The Gospel of John Commentary Chapters 1-11 (by chapter)

John 8 - Jesus: our Deliverer from sin, satan and death

This happens soon after Tabernacles AD 32 in Jerusalem.

v1-11 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Now early in the morning He came again into the Temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. 

Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. 
And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?" This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him.

But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first." And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. 

And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, "Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?" She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more." 

v12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world.      He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." 

v13 The Pharisees therefore said to Him, 
"You bear witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true."

v14,15 Jesus answered and said to them, "Even if I bear witness of Myself 
My witness is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; 
but you do not know where I come from and where I am going. You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 
v16 And yet if I do judge, My judgement is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me. 
v17 It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true. 
v18 I am One who bears witness of Myself, 
and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me." 

v19 Then they said to Him, "Where is Your Father?" 
Jesus answered, "You know neither Me nor My Father. 
If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also." 

v20 These words Jesus spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the Temple; 
and no one laid hands on Him, for His hour had not yet come. 

v21 Then Jesus said to them again, "I am going away, and you will seek Me, 
and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come." 

v22 So the Jews said, "Will He kill Himself, because He says, "Where I go you cannot come'?" 

v23 And He said to them, "You are from beneath; I am from above. 
You are of this world; I am not of this world. 
v24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; 
for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." 

v25 Then they said to Him, "Who are You?"   And Jesus said to them, "Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning. 
v26 I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him." 

v27 They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father. 

v28,29 Then Jesus said to them, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him." 

v30 As He spoke these words, many believed in Him. 

v31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, 
"If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 
v32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." 

v33 They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, "You will be made free'?" 

v34-36 Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, 
whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 
And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. 

v37,38 "I know that you are Abraham's descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father" 

v39-41 They answered and said to Him, "Abraham is our father." 
Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. You do the deeds of your father." Then they said to Him,"We were not born of fornication; we have one Father-God" 

v42-44 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, 
for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, 
but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 
v45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 

v46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 

v47 He who is of God hears God's words; 
therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God." 

v48 Then the Jews answered and said to Him, "Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?" 

v49,50 Jesus answered, "I do not have a demon; but I honour My Father, and you dishonour Me. And I do not seek My own glory; there is One who seeks and judges. 
v51 Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word, he shall never see death." 

v52,53 Then the Jews said to Him, "Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, 
"If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.' 
Are You greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? 
And the prophets are dead. Who do You make Yourself out to be?" 

v54 Jesus answered, "If I honour Myself, My honour is nothing. 
It is My Father who honours Me, of whom you say that He is your God. 
v55,56 Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, "I do not know Him,' I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word. 
Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." 

v57 Then the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?"

v58 Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." 

v59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

“If the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed”
 (v36). 
Jesus is the One who came to set us free from sin (see v34): 
(1) From the Penalty and Curse of sin (spiritual and eternal death), 
(2) from the Power of sin, and 
(3) finally even from the Presence of Sin (at the resurrection of our bodies)

The Woman Caught in Adultery: 
This story illustrates how Jesus saves us from the penalty and power of sin. 
The Test: “Now early in the morning He came again into the Temple and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them.Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery (where is the man?!). And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?" This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him” (v2-6a). 

The Woman was clearly guilty, this was never disputed, even by her. Perhaps, with her husband away, she had got caught up in the excitement of the Feast. The Men were not on a moral crusade, cleaning up the streets of Jerusalem out of love for the Lord or zeal for the Law. If this was so, where was the guilty man? Neither did they have any concern for the woman, as they shamed her before the crowd. They could not care less about her. She was trash to them. Their only interest was to use the woman as bait to discredit Jesus. They were cleverly trapping Him between ‘the horns of a dilemma’:

The Test: (1) If He agreed with Moses, and said “stone her”, He would be in trouble with the Romans, who reserved the power of capital punishment to themselves. Moreover He would lose His popularity with the people as the One who has mercy on sinners (it was this popularity with the crowds that restrained the Jewish leaders from moving against Jesus to arrest Him)
(2) But if on the other hand, He let her off, He will clearly be 
contradicting Moses and would therefore be discredited as a false teacher. So, while they were apparently putting her on trial, they were really putting Jesus on trial. But He will turn it around and put them on trial!

