John 8:32, Know the truth. “The truth shall make you free” is an often-quoted axiom, but few understand its deeper biblical implications. When Yeshua made this statement to Jews, what did he mean? To Yeshua what is truth? Two verses later, he mentions being a slave to sin. What is sin, and what does that have to do with truth? As many times as you’ve heard this axiom, have you heard anyone explain verse 32 in the larger context of Yeshua’s statement? We will now do so below.
We violate the sanctity of Scripture if we impose on it our own meanings. This is a cavalier and presumptuous approach to understanding the Bible and can hardly be called “rightly dividing the word of Elohim” (1 Tim 2:15).This practice often occurs with this verse. To do so is to twist the meaning of the Scriptures to fit our own human vicissitudes, agendas and biases. This is humanism and insults the mind, will and sovereignty of the Almighty as divinely revealed in his Holy Word.
To properly understand this verse, we must look solely to the Bible for the keys to understanding it. We can start this process by first asking the question, what is truth?
The Bible defines its own terms when it calls the Torah truth (Ps 119:142 and 151). The truth of Torah (i.e. the law of Moses) will set a person free, for when one hears and obeys the Torah, one ceases sinning (i.e. violating YHVH’s Torah-law; 1 John 3:4), and therefore doesn’t come under the penalty of the Torah-law’s judgment for breaking it, which the Bible calls sin and which leads (ultimately) to eternal death (Ezek 18:4; Rom 6:23). When one is not under the judgment of sin, one is free. With freedom comes life.
Yeshua the Messiah himself is also the truth (John 14:6), for he is the Living Torah-Word of Elohim (John 1:1, 14). When we place our trusting faith in Yeshua and follow him, his spiritual life in the form of his Set-Apart Spirit will then flow through us and empower us to walk away from sin and follow the spiritual light of his Torah, which will keep us sin-free. This is the path that leads us toward the ultimate freedom from eternal death resulting in everlasting life (John 8:52). As such, sin will no longer have any legal claim on us, and thus we will not come into condemnation, but will pass from death into everlasting life (John 5:24). This is possible because Yeshua has taken upon himself our past sins (Rom 3:25), paid the legal penalty of them, and wiped our spiritual slate clean and has given us a fresh start in life (Gal 2:20; 1 Cor 5:17) to walk sin-free (in accordance with his standards of righteousness, which is the Torah). This is the result of knowing the truth and experiencing the freedom that comes therefrom.
It’s astounding how so many people have been taught to believe the exact opposite of the truth—that the laws of Elohim will place you under bondage instead of setting you free!
Now that you have been set free from the traditions of men, which make of none effect the word of Elohim, you now have the freedom to understand the fuller, biblical meaning of Yeshua’s statement, “And you shall know the truth and it shall make you free.”