Grace & Truth – Not a Matter of Balance

So often we think we must achieve a balance of grace and truth in the Christian life  — just enough truth, just enough grace.  Or perhaps we feel there are times for grace but other times when primarily truth is what is needed.  Most of us would acknowledge that we shouldn’t be at one extreme or the other in many areas.  We look for balance.  Being at extremes has gotten many a church leadership in trouble as they dealt with issues in the Body.

But, if we look at Jesus’ life, we see that when it comes to grace and truth, it isn’t a matter of balance.  He was 100% grace and 100% truth.  He did not lay aside the one to become the other.

Jn. 1:14 – 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.

Jn. 1:17 – For the law was given by Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

As He walked on this earth, and even now, Jesus administered grace while speaking truth.  We too are exhorted to be “speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15).  Notice that it doesn’t say “Show some love and then hit them with the truth.”  Nor does it say “Speak the truth and follow it up with some love.”  Both love (grace) and truth are to be present at the same time.

Jesus brought this perspective of grace AND truth into worship in John 4 when the Samaritan woman identified two different styles of worship, questioning which way was acceptable.

Samaritan Method of Worship: In John 4:22 Jesus said of the Samaritans, “You worship what you do not know.” They were limited in knowledge, accepting only the Pentateuch of the Old Testament. Their worship was enthusiastic but they lacked the proper knowledge. — “zeal without knowledge”

Jewish Method of Worship: They accepted the entire Old Testament and hence did not lack knowledge but their hearts weren’t in it. In Mark 7:6 Jesus used Isaiah’s words to describe them, “These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me.” — “knowledge without zeal”

Jesus responded, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.  God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth”  (Jn. 4:23-24).

Both zeal AND knowledge are what the Father seeks.  He is looking for life and truth, enthusiasm and sound doctrine . . . grace AND truth.  This applies to how we deal with others.  It applies to worship of our God.  The whole of our lives should be filled with both grace and truth if we are going to be Christ-like.

5 Replies to “Grace & Truth – Not a Matter of Balance”

  1. This Communion Sunday I was asked by our Pastor if I would help him with the responsive reading and one other reading! I accepted his offer and humbly helped him. I took Lay-Speaking School in California when I lived there. It was such a blessing to be be enabled to speak in front of a congregation!! God gave me this Gift!! Praise God!!! God can help you do almost anything that you are asked or want to!!! Serving Communion is a Great Blessing too!! YOURS IN CHRIST, Leonard!!!

    • Yes, Leonard, praise God for opportunities to serve. Our spiritual gifts are given to us by grace, nothing we deserve or earn (Rom. 12:6). So it truly is a privilege and blessing to be able to serve. As you use your gift, may you be “speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15). By His power you will be exhibiting both His grace and truth to others. — “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Pet. 4:10).

  2. Yes, I have learned through studying the Bible that there can’t be a balance between Grace and Truth. Without Grace we can’t have our gifts to use them through the Holy Spirit! Through my gifts I share God’s Grace with others and share His Word!!! I am also blessed through sharing His Word as a layleader helping The Pastor of our Church with His service!!! One good referance I found in the Bible is 1 Corinthians 15:10. This tells what I just told you about. I am SOOO blessed when I am allowed to help in the reading Of God’s Word!!! In Christ’s Service!!! Leonard!

    • Thanks, Leonard. We all need to take 1 Corinthians 15:10 to heart. — “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them -yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”

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