by Bill Denton#/“So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, If you continue in My word, [then] you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31,32)./# Zig Ziglar wrote about the famous escape artist, Harry Houdini, who boasted that he could escape from any jail cell in the country. Frequently, he demonstrated his amazing ability, but one time things went wrong. When the heavy door clanged shut, Houdini pulled out a piece of metal that had been concealed in his belt and started to pick the lock. For thirty minutes, he worked on the lock, but couldn’t get it open. An hour passed, and now he was bathed in sweat, but he still couldn’t pick the lock. Two hours went by, and he finally collapsed in frustration against the door he could not open. But as he fell against the door, it swung open. It had never been locked! In his mind it was locked, and that’s all it took to keep him “locked” in and frustrated. The bondage and imprisonment resulting from sin isn’t quite like Houdini’s jail cell, but it is very much like the imprisonment of the mind. Jesus knew that there is something about the truth that is freeing. His concern was specifically freedom from sin. Truth frees the mind from the captivity of sin. Sin is addicting. It enslaves the mind, captures thoughts, shapes the will, and directs behavior. It causes sin-captured people to say things like, “I don’t understand why I do these things.” It causes others to say about sin-captured people things like, “So-and-so is acting like he doesn’t have a brain in his head.” Such comments are merely a reflection of the fact that enslavement to sin warps the mind’s ability to think, choose, decide, or express itself in God-honoring ways. Truth frees us from such enslavement, thereby freeing the mind to function as God designed it. Truth frees from the burden of sin. Sin is a weight. It might be variously described as guilt, torment, sorrow, or some other term that speaks of the crushing, debilitating effects of sin on our lives. Guilt, for example, is a terrible burden to bear. It occupies the mind with memories of wrongs done. It dominates the emotions with pain, and either bruises the conscience into ever-present tenderness or sears it, making it impervious to reality. Truth frees by acting as a healing balm, not by trying to convince a person to deny guilt, but by providing forgiveness, redemption, and restoration. Truth frees from the hopelessness of sin. The deeper one gets into sin, the more bleak life looks. Get deep enough and sin will make it look like there is no escape, no way to find relief. Whenever a person comes to believe there is no hope, that person is in the most dangerous of all places. Loss of hope kills the mind’s ability to rise to the occasion, to seek answers and solutions, or even to see that there are better things available. Truth can counteract hopelessness by showing a person that what seems like an inescapable prison is not a securely locked cell at all. The truth will make you free. Of course, that means Jesus. If sin has you locked away, enslaved, burdened, and has made you hopeless, you need this message. “The truth will make you free.” Open the door. © Copyright 2001, Dr. Bill Denton All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.