“But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground 
with His finger, 
(their sins as a record against them) as though He did not hear”(v6b). 
He was drawing attention away from the woman to himself. Some manuscripts say He was writing down the sins of her accusers and I think that has to be right. The word used for ‘wrote’ can be used for writing a record against someone. I imagine Him looking at each man in turn and writing down their key sin, by a word of knowledge. For one it might be a mistress, for another a secret sin, for another something they had done that their peers knew about. The suspense was building! Under Roman law, the judge would write His verdict before speaking it. Jesus was saying to them: “OK, you want be to be the judge, I will be your judge. Let me write down the charges against you!” 

“So when they continued asking Him 
(they kept pushing for His answer, because they thought they had Him trapped, although I think they gradually got quieter it dawned upon them that one by one He was nailing them (their sins were being exposed) from the eldest to the youngest) 
He raised Himself up (as a Judge delivering His verdict, for while the Jews sat to teach, they stood to proclaim) and said to them, 
"He who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone" (v7). 

So, He agreed with Moses that the sin was worthy of death (Jesus does not MINIMISE SIN. He upheld the Law). But He caused the men to examine themselves rather than judge the woman, for they were sinners also deserving of death. When we want to throw stones at others, Jesus tells us to examine ourselves first and make sure our motives are right. If we are perfect, then we will have the right to judge.

“And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground” (v8). Having forced them to examine themselves, He gave them time to think, while he continued to write out their sins. “Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last.” This was amazing. He had turned the tables on them and brought them into judgement. They found themselves guilty before the Judge, their sins exposed.     Not one could say he was sinless and so they were disqualified from being her judge and executioner. They were also afraid of further exposure. Now there was only One who was qualified to be her Judge and executioner, because He (Jesus) was sinless: “And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst” (v9). 

“When Jesus had raised Himself up 
(to make His judgement) and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, "Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?" (v10). 

She said, "No one, Lord." This shows her faith in Him and herwillingness to live His way for she called him ‘Lord’. “And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more" (v11). 

How could Jesus not apply the Law by having her sentenced to death? How could He forgive her and show her mercy when justice had to be satisfied. Was the Law wrong, which revealed that God’s Justice required such sin to be punished by death? No, the Law is righteous:“the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Her sin deserved death, and Jesus came to fulfil the law. He could only show mercy because of the Cross, which was set for 6 months time. For then the woman’s sin would be put on Jesus, and He would die as a substitute in her place. He paid the just penalty of death for her and for our sins too. The Cross was a certainty in God’s mind even before it happened. That is why He could forgive her and give her a second chance. He saw the work of the Cross when He said those wonderful words:"Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more." He is the God of the Second Chance!  These are great words that He says to us when we come and confess our sin.

1. He first delivers us from the Penalty of Sin

“Neither do I condemn you.” Remember it is only His verdict that counts, for ultimately He is the only one with the right to judge us. 

2. Then, He delivers us from the Power of Sin by saying: “go and sin no more.” “Leave your life of sin, I set you free by the power of My word to live a new life in Me.” By these words Jesus shows that when He forgives us, He is not saying it is OK to sin. Sin is a serious matter and forgiveness is a costly matter. He had to die to pay for our forgiveness. By commanding us: ‘Sin no more’, He shows that He expects us to turn from sin and live different. This means He must give us a new power, that enables us to overcome the power of sin. He does not just forgive us, but imparts to us a new-life that replaces the old ways. We are enabled to live this life (as the woman was) by hearing His Word: “go and sin no more”, and then by living by faith in that word and in the power He provides. 

So when we trust in Jesus, confessing Him as our Lord, He first sets us free from the penalty of sin.   He says to us: “Neither do I condemn you.”    We are forgiven.  This is Justification. 

Moreover our spirits are reborn. We are born of God, New-Creations in Christ, made with Hiss pure (resurrection) life and light- that has already overcome sin, death and satan. We were spiritually dead, under the power of sin (the sin-nature in our flesh inherited from Adam), but now we are made alive with Christ’s life and (love) nature.    We are not just forgiven, but we are freed by receiving His life within. This is Regeneration. 

Our spirits are free from the power of sin, but in order for us to live free, we have to live (abide) in His Word. That’s why He gave her His word, that she was forgiven and able to walk free from sin in the power of a new-life: "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more." The power was in His Word for her to live and stay free, as she abided and meditated in it.

He says the same to us. There is power in His Word. As we meditate on it, our self-image changes, and we receive the faith needed to hook up with the power of God, and live by the New-Creation life within, in which we automatically overcome sin and satan. This is Sanctification. 

