Therefore if the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed.—John 8:36 MEV
GOD HAS REVEALED HIMSELF TO US
God has revealed Himself to us through His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus reveals God’s loving kindness and faithfulness toward us. God’s disposition toward all who believe on His Son is one of grace, favor, and blessing. Jesus has come to set us free from everything that keeps us from living a life full of His peace, joy and righteousness. It is a relationship with Jesus Christ alone that meets our core needs for acceptance, identity, purpose, and security. The stories we will look at reveal CHRIST, the Anointed One who removes all of our burdens and destroys all of our yokes!
In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. —John 1:1-5 NLT
From His abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us. —John 1:16-18 NLT
CHRIST IS OUR LADDER TO HEAVEN
The only way to God is through Jesus Christ. Jesus makes reference to the story of Jacob’s encounter with God in Genesis 28 where God made a covenant with him. Jacob dreamed of a ladder going to heaven with angels ascending and descending upon it. He had a divine encounter with God. Jesus is making it perfectly clear to His Jewish disciples that He is the only real ”ladder”, that He is THE direct connection to HEAVEN.
“I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth. ”— John 1:51 NLT
CHRIST CLEANSES AND MAKES OUR SPIRIT BRAND NEW
Freedom comes because of a spiritual new birth! When you are born again you have a new nature and a new identity given to you! It’s a new relationship that brings us freedom, not a new religion. You step into this new relationship when you make the most important life decision; to believe and accept what Jesus did for YOU and to put your full trust in Him and follow Him. This experience is what Jesus referred to as being born again or being born from above. Jesus explained this experience to Nicodemus, a religious leader of the Jews whose focus was more on keeping the law and doing good. Jesus explained that you must be born of water and Spirit. This speaks of the cleansing and renewing power of the Holy Spirit when we are born again.
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. —John 3:3-5 NLT
CHRIST SATISFIES THE THIRSTY HEART
Jesus promised that He would satisfy our thirst. Consider the story of the woman at the well who looked to men to satisfy her thirst. Only Jesus can satisfy the human heart with true contentment. It is by making Jesus the object of our trust and not other people that we find freedom. Christ meets our core needs for acceptance, identity, purpose, and security.
Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” –John 4:10 NLT
But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” —John 4:14 NLT
CHRIST’S MINISTRY BROUGHT FORGIVENESS AND HEALING
Jesus went about doing the works of God, His Father. Frequently on the Sabbath, Jesus was forgiving sins and healing the sick. This conflicted with religious ideas and practice of the day. Jesus did the works of the Father on the Sabbath to demonstrate why God created it, so that we could rest and recover, so we could be made whole. He demonstrated this truth by healing a man on the Sabbath who was paralyzed for 38 years.
Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing. In fact, the Father will show him how to do even greater works than healing this man. Then you will truly be astonished. —John 5:19,20 NLT
CHRIST IS OUR BREAD FROM HEAVEN
God wants us to depend on Him to meet our every need. Christ is our provision—the bread from heaven! Bread is sustenance and God wants to provide for and sustain us with His strength in every area of life. He wants us to depend upon Christ! He covers every point of need in our lives. Jesus demonstrated this truth when He fed the 5000.
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” “Sir,” they said, “give us that bread every day.” Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. —John 6:32-35 NLT
CHRIST GIVES US THE HOLY SPIRIT, RIVERS OF LIVING WATER
Jesus wants to empower us to overcome by immersing us in and filling us with the Holy Spirit. The effect of this “spiritual flooding” is that of rivers flowing out of the deepest part of us! This is how God empowers us to overcome the flesh, the world and our adversary the devil. Jesus illustrated this truth in the temple during the Feast of Tabernacles where they practiced their water pouring ceremony.
On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)—John 7:37-39 NLT
CHRIST SILENCES OUR ACCUSERS
This is the story of the woman caught in adultery and about to be stoned by the religious leaders. It reveals a contrast between the old covenant law and the new covenant of grace Jesus came to establish. She was definitely guilty under the law, but Christ stepped in and brought forgiveness. So too, we were guilty under God’s law and deserved to be judged. But Christ stepped in and brought us forgiveness so that we can live free from guilt and condemnation.
Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”— John 8:10-11 NLT
CHRIST BRINGS US OUT OF DARKNESS
The story of the man born blind is a story for every one of us. Everyone born on the earth is born spiritually blind. Only Jesus can open our spiritual eyes. This story illustrates that only Christ can give sight to the blind. He has the power to change the condition of spiritual blindness so that we have eyes to really see, ears to really hear and a heart that can comprehend the things of God.
Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”—John 9:1-5 NLT
Then Jesus told him, “I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.”—John 9:39 NLT
CHRIST GIVES US ABUNDANT LIFE
Jesus promised us a ‘green pasture,’ that is a quality of life with an abundance of peace, joy, and righteousness. (Read Psalm 23.) Abundant life means life as God has it! It means you can have a relationship with God that makes you complete and satisfied. It speaks of freedom from everything that would hold you back from experiencing all that God has for you.
“Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” —John 10:9-10 NLT
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. —John 10:27-29 NLT
CHRIST RESURRECTS US OUT OF OUR GRAVE
Christ gives us the power to live a resurrected life. We were once dead in our sins but now we have been made alive to God. We can live a changed life, a new beginning, a life of power and victory. Jesus demonstrated this truth when He brought Lazarus back to life, even after days in the grave!
Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?” –John 11:25,26
Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in grave clothes, his face wrapped in a head cloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!” –John 11:43-44
WE MUST CHOOSE TO FOLLOW CHRIST
The bottom line to experiencing a resurrected life, an abundant life, a life of total freedom is to embrace Jesus by fully surrendering to His will for our lives. That requires us to deny ourselves, place Him on the throne of our heart and make Him the center of our life.
I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me. —John 12:24-26
THE KEY TO OUR FREEDOM
Jesus has demonstrated through the Gospels that He will meet all of our needs—spirit, soul, and body. The KEY to our freedom is surrendering our lives to Christ and making Jesus the Lord of our lives. We accept His authority over our lives when we embrace the Gospel truth. The Gospel truth is fully explained through the Apostle Paul’s New Testament letters to us.
Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” —John 8:31-32,36 NLT
The first twelve chapters of the Gospel of John present Jesus Christ as the one who is more than enough to meet all of our needs. Simple child like faith in His death and resurrection makes it possible for His grace and truth to bring freedom into our every day lives. As His children He wants to meet all of our needs completely! But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.—John 1:12 NLT
- The Scriptures say, “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.” Romans 10:9,10. NLT. What does it mean to receive Jesus Christ? What does it mean to believe on His Name?
- Share briefly what receiving Jesus Christ looked like for you. Were there difficulties to overcome? How might you explain to someone else how to receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord?
- As you heard the stories of Jesus in this lesson, did they reveal any areas of your life where you need His touch, His healing, His wisdom, His freedom? Share with the group an area of your life where you want to experience the freedom that Jesus gives.
- In every day life, what does it mean to acknowledge Jesus as Lord? Why do we talk about “surrendering” our lives to Him?
Read the first twelve chapters of the Gospel of John for yourself. Remember our Key Verse at the top of the page. Surrender your life to Jesus Christ and acknowledge your dependence on Him as Lord over every area of your life. Talk with Him about where you see the need for freedom.
Father, I thank you for the freedom you have given me through the life of Your Son, Jesus. I know that He died for me. My sins are forgiven and washed away! I declare that He whom the son sets free is free indeed! I am free from sin, free from bondage and addiction, free from my past. Lord, I put my life into your hands, in Jesus name!