About one year ago, my walk with God began a radical transformation. I began to dive deeper into the fullness of God. My heart returned to God in my worship. Also, I bought a study bible and began digging deep into the scriptures. All of the sudden, nearly all my beliefs and my guiding principles were under siege… by the truth of the gospel. In today’s blog, we are going to talk about how to balance Grace and Truth and how it all ties in to God’s love!
“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” – John 1:17
This bible verse, and the subsequent study of its’ truth rocked my world. Jesus came to bring a balance of Grace AND Truth. All of the sudden, it dawned on me, I only knew half of the gospel – the grace part I had down pat, but what about truth? What about what the bible says? My beliefs had been largely molded by what I heard preached on stage, or on YouTube, or even from pop culture. I quickly found that I was swimming in the kid’s pool, and there was an ocean out there. Grace and truth, biblically speaking, are forever intertwined.
Continue reading ‘The Line Between Truth and Grace [Q&A Podcast]‘ »
One of the most infamous examples of grace in the bible is John 4. For those that may not be familiar with the story of the Samaritan woman at the well, one day a random woman walks up and finds a man (spoiler: it’s Jesus) sitting next to a well, and he asks her for a cup of water. They begin a conversation, and Jesus tells her that He is the water of life, and calls her into the Kingdom of God. She accepts Jesus, and Jesus tells her to bring her husband back. She tells Jesus that she has no husband, and Jesus replies with this:
“Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” – John 4:17-18
That was savage. If we are honest, it probably hurt her feelings a little bit. Yet, she set aside her pride and accepted that Jesus was right, and called Him a prophet. Jesus finishes His conversation with her, calls her to repentance, and then tells her to go and sin no more. I think that Jesus knew something, He knew that this woman’s weakness was men. He lovingly pointed out her weakness and called her up. Otherwise, I think she would have fallen right back into her old lifestyle.
In Matthew 23, we find Jesus again being a savage as he walks into the Jewish temple, ready to pick a fight. He first tells his disciples to obey the laws and teachings of the Pharisees (essentially the class of priests in the Jewish religion), but to not act like them. He then speaks directly to the religious leaders and says:
“You Pharisees and teachers of the Law of Moses are in for trouble! You’re nothing but show-offs. You travel over land and sea to win one follower. And when you have done so, you make that person twice as fit for hell as you are.” – Matthew 23:14-16
Jesus walks in like a boss and speaks truth here. His heart was not to tear down, His heart was to expose the truth, and to call people back to God. Sometimes, the truth of one’s heart must be exposed so they can open their heart and accept God’s grace. Truth and grace. It’s also important to note that Jesus did not care about their feelings, eternity was on the line and souls were at stake. Jesus did what He needed to do and lovingly spoke the truth – if their pride prevented them from receiving His message, so be it. Side note, most theologians believe that a small number of Jewish religious leaders converted to Christianity, while the overwhelming majority rejected Him, fulfilling the prophecies about Israel rejecting God.
The scriptures are absolutely filled with examples of grace and truth. They go hand in hand. Walk into most churches these days, and a message of God’s love and grace will be preached, but the notion of telling somebody the truth absolutely petrifies both clergy and congregation. American culture is infiltrating the church, and that notion is frankly pure evil. We are taught to never offend others, even if we are telling them something that will be immensely helpful to them – because their feelings may be hurt.
We, the body of Christ who are supposed to value God and salvation of souls above all, are afraid to have one difficult conversation for fear of being rejected. Grace AND truth.