First, the Son sets us free from sin’s penalty and power, making us spiritually alive by the New-Birth: “If the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed” (v36). 
Then, He gives us His Word, to renew our minds (self-image) and impart the faith that enables us to live in the reality of this new-life and freedom: 

“Jesus said to those who believed Him, 
"(1) If you abide (take up your home) in My Word, you are My disciples indeed. 
(2) And you shall know the truth (of the Word) and the truth (you know) shall set you free (from sin and curse)" (v31,32) Let the Word fill your thoughts for then the truth (reality) of who you are in Christ will dawn upon and grow within you, and you will live from your reborn spirit in the power of the Spirit, and not from the power, motivation and independence of the flesh. You will find yourself living free from the power of sin. Jesus has set us free, but to live free from sin we must KNOW the truth revealed in His Word.

Believe and Confess (see Romans 5:5; 6:1-11, 2Cor 5:17,21; Col 1:13): 
“I am a New Creation in Christ. I am born of God. 
I am no longer a child of satan, but I am a child of God. 
Christ’s life and love-nature is in me. 
I am the righteousness of God in Christ. 
I have been delivered from the kingdom of darkness 
and translated into the kingdom of God. 
I can do all things through Christ who infuses me with his strength. 

God’s mighty power is working within me, the same power that worked in Christ when God raised him from the dead and exalted Him far above all principality and power and every name that is named. 
My spirit is risen with the resurrection life of Christ above the 
power of sin. I am alive to God and dead to sin. I have been set free from the power of sin. I am no longer under its dominion.”

We have seen that Jesus is our Saviour from the penalty, curse and power of sin, as illustrated in the story of the woman caught in adultery, when he told her: “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.” He followed this with the claim that He is man’s only true liberator from sin, satan and death: “If the Son sets you free (from sin’s penalty and power), you shall be free indeed” (v36). This time, we will see from John 8, how Jesus describes the problem of sin, and how He is the only Solution.

The PROBLEM of SIN revealed. The picture Jesus paints in John 8 is of the world walking in the darkness of sin. People are lost and do not know the way. Sin, like a disease has infected all men, corrupting their nature, making them slaves of sin. They are under the curse and penalty of sin (spiritual and eternal death). He is in the kingdom of darkness ruled over by satan. So when He says: “If the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed” (v36) - this is what He is setting us free from.

1. Man is a SLAVE TO SIN. 
When Jesus said He had come to set them free (v31,32), the Jews said, "We are Abraham's descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone (only to Egypt, Rome, Babylon, Assyria etc !!!). How can You say, "You will be made free'?" (v33) “Jesus answered them, "Surely, surely, I say to you, whoever commits SIN is a slave of SIN” (v34).

2. Man is under the PENALTY OF SIN (DEATH). 

Jesus gave this warning: "I am going away, and you will seek Me (the Messiah), and will die in your sin (because they rejected the only One Saviour). Where I go (Heaven) you cannot come” (v21). “So the Jews said, "Will He kill Himself, because He says, "Where I go you cannot come'?" (v22). They misunderstood Him but He was saying that to reject Him is to reject  salvation from sin. It’s like rejecting a doctor who has the only antidote for some poison you have in your blood from a deadly bite (you have to believe him and receive the cure or you are dead). 

“You will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins" (v24) 
“A slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever” (v35). 

Slaves of sin (even if Jewish) can’t abide in God’s House forever, they’ll be excluded from God’s Kingdom (eternal death). Only sons have eternal life, because by nature they belong in God’s House. To be saved slaves must become sons (of God).

3. Man is in the KINGDOM OF SATAN.
 
"You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world" (v23).  
“Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins" (v24). 
As God is the Head of His spiritual Family, who share His Nature (righteousness, love and truth), so satan is the spiritual head of his family or kingdom, who share his nature (sin, hatred and deceit). 

Jesus said that their spiritual father was the devil and their life proved it, because of their murder and lies. If God was their spiritual Father they would show His nature in their lives and love Jesus. If Abraham was their father, they would believe and do the works of Abraham: "I know that you are Abraham's descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father (He leaves them a puzzle, who is their father if it is not God?)."

They answered and said to Him, "Abraham is our father." 

Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this” (v37-40). 
He says: “Wrong answer. Abraham is not your spiritual father, for your lifestyle and works reveal who your spiritual father really is.” 

But, Jesus said: “You do the deeds of your (real) father (again He leaves them hanging with this puzzle as to who is their real spiritual father). 

