Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed;…
It is no strange thing for truth to set people free. What delivers men from terror — e.g., over prodigies, etc. — but the truth about them? In the darkness, which invests harmless objects with weird appearances, the imaginative man is as timid as a child. But let the day dawn, and the truth of things be revealed, and fear vanishes. The truth sets us free from —
I. THE DREADS OF LIFE.
1. Those which belong to our physical life — dreads of want, disease, poisoned air, accidents. Christ frees us from these by revealing the providence of God (Matthew 6:26-28).
2. Social fears — fears of what men can do unto us. Christ says, "Fear not them which kill the body," etc. Their wrath is restrained by our Father; and at their worst they can only drive man closer to God, and bring him nearer home.
3. Spiritual fears — about God. Christ frees from this by His truth — "Our Father."
II. THE SINS OF LIFE. These make the real bondage. Our fears weaken us, but our sins corrupt, and lead to death. They bind in two ways.
1. By spreading their shame through our soul (Ezra 9:6). Christ frees us by His declaration (John 3:17), and His own treatment of a sinner in shame (vers. 3-11).
2. By weakening our will, so that when we would do good we cannot. Christ brings not only pardon to banish shame, but power to put away sin (1 Timothy 1:13).
III. DWARFED CONDITIONS OF LIFE.
1. In church life — from the tyranny of forms and places (John 4:21-23).
2. In individual life. The truth of Jesus liberates the highest faculties — faith, hope, love, conscience.
Parallel VersesKJV: Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;