Today we observe a day of remembrance for an American icon of freedom and equality – Martin Luther King Jr. The impact MLK had on our country and the world is immeasurable. I pray that as we remember the man, that we remember and live his vision that we would judge a person only by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. He gave his life for that vision, let’s make sure it was not in vain.
“If a man hasn’t discovered something he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
As a preacher, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. knew and taught the Bible. His precepts of equality were born out of the scriptures and our Declaration of Independence that all men and women were created equal endowed by God with the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. He believed it, and was even willing to die for it as we see in today’s quote.
Here are some Bible verses about how we are all the same in God’s eyes:
“Then Peter opened his mouth and said: In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.” – Acts 10:34 NKJV
“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”. – Galatians 3:28 NIV
January 16, 2012 No Comments
“The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable.”
- James A. Garfield, 20th President of the United States
We have heard the Bible quote and read the verse where Jesus says, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free,” (John 8 :32 KJV) and it’s the tail end, ”the truth shall set you free”, that is quoted the most. From the sincere and sobering speeches of Martin Luther Kings Jr. to the hysterical Jim Carey in the movie Liar Liar, this quote is so widely known that you’d have to be living under a rock on Mars to not have heard it.
However popular the quote, I have only recently heard this version of it from President Garfield which adds the idea that first it will make you miserable. So there are two sides to the liberating truth: first it makes you miserable, second it makes you free. I am sure that when Garfield said it he wasn’t making a theological statement, however, there is an underlying spiritual truth to this quote.
Let’s first look at what that truth is that will set you free. And if it does set you free, what is it setting you free from? The answer to that question is the key to why the truth first makes you miserable.
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, ‘If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’ They answered him, ‘We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed’.” – John 8:31-36 King James Version
In the Bible, Jesus teaches us that before the truth can make you free that you will need to know it. And the way to know it is to believe on Him, become His disciple and continue in His word. Do this and you will be free from the bondage of sin, or in other words, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.
This is where the “first makes you miserable” part comes in. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God: we are fallen beings in the bondage of sin, and without the grace of God destined to condemnation and eternal damnation. This is the truth, part of the truth in the Word of God. Coming to faith in Christ means that we must face and accept this truth. For the real seeker of truth, and those who are open to the Word of God, this truth will make you miserable.
So the truth will first make you miserable when you know and accept the plight of our sinful nature, however, once you believe in Christ, become a disciple, and continue in His word, then the bands of sin and the chains of hell are broken. Yes, the truth shall make you free and you shall be free indeed.
What do you think?
June 4, 2010 No Comments
It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
We must combine the toughness of the serpent and the softness of the dove, a tough mind and a tender heart. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
And here is one of his most famous quotes of all time from his I Have a Dream Speech:
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’
God bless the USA!
January 18, 2010 No Comments