Is Your Father the Devil?

John 8:31-36 ESV

“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ They answered him, ‘We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, “You will become free”?’

“Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.’”

There were Jews who were listening to Jesus speaking, and it says here that they believed him. But as we continue reading Jesus’ conversation with them, we come to realize that whatever it was they believed, they did not believe in Jesus Christ to be their Lord and Messiah, and they obviously did not believe all his words. But Jesus knew what was in their hearts. He knew, when he continued speaking, what they believed, in truth, and what they didn’t believe, in reality. For what we believe is evidenced by what we do.

So, Jesus spoke accordingly to them, and he let them know what it meant to be one of his disciples (followers). We have to abide in (comply with, obey, follow, keep to, conform to, continue in, and remain in) his Word. And then we will know the truth. And this is absolutely true! Many professing Christians today do not know the Scriptures, and so they are easy targets to be deceived, because they are not continuing in the Scriptures, in conformity to the Word, in obedience to the Lord, and in submission to God’s will.

But if we do obey the Word of God under the New Covenant, and if we comply with what the word teaches us, and if we continue in the Scriptures, then we will know the truth and the truth will set us free. Free from what? From sin, from deception, from self-will, and from pride, etc., if our knowing of the Scriptures is via experience and not just from head knowledge. For there are many people who have knowledge of the Scriptures, but they are not walking in freedom from sin, because they are not practicing the Word.

But the Jews’ response to Jesus was that they were the offspring of Abraham and that they had never been enslaved to anyone. So, they didn’t see why Jesus was telling them that the truth would set them free, because they didn’t see that they needed to be freed from anything or anyone. So, Jesus spoke plainly to them when he told them that everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin, and so they needed Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to set them free from their slavery to sin.

Now we don’t become free from sin based merely on a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. We must be crucified with Christ in death to sin and raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, no longer as slaves to sin, but now as slaves to God and to his righteousness. Thus, we are not to let sin reign in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions. For we are slaves of the one we obey. So if sin is what we obey, it leads to death, not to life eternal. But if obedience to God is what we obey, that leads to righteousness and to sanctification, and its end is eternal life (Romans 6:1-23).

John 8:42-47 ESV

“Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.’”

Now, there was more conversation that ensued between Jesus and these Jews. He told them that he knew they were seeking to kill him because his word found no place in them. And he let them know that their father was not the same as Jesus’ Father. First they claimed that Abraham was their father, and then they said they had one Father – even God. But Jesus’ response to them was that if God was truly their Father, they would love Jesus, for he came from God. And this is still true today. Those who do not love (obey) Jesus Christ do not know God as their Father.

And then he told them plainly that they were of their father, the devil, and their will was to do their father’s (the devil’s) desires. Wow! How is it that so many professing Christians today totally miss this about Jesus Christ? Jesus didn’t just go around buddying up with everyone, being their best pal, and making nice conversation with everyone so that they would like him. Jesus often spoke the hard truth, because it is the truth which sets people free. The lies do not set people free. The lies leave people enslaved to sin. Yet, many professing Christians are believing the lies and rejecting the truth.

And who do lies originate with? The devil. So, if you are believing the lies, you are believing the devil, not Jesus. And if you are rejecting the truth, then you are rejecting Jesus, even if you claim to believe in him. And I don’t fault you if you don’t know any better, and I pray God will open your eyes. But so many professing Christians should know better, and do know better, and yet they want to believe the lies and not the truth because the lies feel better and the truth hurts sometimes. And so even if the truth is told to these people, they refuse the truth in favor of the lies.

And so, if we are ones who are speaking the truth of God’s word to the people, then we are often being treated just like the Jews treated Jesus, and by those claiming to believe in the same God we do, and even by many who claim Jesus as their Lord and Savior. And it is because they are believing the lies which are telling them to reject the truth, and so they stop up their ears and they refuse to listen to the truth because they have now been brainwashed into exchanging the truth for lies, accepting the lies as truth.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer

Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

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