How the Truth Sets Us Free
1 On a certain occasion, Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) He was speaking of a freedom that surpasses mere civil liberties, a freedom that is available to all—rich or poor, educated or uneducated. Jesus taught truth that would bring freedom from bondage to sin and death. As Jesus explained, “every doer of sin is a slave of sin.” (John 8:34) How we do long for the time when all obedient humans “will be set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God”!—Rom. 8:21.
2 The truth regarding Jesus and his role in the outworking of God’s purpose brings such freedom. It includes knowledge about the ransom sacrifice that he gave in our behalf. (Rom. 3:24) Even now, accepting and obediently submitting to Bible truth enables us to enjoy a measure of freedom from fear, despair, and all sorts of harmful practices.
3 Freedom From Fear and Despair: We need not despair over world conditions because we understand why wickedness exists and we know that it will soon be wiped off the earth. (Ps. 37:10, 11; 2 Tim. 3:1; Rev. 12:12) Furthermore, the truth frees us from false teachings about the condition of the dead. We know that the dead cannot harm us, that they are not suffering eternal torment, and that God does not take people in death just to have them with him in the spirit realm.—Eccl. 9:5; Acts 24:15.
4 Such truth sustained a father and a mother when their child was killed in an accident. “There is a void in our lives that cannot be filled until we see our son again by means of the resurrection,” said the mother. “But we know our pain is only temporary.”
5 Freedom From Harmful Practices: Bible truth can transform a person’s thinking and personality, resulting in freedom from avoidable problems. (Eph. 4:20-24) Practicing honesty and industriousness can help alleviate poverty. (Prov. 13:4) Showing self-sacrificing love improves relationships with others. (Col. 3:13, 14) Respecting Christian headship minimizes family difficulties. (Eph. 5:33–6:1) Avoiding drunkenness, sexual immorality, tobacco, and addictive drugs promotes good health.—Prov. 7:21-23; 23:29, 30; 2 Cor. 7:1.
6 A young man had been unable to break a nine-year addiction to drugs. One day he met a publisher engaged in street witnessing. He accepted literature, and arrangements were made to call on him at his home. A Bible study was started. Two months later the man stopped using drugs altogether, and after eight months of study, he was baptized. Seeing him break free from his addiction prompted his brother and sister-in-law to start studying the Bible.
7 Help Others Gain Freedom: Those who have been lifelong captives to false teachings may find it difficult to comprehend the freedom offered by God’s Word. Reaching their hearts may require special diligence and good preparation on the part of the teacher. (2 Tim. 4:2, 5) This is no time to slow down in our work of ‘proclaiming liberty to those taken captive.’ (Isa. 61:1) Christian freedom is precious, for it leads to everlasting life.—1 Tim. 4:16.