The Tabernacle Scroll
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said “Then you will know the truth and the truth shall set you free”. They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves to anyone. How can you say that we shall be free?” (John 8:31,32, emphasis mine).
It is interesting to note in this passage that the ones who ‘believed in him’ were the same ones who could not understand that they needed to be set free! Why? The truth is that they were people who made a formal profession of their faith but were not true believers. The freedom that Jesus was talking about was freedom from sin. Yet, despite his specific reference to ‘slavery to sin’, they were so convinced of their own preconceptions that they did not hear what Jesus was saying. The reason for this, said Jesus, was because they didn’t belong to God! (See v.47). Whew!
As Christians it is important that we understand that God is not interested in us simply accumulating all the cold facts about him. Being knowledgeable in Scripture isn’t necessarily an indication of one’s closeness with God. God wants us to know him, not just know about him. Knowing Him involves relationship, and it is the only basis of a legitimate claim to being a ‘believer’. Does this mean that it is not important to know about Him? Certainly not! Knowing about Him (i.e., Doctrines) puts us in the place of having what is called positional truth. In other words, we have sufficient knowledge and understanding from an intellectual standpoint. But there is also what is called experiential truth. This is something that is established in our hearts as we engage in spiritual communion with God. With experiential truth, what we know about God in our heads is realized and confirmed in our hearts (e.g., God’s faithfulness). Both positional and experiential truths are essential elements of faith. To be a balanced Christian, one must not forsake either one!
Have you ever tried to imagine the awesomeness of a cyclone? You can attempt to get an understanding of it by consulting an encyclopedia, but all you are really doing is accumulating facts about it. It is one thing to know about it; it is quite another to experience its power. It’s the same in our relationship with God. We can read about Him, and we should! But our desire should be to experience Him. We must read the word of God; but we also must seek the God of the word! We need more than a head full of facts; we also need a heart full of faith.
Remember what Job said? “ I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eyes see you” (Job 42:5).
In closing let me say this: When we seek JESUS we are seeking TRUTH itself.
www.kerysso.org-Preach The Word with Pastor Joseph Rodrigues