The New & Living Way
Posted on June 11, 2013
John 1:14 states, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” There is such a powerful truth that is often deeply misunderstood amongst the people of God. I understand that is a major statement, so I will qualify it. I have personally heard conversations, sound bites, or podcasts from various people in the body of Christ in America that take this truth and divide its power, creating an impotency that is unfortunate. The common thought is that we need equal parts of grace and truth in our lives to live a balanced life.
The first mistake here is to separate grace and truth. To treat grace and truth as two parts or two sides of Jesus. The other mistake is to think that grace is the gooey part of God while truth is the hard-nose part of God. As if we can take our experiences of people, leaders, or fathers on earth who resemble that concoction and project that on God himself. So let’s deal with each of these misconceptions head on.
First, grace and truth are not two separate parts or sides of Jesus; however, grace and truth are the blended union of Holy Trinity. They are grace and truth, they do not contain grace and truth. If you experience truth, it is laced with grace. If you experience grace, it is packed with truth. You cannot separate one from the other. This is not peanut butter and jelly, this is Jesus!
Now, let’s take on the goo vs. the grindstone mentality with grace and truth. All truth is grace oriented. And by that I simply mean, you cannot earn truth and grace empowers you to obediently live out that truth. At the same time all of our grace experiences are loaded with truth. Grace never empowers sinful behavior. Nor does grace ignore sinful behavior as if it were the proverbial rug in which all dirt is swept beneath. And finally, grace does not punish sinful behavior less we think Jesus didn’t fully satisfy the demands of the law or obliterate the power of sin in His death and resurrection. What grace does, is confront sin in a way where someone’s eyes are opened to the truth that God has forgiven them (Luke 23:34 ); reconciled them (2 Corinthians 5:18-19 ); loves them (John 3:16); and will teach them to mature in a new nature based in His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21 & Titus 2:11-12).
On the flip side, truth is not bad news! It is incredibly amazing and liberating! Jesus even said, knowing the truth sets us free! What if people knowing the truth of what Jesus accomplished through His life and work? Here’s a few things for starters:
- Jesus mission was to TAKE AWAY the sin of the WORLD (John 1:29)!
- Jesus forgave us and cancelled the written code with its regulations that was AGAINST us (Colossians 2:13-15)!
- Justified and loved us without condition (1 John 4:10; Romans 5:9-10)!
- Put to death the nature that corrupted us (Romans 6:1-11; 18; Romans 8:1-4)!
These truths can liberate the heart with a light yoke and and easy burden! And these truths are inclusive of any issue anyone faces! Jesus defeated sin and death, which is sin’s wage. This doesn’t mean truth doesn’t sting when He reminds us of reality and confronts our illusions.
But that’s actually good news! The sting is felt when our identity and hope are placed in an illusion of what’s real, not in reality itself. He is our reality! All His correction is intended to rightly place our trust in where we are seated, which is in Christ. So, grace and truth are not opposing forces intended to run us through the gauntlet of life. Grace and truth are the essence of the God-head. This essence matures us and develops us to represent Jesus to a world that has no clue at the nature and purpose of God. Let’s stop resisting grace or truth and realize they are inseparable and complete. This is incredibly good news!