“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32. Of all of the words of Jesus used by secular speakers, this is one of the favorites. Gloria Steinem even used a form of this biblical aphorism in her speeches. Gloria said “The truth will set you free…but first it will piss you off.” I agree and if you look at the context of those biblical words you will probably agree also because the admonition of Jesus preceding this verse sets a more restrictive context to the nature of that truth.
Jesus told the people who had faith in him, “If you keep on obeying what I have said, you truly are my disciples. John 8:31
So, knowing the truth that brings freedom has conditions. It requires obedience to the Word of Christ. In another section of John, Jesus makes a supporting statement.
Jesus said to his disciples: If you love me, you will do as I command. John 14:15
I think we can all agree that truth sometimes bites to the bone and gets us angry as it points out our shortcomings and inconsistencies, as it makes demands for change in our lives. The reward that it offers for that effort is freedom. However, the freedom that it offers is contextual, dependent on first bending the knee in obedience to what truth demands.
Contrary to much of our Gnostic culture, knowledge and truth alone do not bring freedom, but only knowledge and truth that grow out of a submitted and obedient heart, since to be blunt, what good is knowing what needs to be done and if you do not do it?