I used to believe (and teach) that Grace and Truth needed to be balanced. I no longer believe this.
In reality, I understand now that Grace and Truth are two sides of the same coin. You simply can't have one without a full and complete measure of the other.
"...(G)row in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ..."
I Peter 3:18 NIV
Grace & Truth
- Truth Educates.
Truth is the reality of what is. Truth informs as we spend time with the Author of Truth. Truth sets us free to the extent that we know and apply it to our lives. (See John 8:31 - 32)
I've observed a sad dynamic in most Christian circles today: using the word "truth" in place of the word "Law." In other words, people are using the wrong definition for the word truth.
- Grace Empowers.
Grace is the loving-kindness and favor of a God who doesn't lie. His grace rescues, redeems, and restores us as we embrace Jesus as our Savior. But Grace does not stop there! Grace remains in our lives and is what empowers us to grow up into maturity as followers of Jesus who have been given a brand new identity as children of God.
- They never contradict each other.
So beware of anyone who says, "Yes, there's grace, but the truth says..."
- They are never at odds with each other.
You can't "pull the Grace Card" without the "Truth Card" because they are one and the same.
There are a lot of well-meaning folks today who are trying so hard to motivate people to live for God while also encouraging people to trust God's grace. In doing so, what usually happens is that they speak out of both sides of their mouths.
When We Try to "Balance" Grace & Truth, we only lose our balance
When people speak out of both sides of their mouths, listeners and learners get confused and usually wind up remaining stuck spiritually in the "Give Up/Try Hard Cycle."
|Jeff Van Vonderen, Tired of Trying to Measure Up|
The speaker's intentions are usually good; but their motivations come from a misunderstanding of the Original Good News Jesus came to offer. They, too, tend to live in this Give Up/Try Hard Cycle themselves, so why wouldn't they continually use the same tactics in trying to get other people to shape up and fly right?
A short blog post doesn't permit me to carry this thought out in depth, so instead, I want to share some resources (in addition to the one above) that will help you on your own personal journey to better understanding and embracing God's grace in your own life so that you'll be better equipped to share it with others in your life.
- TrueFaced.com (Many resources!)
- The Two Paths Talk by John Lynch (Free Video - Start here!)
- The Rest of The Gospel (Book)
- What God Wishes Christians Knew About Christianity (Book)
(Please consider using the Amazon Smile Link at the top of our blog page to order these book titles. Thank you!)
These are just a few trusted resources that are "Church 4 Chicks approved." :-) I do hope you'll take the time to research these resources for your benefit personally, but also for those within your sphere of influence.
When we can stop using "truth" as a weapon to motivate change in behavior or "grace" as an excuse for our (or a loved one's) bad behavior, perhaps we'll get on with the business of living life to the full that Jesus promised was ours to experience. (See John 10:10)
May God lavishly grant us both as we "grow in the Grace and Knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."