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John 8:31

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

If ye continue in my word - Or, in this doctrine of mine. It is not enough to receive God's truth - we must retain and walk in it. And it is only when we receive the truth, love it, keep it, and walk in it, that we are the genuine disciples of Christ.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

If ye continue in my word - If you continue to obey my commandments and to receive my doctrines.

Then are ye … - This is the true test of Christian character. John 14:21; “he that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me.” See John 2:4; John 3:24; 2 John 1:6. In this place Jesus cautions them against too much confidence from their present feelings. They were just converted - converted by a single sermon. They had had no time to test their faith. Jesus assures them that if their faith should abide the test, if it should produce obedience to his commandments and a truly life, it would be proof that their faith was genuine, for the tree is known by its fruit. So we may say to all new converts, Do not repress your love or your joy, but do not be too confident. Your faith has not yet been tried, and if it does not produce a holy life it is vain, James 2:17-26.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Such power attended our Lord's words, that many were convinced, and professed to believe in him. He encouraged them to attend his teaching, rely on his promises, and obey his commands, notwithstanding all temptations to evil. Thus doing, they would be his disciples truly; and by the teaching of his word and Spirit, they would learn where their hope and strength lay. Christ spoke of spiritual liberty; but carnal hearts feel no other grievances than those that molest the body, and distress their worldly affairs. Talk to them of their liberty and property, tell them of waste committed upon their lands, or damage done to their houses, and they understand you very well; but speak of the bondage of sin, captivity to Satan, and liberty by Christ; tell of wrong done to their precious souls, and the hazard of their eternal welfare, then you bring strange things to their ears. Jesus plainly reminded them, that the man who practised any sin, was, in fact, a slave to that sin, which was the case with most of them. Christ in the gospel offers us freedom, he has power to do this, and those whom Christ makes free are really so. But often we see persons disputing about liberty of every kind, while they are slaves to some sinful lust.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 433

“If the world hate you,” said Christ, “ye know that it hated Me before it hated you.” You have entertained the opinion that the reason why the world is so much opposed to us as a people is that we are too unsocial, too plain in our dress, and too strict in regard to amusements, withdrawing ourselves from them too much in practice as well as in precept. You have thought that if we would be less exclusive and would mingle more with the world, their opinions and impressions of us would be greatly modified. But no greater mistake could affect the human mind. Said Christ: “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for My name's sake, because they know not Him that sent Me.” 5T 433.1

These are the words of One of whom even His enemies were forced to admit: “Never man spake like this Man.” The words of men express their own human thoughts; but those of Christ are spirit and life. “If ye continue in My word,” He says, “then are ye My disciples indeed.” “He that is of God heareth God's words,” but these divine utterances find no place in the heart of one who is of the world and loves its pleasures. 5T 433.2

God has given us specific directions so that no one need err. “Man shall not live by bread alone,” He says, “but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” The truth given by inspiration “is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” Not by one word, not by many words, but by every word that God has spoken, shall man live. You cannot disregard one word, a single injunction that He has given, however trifling it may seem to you, and be safe. “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Whosoever will willfully break one command cannot in spirit and in truth keep any of them. He may claim that, with the exception of what he may regard as slight deviations, he keeps them all; yet if he willingly offends in one point he is guilty of all. 5T 434.1

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 463-70

This chapter is based on John 8:12-59; John 9.

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” DA 463.1

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