John 8:31:  “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Two conditions are stated in this scripture.  They operate like natural laws of causation.  Jesus states them straight forwardly, and in direct terms, as he might state the formula for calculating the velocity of a free falling body:

1)  be a disciple (i.e.,  follow his Way, and learn from Him) and
2)  hold to what you learn.

The usual quoted statement:  ” . . . the truth will set you free” is thus incomplete and quoted “out of context.”  The truth of itself does nothing.  If truth is to have transformative, life changing power, we have to love it, pursue it relentlessly, hold to it, and act in accordance with it even when it requires effort and occasional pain.