The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe...
(Another Doctrine 101 consideration. Thanks, Glen).
In the Lord Jesus Christ, grace - God's freely given redemption, presence, and working - does not come alone. Nor can truth - God's revelation of reality and doctrine - be known by itself.
"Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17).
The preaching of grace apart from truth will always result in licentiousness, that is, the allowance of carnal or even devilish deceptions of thought, attitude, word, and deed. The preaching of truth apart from grace will result in futility, frustration, and legalism as principle without power leads to form without true godliness.
"Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid!... Let us have grace, that we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear" (Romans 6:1; Hebrews 12:28).
We must view grace and truth as inseparable companions in both our doctrinal understanding of God's will and our practical application of walking in faith and faithfulness. "Ye… knew the grace of God in truth" (Colossians 1:6).
The grace and truth that "came by Jesus Christ" still comes in the sense of leading born again believers in a genuine experience of God. His reality rides on two parallel rails, as it were. Our response must be to keep the train of our beliefs and experience on both rails. We must seek God's grace always in terms of His Biblically-defined parameters of truth. Failure to do so will inevitably lead to tolerance of sin by either ignoring or redefining the many commands of the New Testament regarding how we are to live. Concerning truth, we must realize that apart from God's freely given grace in Christ, we have no hope for anything more than a sterile and ritualistic legalism that dramatically fails to fulfill the vibrant life promised by the Lord Jesus. In Christ, grace ever ventures with truth, and truth ever journeys with grace. Ignore or neglect either rail of God's reality, and we will fail to genuinely experience either the venture or the journey.
Grace and truth eternally abide together in God's character, nature, and way. They must abide together in our quest to love, trust, obey, exemplify, and communicate our Lord to each other and the world. No grace can be rightly received and experienced apart from truth. No truth can be understood and applied apart from grace. Two rails ever lie before us, upon which the train of our lives forever makes its way to the glory of God, the peace of our hearts, and our serving as a blessing of God's grace and truth in Christ to others.
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth."
Weekly Memory Verse
And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."
(I John 5:11-12)