, can you see where Christians today have really lost their bearings? They have lost the ability to reason from cause to effect in scripture. We are justified not saved by His death, what are we saved by? By His life. This is what Jesus said; I sanctify myself that they might be sanctified by the truth. It is the knowledge of the truth in practical realities that is being missed out on by modern theology today. We are reconciled, justified by this death but we are not saved until his life comes into practise in my life.

Being reconciled we shall be saved by his life.  Jesus says I sanctify myself that they might be sanctified by the truth.  Watch His life. What was his life? When he was born, he mapped out our new birth from the time he was born. I become born again, I am born into salvation through his death and resurrection. I am a new born babe. Jesus became a new born babe.  He grew just like we have watched a little baby grow.  A baby grows to follow his brother and sisters carefully up the growth ladder.  Jesus did that.  He grew from childhood to youth, to adulthood and all the way along he was sanctifying himself so that we might be sanctified by the truth. What was he doing as he was growing up? As he was developing sanctification in His own life by which we are to be saved?

Saved from Sin

Hebrews 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; 8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

The author of being saved from sin. Jesus was the author of salvation which is the author of sanctification; I sanctify myself.  He is the author of this. Where are we to look?

Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jesus is the cause that is to affect me in sanctification to follow.  What is Jesus to us according to the word? Jesus was made to be a human being like us, he was made in sinful flesh, he was made a curse for us, but what else was he made for us?

1 Corinthians 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

Jesus said I sanctify myself that they might be sanctified by the truth.  That they might know the truth and be set free. In our struggle to be set free from the domination of sin, we have a living cause to effect subject to meditate on. Jesus is to be cause and the effect is my sanctification. We are in the condemnation of sin. We are at the bottom of the pit. Jesus died for us yes, we are justified but we are still in practise in the imperfection of our sinful state and we are to be sanctified.  We are to be set free from this condition at the bottom of the pit. We are to add to our faith, virtue and to virtue, knowledge and to knowledge, patience.  And to patience godliness and to brother kindness charity and charity is heaven. God is love isn’t he?  That is when we reach Gods perfect character.  We are justified yes, but we are to be sanctified. We are to reason from cause to effect.

What did the scripture say? I sanctify myself so that they might be sanctified. Sanctification is this – the ladder of apostle Peter. 

Jacobs Dream

He was lost in the bottom of the pit. He thought he was finished and ran for his life. He had a dream of the ladder down from heaven. Jesus said to Nathaniel you will see the son of man walking up and down the ladder. 

Point the youth to Peter’s ladder of eight rounds, and place their feet, not on the highest round, but on the lowest, and with earnest solicitation urge them to climb to the very top. 6T 147.1

Christ, who connects earth with heaven, is the ladder. 6T 147.2

This is Jesus. He is the ladder. Why? Because he said I sanctify myself that they might be sanctified by the truth.  That they might be saved by my life. What a clarification reasoning logically from cause to effect.

The base is planted firmly on the earth in His humanity; the topmost round reaches to the throne of God in His divinity. The humanity of Christ embraces fallen humanity, while His divinity lays hold upon the throne of God. 6T 147.2

It’s one connection. It’s all in Jesus. It’s connected to heaven and us in his dual nature. That is the ladder. 

We are saved by climbing round after round of the ladder. 6T 147.2

What must you do? What apostle Peter said. Add to your faith virtue. You are going to be saved by his life. That’s what Jesus said. I sanctify by his life.  We are saved by climbing round after round of that ladder. 

…looking to Christ, clinging to Christ, mounting step by step to the height of Christ, so that He is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption. Faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity are the rounds of this ladder. All these graces are to be manifested in the Christian character; and “if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:10, 11. 6T 147.2

To have logic when you read the Bible. Oh to reason from cause to effect. From Jesus to righteousness. From Jesus at the cross to baby hood and eternal glory. Do we comprehend it? Do we comprehend what we must do? Many people say but that’s works. I sanctify myself that they might be sanctified through the truth. Is it their own works or is it Christ? If I am doing what Christ did which I would have never done if I hadn’t found Christ, is it works? No it’s Christ. Christ is the one I’m clinging to as I climb Him. I am clinging to Him. I would never have done it if it wouldn’t be for Him. I couldn’t do it without Him. It is reasoning logically from cause to effect.  This is what people are not doing.  I am appalled at modern theology. They just live in a fairy tale doctrine to think that no, you have nothing to do, it’s all Jesus. You don’t have to worry about anything but it says be diligent. Follow what Jesus did. Follow Him. Do what He did.

We can, we can, reveal the likeness of our divine Lord. We can know the science of spiritual life. We can honor our Maker. But do we do it? HP 187.3

What is science? The very thing we have just been studying.  This is science. Rational experiential discovery. Just like science looks for proof of what they believe is right.  Here are we are looking at proof text reading which has been laid aside by modern theology of today. They do not read as it reads.  They say what you believe is your own interpretation. This is what it is as it is written.  Not as I practise exegeses or eisegeses. It is as it reads and doing as Jesus says.  He who will do His will, will know of the doctrine. It is the doing.  Do we do it?  How much have I been doing and how much have I been waiting for something miraculous to happen.  But do we do it? 

Oh, what an illustrious example we have in the life that Christ lived on this earth! He has shown us what we can accomplish through cooperation with divinity. 44 HP 187.3

Jesus was human and divine. As I come to Jesus in faith and I accept him for what He is, I am walking this narrow path and climbing rung after rung of practical practise. Virtue is a practise. Knowledge is what I’m to gain after the justification of Christ. As I increase in knowledge I learn what? Patience. Is patience a practise. Is it something I have to do.  I am not a patient person by nature.  Jesus was patient. If I have patience, then I have godliness in all it’s different dimensions.  Then I will have brotherly kindness.  Are we doing it?

It is a living truth where our character defects will be dealt with. 

He invites us to abide with Him. When we do this, when we make our home with Him, all friction, all ill temper, all irritation, will cease…. HP 187.4

Have you made experiences where Jesus is everything to you and when something comes up that would arouse your irritation, it vanishes away when you keep your eyes focused on Jesus and sense His presence in your life. It vanishes. That is being saved by His life.

Where we will ultimately end up and arrive at if we continue to practise this cause to effect religion? Where will we ultimately reach? It’s called holiness and righteousness. What will happen? What will you arrive at? 

Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. 18 And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places; 19 When it shall hail, coming down on the forest; and the city shall be low in a low place.

What is that? That is the plagues of which one is hail. We will dwell in peaceable habitations if we go with Jesus through this process as his peace and righteousness will be our experience but let us do it and persevere and challenges that come our way and we look at Jesus and he met those same challenges. That is why we need to study and talk of Him.  This is the activity that God wants us to engage in.  Living truth. May God help us to continue the logical reason from cause to effect in the plan of salvation.


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Posted on 18/03/2023, in Divine Service Sermons, The Atonement. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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