Then they said to Him (again they try and supply the answer, for they deduce that if it not Abraham then it must be God): 
"We were not born of fornication; we have one Father-even-God" (v41).     This had a double meaning. First, they were not like Gentiles born outside of a (Marriage) Covenant with God. Therefore they as individual Jews were true children born of Mother Israel and Father God. However, there was also a veiled insult to Jesus here that Joseph was not the father of Jesus, and therefore they insinuated He was born of fornication, so who was He to speak to them like this.

Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word” (v42,43). He was saying: “Wrong answer again! If God was your Father, we would be family as I am His Son and you would love Me, but you hate Me. We would talk the same language and be on the same wavelength, but you don’t understand Me).” 

Now He gives them the right answer: “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do 
He was (1) a murderer from the beginning, 
and (2) does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of it (they were acting like their father in (1) planning to kill him and (2) lying about it, by denying it). But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me” (v44,45). 
 
 
Our lifestyle and works reveal who our real spiritual father is. 

JESUS - OUR ONLY SAVIOUR FROM SIN 

Having revealed the PROBLEM of sin, death and satan, now let us look at the SOLUTION as revealed in John 8. His Name is Jesus!

1. JESUS claimed to be God, the ‘I AM
’ - for He has to be God in order to be able to save us (for nothing less could do). This is what He claimed of Himself in John 8, and as a result they tried to stone Him: "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, ‘I AM’Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by" (v58,59). 

The central claim of Jesus in John 8 is in verse 12, where He claimed to be the Light that shines in the darkness of the world: “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I AM the LIGHT of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." This is one of His ‘I AM’ claims of Deity, for only God can rescue us from the darkness of sin and death. 

Four other times in John 8, He makes this claim of Deity. 
(i) “For if you do not believe that ‘I AM’ (not just: ‘I am he” as in some translations, but the ‘I AM’), you will die in your sins” (v24). This is a crucial revelation because only the God-man can save us from sin and we must believe upon Jesus as Lord (God) to be saved. 

(ii) "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that ‘I AM’ (v28).  
His claims of Deity are confirmed by the resurrection. 

(iii) “Then they said to Him, "Who are You?" Jesus said to them: "The Beginning (the Alpha, the Source, the ‘I AM’): just as I have been saying to you” (v25, this is a difficult verse retranslated literally.  This is another claim to full Deity). 

(iv) "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM" (v58). 

The Jewish leaders knew what He was claiming and challenged Him.
“The Pharisees therefore said to Him, "You bear witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true" (v13). They are twisting a legal rule here that a man in a Jewish court cannot testify of himself and his character, to try and deny His right to declare who He is (see 5:31)  However Christ’s testimony to Himself is valid, as it is based on His perfect self-knowledge: “Jesus answered and said to them, "Even if I bear witness of Myself My witness is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from and where I am going. You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one” (
v14,15). 

He also has the Father’s testimony supporting Him (v16-18).
“And yet if I do judge, My judgement is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me. It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true. I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me." This testimony is manifested through the WORD (the prophetic scriptures of Christ), and through His WORKS (His miracles, especially His resurrection from the dead on the third day (Romans 1:4). 

“Then they said to Him, "Where is Your Father?" 
Jesus answered, "You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also" (
v19). Their ignorance and rejection of the Father’s testimony only revealed their own spiritual state.   

“Then the Jews answered and said to Him, "Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?" Jesus answered, "I do not have a demon; but I honour My Father, and you dishonour Me (God). And I do not seek My own glory; there is One who seeks and judges”(v48-50).  

Then Jesus reasserted His claim to Deity: “Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My Word he shall never see death" (v51). 
He is claiming power over death, which belongs to God alone. Jesus will ultimately prove His claims by His resurrection, but it was important that He established these claims in advance during His life, which adds the further proof of fulfilled prophecy. 

Then the Jews said to Him, "Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, "If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.' Are You greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? And the prophets (who) are dead. Who do You make Yourself out to be?" (v52,53). 

Jesus answered, "If I honour Myself, My honour is nothing. It is My Father who honours Me, of whom you say that He is your God (
v54). Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him (from eternity).   And if I say, "I do not know Him,' I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word” (v55).

Jesus now answers their question as to whether He was greater than Abraham, using it to reassert His claim to Deity: “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day (the day of the Messiah), and he saw it (in a vision, and through the eyes of faith) and was glad (because he saw that Messiah would bring salvation to all nations)" (v56). God revealed to Abraham the Coming of the Messiah (Galatians 3:8, see Genesis 15:1-6, 22:8,13,14). By saying that Abraham saw ‘My day’ this was a clear claim to be the Messiah. Also Jesus spoke as if He personally witnessed this event (which He did), which implies His pre-existence. 

