The truth as personified by Jesus does more for mankind than simply satisfy his curiosity about God or answer his troublesome questions. It does much more than simply promote a successful way of living. Jesus’ truth gives us:
- Freedom from intellectual bondage to the physical world. Truth broadens our vocabulary and our mental capacity to understand facts, and allows us to think beyond the physical into the spiritual.
- Freedom from spiritual darkness. Truth enlightens and empowers the individual so that he cannot be held spiritually captive by the weak and mundane ideas of men.
- Freedom from moral uncleanness. Truth raises our standard of behavior without law. It moves us to act in our own best interests and in the best interests of others without compulsion.
- Freedom from a sense of loneliness and isolation from one another. Truth promotes the realization of a worldwide fraternity, a united brotherhood of man.
- Freedom from a sense of loneliness and isolation from God. Truth enfranchises the individual as a faith son of God and a citizen of our vast universe.
- Freedom from the fear of extinction. Truth shows us the way to life, eternal life, the real life, in the heavenly realm after the physical body has been exhausted.
True freedom promotes spiritual independence, but not in the absolute sense. We continue to associate together, uplift one another and have an interchange of encouragement:
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
– Hebrews 10:24-25
The free children of God honor one another and recognize and respect our interrelationship as brothers and sisters. We demonstrate love for one another and seek each other’s advantage.
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.”
– 1 Corinthians 10:23-24
We deem it not a duty, but a privilege to use our God-given freedom in the service of one another.
Along that line, we recognize that as free children, we are to speak truth to one another. (Ephesians 4:25) We will not be afraid to let our light shine. We will think, act and live honestly, loyally, fearlessly and truthfully.
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
– Matthew 5:13-16
And when difficulties or differences of opinion arise, we should make it a point to engage and respond with kindness and respect:
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
– 1 Peter 3:15
How much better our relationships and our religious associations will be if we keep this counsel in mind! In fact, all of our associations will be improved by seeking truth and living the truth that we find. And how wonderful that the truth is so simple – it is Jesus Christ himself as articulated in his plain and open teachings! The accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry reveal that he was bold, yet respectful; courageous, but not reckless; enthusiastic, but not fanatical; emotional, but not flighty; imaginative, but always practical; unique, but not eccentric; pious, but not sanctimonious. He was so well-poised under every circumstance because he was so perfectly unified.
We, too, can develop these qualities in ourselves by getting to know the authentic Jesus and allowing the Spirit of Truth to guide us ‘into all truth.’ When we do, we will truly be free and we stand as one in Christ.