John 8:31-47

Talks for Growing Christians

The Lord Refutes the Self-Righteous Jews Who Claimed That They Were the Children Of Abraham

John 8:31-47

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Lesson Number 40

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Perseverance is the sign of a believer.
  2. Practicing sin is the sign of an unbeliever.
  3. The truth will make a sinner free.
  4. Sincerity will not make a sinner free.

Practical Application

  1. Who is your father?


  1. In John 8:31-32, 34-35 and 44 was the Lord Jesus addressing believers or unbelievers?
  2. What is the sign of a believer? Back your answer with scripture.
  3. What is the sign of an unbeliever?
  4. Will the truth make you free? Will Christ make you free? Will sincerity make you free?
  5. What did the Jews fail to consider when they said, “We have never been in bondage to anyone”?


  1. John 8:31-32 – believers; John 8:34-35,44 – unbelievers
  2. Perseverance. See John 8:31. Abiding means consistency in reading and obeying His word. Abiding and perseverance are signs of a believer.
  3. Committing sin habitually. Continually sinning means that you are a slave to sin, and not a son (John 8:34-35). A son is in the family; a slave is not.
  4. Yes (John 8:32). Yes (verse 36). No (verse 33).
  5. They failed to consider their bondage in Egypt, the Babylonian captivity, and the present Roman occupation. However, the greater bondage was that they were slaves to sin (John 8:44, 47).


  1. How would you make someone understand that there are only two possibilities, that either God or Satan is that person’s father?
  2. How would you explain the bondage of sin to someone? And then how would you present them with an opportunity to be free from this bondage?
  3. If someone was convinced that sincerity would get him into heaven, how would you help him to understand that Jesus is the only way?


  1. Religious sincerity cannot make someone a believer. There are many people who are sincere in their spiritual quests, but they could be sincerely mistaken! It is only by belief in the saving power of Jesus Christ that you can be saved.

Key Verses

  • “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.” John 8:31
  • “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32
  • “If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36

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