“Then the Jews said to Him (realising He was claiming to have seen Abraham), "You are not yet fifty years old (actually He had just past His 33rd Birthday which was at Tabernacles 33 AD), and have You seen Abraham?" (v57). Jesus said to them: "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM" (v58). 

Then they took up stones to throw at Him (for claiming to be God, but according to their own scriptures the Messiah would be the unique God-man (Isa 7:14, 9:6), so when He came they should not have been shocked at Him claiming this for Himself!); but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by” (v59) 

2. He had to be a man free from sin Himself, in order to set us free.
 Jesus claimed to always live in the presence of the Father, depending on Him and obeying Him in all things, always doing what pleased Him: 
“I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him." They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father. Then Jesus said to them, "When you lift up the son of man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him"  (v26-29, see also v55). 

“Which of you convicts Me of sin?” (Silence, even His enemies could not point to any character flaw in Him or anything He has done wrong). “And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?” (Silence) (v46). “He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God" (v47).

Only a Freeman can set a slave free, not another slave. 
“Whoever commits sin is a SLAVE of sin” (v34), but “if the SON sets you free, you shall be free indeed” (v36). He is saying that all men have sinned and are slaves (of sin), but He is the Son and not a slave (He is sinless), and therefore has the power to set us free. How is it possible for Jesus to be born a man, yet have no sin? We all inherit a sin-nature (in the flesh) from Adam through our natural father, so all men are born slaves of sin (in the flesh). But Jesus had a Virgin Birth (no human father), and so was not born a slave of the sin-nature.
 

3. To confirm His words and complete His work of salvation, He had to die and rise again. 

"When you lift up the Son of Man (on the Cross), then you will know that I AM (by the witness of the Father in the resurrection), and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things” (v28). 

In His death and resurrection, He saved us from sin, satan and death.  Therefore: “if the SON sets you free, you shall be free indeed.” Our sin (sin-nature) along with every consequence and curse of sin was put on Christ and judged. He rose victorious over sin, satan and death and released the blessing of abundant and eternal life to us, by which we overcome. Thus He reversed the curse, giving us life instead of death: “Surely, surely, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death (He broke the power of sin and death)" (v51).

HOW CAN I BE FREE?
 
Jesus is the only One with the cure for sin but we have to receive it. 


1. Receive Christ - and be born again. Jesus said, 
"Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits SIN is a slave of SIN. 
And a SLAVE does not abide in the house (God’s Kingdom) forever (this means eternal death, exclusion from God’s Kingdom), but a SON abides forever (you have to become a child of God to be saved,
 you must be reborn as a son of God to receive eternal life in the Kingdom and a new nature that is free from sin). 
Therefore if the SON sets you free, you shall be free indeed” (v34-36).  

Only the Son (Jesus) can change you from a slave to a son. 

He promised to do this in v12: "I AM the LIGHT of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." 
The setting for this great claim is ‘the Treasury (in the Women’s Court) of the Temple’: “These words Jesus spoke in the Treasury, as He taught in the Temple; and no one laid hands on Him, for His hour had not yet come” (v20)

 During Tabernacles (which had just ended), four massive Menorah stood in the Women’s Court and illuminated all Jerusalem at night.  This was a prophetic picture of the Messiah who would be the Light of the world. Jesus now claimed to be ‘the Light’ shining in the darkness ‘of the world.’ “Jesus is the true Light, which, coming into the world, gives light to every man” (1:9). 

He said: “He who follows Me (Jesus) shall not walk in darkness.”  When we turn to Jesus you receive His nature (sonship), and so come out of the darkness of  sin and death in satan’s kingdom into the light of love and holiness, walking in the light of His Word. So, we can now walk by the light of His life, love and holiness (within) and His Word (without). 

He promised we would “have the light of life.” We would not just have His light to show us the way, but we would receive and possess‘the light of life’ within - we would be a light, radiating His life (c.f. John 7:37). This is the New-Birth! His life comes into us and shines within us and through us. “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men”(Jn 1:4). We have a new life-source of light within! Before, our old spirit-man was under the dominion of the sin-nature in the flesh, but in Christ our spirit is reborn, we are a New-Creation, a New Man (this is the real me!). 

