Jesus Christ made it known that we have to abide in His Word in order to truly be His disciples. Throughout the Gospel of John Jesus distinguished between those who belonged to Him, and those who were His enemies by their receptivity to His Word. The Word that He spoke was given to Him from the Father, and those who rejected/reject what He says, also reject the very Word of God and so prove they do not have the life of God in them; they are dead in their trespasses and sins.
25 Then they said to Him, “Who are You?” And Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning. 26 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.” 27 They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father. 28 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. 29 And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” 30 As He spoke these words, many believed in Him. 31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:25-32
Jesus Christ is referring to the truth about Himself, and what He came to do on behalf of the sinner as disclosed in the following verses from the same passage.
33 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?’ 34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:33-36
10 As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 There is none who understands: There is none who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” 13 “Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit”; “The poison of asps in under their lips”; 14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways; 17 And the way of peace they have not known.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Romans 3:10-18
This passage perfectly explains why the Jews were so hostile to Christ, they were sinners who were not even interested in seeking after God. If they had been, they would have recognized the King of glory. So these slaves of sin, were in bondage to sin, and so were not members of the household of God, but were actually following the dictates of their father, the devil, even though they were the physical seed of Abraham. What was true of the Jews is true of every sinner.
37 “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.” 39 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. 40 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. 41 You do the deeds of your father.” Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.” 42 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. 43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 44 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. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And If I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”
The Jews were unable to hear God’s Word because they were not of God. They didn’t know God. They studied the Scriptures, but they didn’t believe the Scriptures, and they had more confidence in the word of man than they did in the Word of God. They followed their own man-made traditions that took the place of the commandments of God, and they taught others to do likewise. They couldn’t come to Christ because they didn’t abide in, or believe and do, the truth and the commandments of God in the Scriptures. Most today, who claim to be Christians, are just like the Jews, they prefer the word of men to the Word of God.
37 “And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. 38 But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. 39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to me that you may have life. 41 I do not receive honor from men. 42 But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. 43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. 44 How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” John 5:37-47
This following passage out of Deuteronomy is a passage that Jesus was referring to when He said they didn’t believe what Moses wrote, so how could they believe what He said. Many today reject the veracity of the Scriptures, so how can they come to Jesus for eternal life?
15 “The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, 16 according to all you desired of the Lord your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’ 17 And the Lord said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good. 18 I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. 19 And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.’” Deuteronomy 18:15-19
So the Father in Heaven gave Jesus the very words that He should speak, and these words are the truth. The goal of the words given to Christ by the Father is eternal life for all who will hear Him and believe what He has said.
24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” John 5:24
48 “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. 49 For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. 50 And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak. John 12:48-50
Returning to the passage from John chapter eight, the Jews were not able to accept what Jesus said, and they instead blasphemed Him. Jesus again reiterated that He has the words of eternal life and those who His Word will never see death. Many today profess to follow Jesus, but the reject His Word don’t know Him. Many within the visible church, just like these Jews, refuse to believe that Jesus is Who He says He is, and so they blaspheme the glorious Son of God.
48 Then the Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. 50 And I do not seek My own glory; there is One who seeks and judges. 51 Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.” John 8:48-51
How does the Son of God, Jesus Christ, make sinners free and give them eternal life? By His propitiatory work which He did when He died upon the cross taking the punishment that we deserve, appeasing God’s wrath, taking away the judgment of the Law that stood against us and justified us in the sight of God the Father who sent Jesus for this very purpose, that He might die in our stead taking our punishment, and rise again from the dead for our justification so that Jesus redeems for Himself a people for His very own possession, zealous for good deeds.
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 27 Where is the boasting them? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. Romans 3:19-28
If we truly want to abide in Christ, and follow Him, then we must know His Word, the Bible. This is the distinguishing trait of all those who are in Christ Jesus, they know, believe and obey what He has told us in the Bible. Be very careful, make sure that you aren’t following the words and works of any other, for they are counterfeits and you will end up in the Lake of Fire which burns for eternity. Make sure you know and are obeying the Word of God, for it is given to us to lead us to Jesus that we may know Him and have eternal life. Make sure what you believe is founded securely on the Scriptures, and if any teach contrary to the Bible, turn away from them! We don’t have to follow any person, whatever their label; teacher, preacher, pope, reformer, priest, pastor, prophet, missionary, etc. There is only One Whom we must follow and that is Jesus Christ. Beware; if anyone comes to you and does not hold fast to the integrity of the Bible, then turn away from them. It is better to be well-versed in the Scriptures than in any work of man that is extant. If you follow men you will be deceived; if you follow Christ you will be saved.
10 He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. 11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. 1 John 5:10-13
Lord Jesus Christ, please keep us abiding in You, by studying and knowing Your Word, by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, to the glory of God the Father. Amen!