The apostle John recorded Jesus saying, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). The next couple of verses show us that the freedom Jesus is speaking of is freedom from sin. Some jumped to the conclusion that Jesus spoke of literal bondage under another person, but Jesus told them, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin” (John 8:34). With this understanding of the freedom Jesus said that truth would give us, surely every one of us can see that we need this truth. But the question then arises, just how much truth do I need in order to be free from sin?
All of God’s word is truth. Jesus prayed for His apostles saying, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17). But, one does not have to know everything that is revealed in God’s word in order to be saved. For instance, the truth of God’s word reveals that the man whose right ear Peter cut off with a sword while in Gethsemane was the servant of the high priest and his name was Malchus (John 18:10), but one can go to their grave without ever learning that little bit of truth and it will have no bearing at all as to whether that person is saved or not. Thus we are back to our question concerning just how much truth we have to have in order to be saved. Since it is the truth that will free us from the bondage of sin, it is obvious that we are going to have to know at least some of it.
Let us begin to reduce the volume of God’s word that we absolutely must have in order to be saved, by recognizing some parts of God’s word that does not apply to us. The apostle Paul told young Timothy to, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Tim. 2:15). It is important that we realize that not all of the commands of God are applicable to us.
It is recorded in God’s word and is just as true as any other part of God’s word that God told Noah to, “Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch” (Gen. 6:14), but every one of us understands that God was not speaking to us and that said command is not applicable to us. In like manner, though multitudes are either unaware of it or just refuse to accept it, the old law of Moses was not given to us and the commands of that law do not apply to us.
It matters not if some atheist succeeds in getting the ten commandments removed from some court house, for one judged in that courthouse will not be judged by the ten commandments, but by the laws of the land and when we stand before the judgment seat of Christ, neither will we be judged by them. The law of Moses was given to the Jewish nation, for the Jewish nation. The prophets of the old testament foretold of the days when the old law of Moses would be replaced with a new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34) and was quoted by the writer of the book of Hebrews who went to great lengths showing the passing away of that old covenant and the application of the new (Heb. 8:7-11; 10:9).
So, just what part of the word of God is applicable to us? In short, we live in the Christian era. In this age, it is the word of God that has come to us by way of His Son, Jesus Christ, that we must adhere to. Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James and John and Elijah and Moses appeared with Him (Matt. 17:1-3). God revealed which of these we should be following when He said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased; hear ye him” (Matt. 17:5).
The writer of the book of Hebrews reveals to us just what truth it is that we are to be concerned the most with when he wrote, “God who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds” (Heb. 1:1-2). The apostle Paul reveals to us the law that applies to us when he stated, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith” (Rom. 1:16-17). And Peter wrote, “But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (I Pet. 1:25).
On the day of judgment we will stand before the Judgment seat of Christ and be judged according to that which we have done while in these earthly bodies as compared to that which has been revealed to us in the gospel of Christ. Jesus himself said, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). There are indeed things within this gospel of Christ that we can be ignorant of and still have a home in heaven, but the truth that makes us free is also found therein.
Robert Oliver is a guest columnist for The Sampson Independent.