“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).
How does the truth make us free?
Jesus was speaking to new believers (cf. John 8:30-31). He told them that if—if, not when!—they continued (or abided) in His teaching they would be genuine disciples. And then the truth of His teaching would make them free.
It helps to know that Jesus later clarified He was referring to bondage to sin—“whoever commits sin is a slave to sin” (John 8:34).
How are we slaves to sin? How does the truth help?
Truth is key, because slavery to sin begins in the mind.
Read Genesis 3:1-5, the story of Eve being tempted by the Serpent. How did the Serpent attack Eve?
By attacking her mind.
The Serpent is described as “crafty” or “cunning,” meaning He was an expert at mind games. And that shows in this confrontation.
The Serpent started his attack by planting doubts in Eve’s mind about what God had said (“Has God indeed said…?”).
The Serpent questioned God’s reasonableness, by falsely implying God had forbidden them from eating any tree, arbitrarily cutting them off from an important source of food.
The Serpent also denied that God’s warning was true (“You will not surely die.”).
The Serpent called God’s good character into question again, implying that God did not have Adam and Eve’s best interests at heart, but was, in fact, holding back something good from them (“For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”).
Lies, deceit, open contradiction.
It was a battle for Eve’s mind.
Satan is engaged in a battle for your mind, too. How do you fight back?
With the truth.
Paul explained it this way:
“casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:5).
Satan makes a false, cunning, conniving argument—and you cast it down with the truth.
Satan plants a seed of doubt in your mind—but instead of letting that thought run wild, you bring it into captivity to the obedience of Christ. You take that wayward thought and you bring it in line with God’s Word.
Wrong thinking leads to wrong living.
That’s why Satan tries to bind your mind with lies—so your life will be in bondage to sin.
But the truth will set you free, IF you abide in Jesus’ teaching.