17th December 2016

Grace and Truth

“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
John 1:17 (NIVUK)

There was grace and truth in the Old Testament and the old covenant. The law that came through Moses was and is God’s truth and relevant for old covenant times. Although it is termed the Law (singular) of Moses it was, in fact, a package of laws that included the sacrificial system. The sacrificial system was the God-ordained way of grace in which transgressions of the Law of Moses could be covered.

The Old Testament and old covenant were not the final revelation of grace and truth but pointed to Jesus Christ and a much deeper grace and truth that came through him. The Law of Moses was independent of the character and nature of Moses but Jesus Christ is the embodiment of that deeper grace and truth that came through him, as the apostle John wrote, “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” (John 1:14). Jesus is who the Law of Moses pointed to, and in him grace and truth are integrated and kept in proper perspective.

Unfortunately some churches get grace and truth out of perspective and over-emphasise one at the expense of the other. This affects their attitude and distorts the gospel. Some churches focus on grace and downplay truth. Grace without truth is shallow and sentimental and can deteriorate into permissiveness and indifference—what has been called ‘cheap grace’.

Other churches focus on truth and as a result, intentionally or otherwise, downplay grace. Such churches are prone to splitting, since differences in perceived truth between groups of individuals are considered as grounds for splitting and forming new churches. When churches over-emphasise truth at the expense of grace the gospel is often turned into a gospel of rules and regulations, it becomes harsh and legalistic—a gospel of condemnation.

The incarnation was an act of grace on God’s part; the truth that came through the word made flesh, began with an act of grace. The Christian life begins with grace from the Father and continues with grace “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day” (John 6:44).

Grace creates an environment for truth to be heard and either accepted or rejected. In our dealings with others, and in spreading the gospel message, we would do well to remember that grace is the conduit through which truth is dispensed.

Prayer
Father, as you have extended grace to us, so help us in all our dealings to be gracious to others.
Amen

Study by Eddie Marsh

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eddiemarshAbout the Author:
Eddie Marsh attends Grace Communion International in Sheffield.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion, Sheffield
Please email for Meeting Place

Meeting Time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Email: sheffield@gracecom.org.uk

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Comments

One Response to “17th December 2016”

  1. John Magowan on December 17th, 2016 10:51 pm

    Thanks Eddie for a simple and clear explanation of what can sometimes be a tricky and emotive subject. Much appreciated.

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