So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
(John 8:31-32 ESV)
I have never really understood the type of Christianity that teaches that you can ‘accept’ Jesus without following him. Some say,” just repeat this prayer and you will go to Heaven.” But true salvation requires genuine trust in Jesus, and turning from your own way of life to follow him. I do understand what it means to become spiritually dry, and the feeling of distance from God because of my own sin. Sin and rebellion against God causes a hardness in our hearts and has a negative effect on our relationship with Him and others.
Following Jesus puts us on the path of life and causes us to walk in the light. Spiritual darkness will have you perceiving evil things as good and good things as evil. Walking in the light allows you to learn from Jesus, and to see life from a Biblical or Kingdom perspective. You will be empowered to spiritually discern what is going on around you, and in the culture in general.
Jesus made a startling statement,, “unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” (John 8:24) This belief is much more than mere head knowledge or intellectual assent, this is trusting Jesus in all that he said and did. Following Jesus requires us to acknowledge his Deity, absolute Lordship, and authority over everything.
The truth that sets people free is only given to those who walk with Jesus. If we are in Christ – we are a work in progress. Even though we struggle with sin, we no longer desire to continue our lives in rebellion against Him. Following Jesus is a journey into freedom. “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” ( John 8:36)