A Paraphrase of Romans 6:1-11 describing the radical change brought about by our New Birth in Christ.  The sin-nature is still in our flesh (and will be until the resurrection). The old-(spirit) man was under its power, but our new-man (our reborn spirit) has risen above it, since it is united to the resurrected life of Christ which has already overcome sin, satan and death. So, the ‘real me’, the New-Creation Man has already overcome sin:

“Our Old-Man (spirit) died with Christ, and so now we are freed from sin, because sin and satan has no power over the New Man. We were put into Christ, and so when He died and was buried, our Old-Man also died and was buried with Him, and as Christ was raised from death by the power of a new-life, our spirit was raised with Him. Thus our New-Man consists of His resurrection life and nature. The Old-Man was crucified with Him, so that the body of sin (the sin-nature) might be rendered inoperative (no longer slaves of sin). The New-Man is risen above sin. The real me has already overcome sin. Sin no longer has dominion over us. The New-Man has Christ’s resurrection life and so is no longer subject to death. The life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise we reckon ourselves as dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ.” 

2. Walk in the Word, in the truth of the revelation of who you are in Christ.  “As He spoke these words, many believed in Him” (v30).Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him (this is teaching for believers)

"(1) If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 
(2) And you shall know the truth, and 
(3) the truth (you know) shall set you free (from sin and curse)" (v31,32) 

 This is for teaching believers who have been born-again and set free. They now need to study the Word to know the truth of Christ has done for and in them, so that they can live free. He tells us to abide (take up our home) in the Word, letting it fill and control our thoughts and the truth (reality) of who we are will grow and we will live out from our reborn spirit rather than our flesh. We will find ourselves free from the power of sin.

Imagine you are a slave set free and now you are a son in the house. The slave-master (sin) is still present. He may still call to you and try to tell you what to do, but you don’t have to respond - he has no more dominion over you, no more right to boss you. Now if you don’t ‘know the truth’ of what has happened to you and who you are now (for the Son has set you free by making you a son, giving you His life and nature as well as authority over sin and satan), you can still have a slave-mentality and obey the slave-master. 

But if you know the truth (Romans 6:3,6,11), you can rise up, when sin calls, and say: “I’m no longer a slave but a son. I’m not under your control. Now you are under my authority. Yes, I acted that way before but that’s not the real me. 
I am a new Creation, I am the righteousness of God in Christ, alive to God and filled with His love” (2Cor 5:17,21; Romans 5:5, 6:11). 

A Paraphrase of John 8:31,32,36:
 
“The Son has set me free indeed, and because I know (from the Word) this truth that the Son has set me free (by the New Birth), by faith in this truth, I now live and walk free from the condemnation and power of sin and its curse. 

The truth is that I have a new nature (I am a new man) 
and have a new power to live life unto God (I have a new-life). 

By believing and acting on this truth, I experience the reality of it in my life, 
the reality of the power of God to live a new-lifestyle. I can enjoy this freedom to be who I am in Christ. 

 

Thus (1) the Son has set me free (giving me a new nature and a new spirit-life that is free from sin) and (2) knowing this truth sets me free, releasing me to live a new lifestyle that’s free from sin.” 

Thus both the Son and His Truth (Word) set me free. Both are necessary. 
(1) The Son sets us free by His death, resurrection, regeneration and life-impartation. I must have His direct power in the New-Birth and His ongoing supply of the Holy-Spirit. 

(2) Revelation of His Word sets me free. I must know the truth of His Word, so that I can walk by faith in (1) and experience its reality. 

(1) First the Son sets me free from sin in my inner man by the New Birth, 
changing my nature from a slave to a son. 

(2) Then, His Word enables me to live in the reality and freedom of this new-life. 
The truth sets me free from sin in my walk and talk, for knowing it enables me to live free. 

These two points correspond to the God and Man sides of sanctification: 
(1) God must do it. Only God can set us free from sin. 
(2) Man (by using his freewill co-operation) must receive it, 
by believing it and walking in it (by faith in the Word). 

POSITIONAL TRUTH.
The personal teaching of Jesus Christ, as recorded in the Gospels is foundational to the New-Testament. The basis for the Doctrine of POSITIONAL TRUTH (Who we are in Christ through the New-Birth), which is found especially in the writings of the Apostle Paul, is John 8:31-36. Paul’s way of teaching sanctification by grace is to tell believers the TRUTH in Christ of what has been done for them and in them by God, and then urge them to act and live in the light of that, which in turn brings about the manifestation of the new-life within, causing us to be transformed from the inside out, and so become more like Jesus Christ in our character.

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