legalism

Grace AND Truth

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Part Two: GRACE AND TRUTH

 

There is a disturbing growing trend in society today, people seem to be polarizing themselves from anyone who does not think like they do. We only associate with, listen to, and learn from people who think like us. We have stopped listening to opposite points of view. We don't debate any more. We reject and push away and isolate ourselves from anyone who differs from our point of view.

This is dangerous, because what if we’re wrong? How would we ever find out? How could we ever learn anything differently?

This is especially dangerous for us as Christians. If we isolate ourselves from people who don’t think like us how are we to reach them?

Jesus said to “go into all of the world”. How can we go into ALL of the world, if we only associate with those who are like us?

[bctt tweet="How can we go into ALL of the world, if we only associate with those who are like us?" username="kellystickel"]

Mark 16:15 (NIV)

15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

Jesus modelled something much different.

Jesus was unlike any religious leader, before or after. We can see the evidence of this difference by who were members of his crowd whenever he preached.

Luke 15:1-2 (NIV)

Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

In fact, when John was first introducing Jesus to the world in his book, the Gospel of John. He made a remark that Jesus was different from anyone they had ever seen. Look how he described Jesus in John 1.

John 1:14 (NIV)

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Full of grace AND truth. They had never seen anything like this before. They either knew people full of grace but no truth, or those full of truth with no grace.

[bctt tweet="Truth without grace leads to legalism. Grace without truth is mere tolerance." username="kellystickel"]

How did Jesus strike the balance of grace AND truth?

John 2:9-17 (NIV)

9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

12 After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days.

13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

The book of John seems to be written in such a way to show the contrast of grace and truth.

Who did Jesus give grace to? Sinners and those honestly seeking him - like Nicodemus

Who did Jesus give truth to? The religious, the know-it-alls, the self-righteous

Truth without grace breeds self-righteousness and legalism. Grace without truth breeds deception and moral compromise. The key to true Christian spirituality is to integrate these two qualities into life, imitating the character of Christ.

Today’s Takeaway:

Truth without grace breeds self-righteousness & legalism. Grace without truth breeds deception & moral compromise. #thepowerofAND #myvictory

[bctt tweet="Truth without grace breeds legalism. Grace without truth breeds moral compromise." username="kellystickel"]