Summary: Most of us lean towards grace OR truth. Jesus was full of grace AND truth.
Title: Grace + Truth = Love
Text: John 8:1-11?
Bottom Line: Most of us lean towards grace OR truth. Jesus was full of grace AND truth.
Good Morning Real Life! Last week we kicked off a series called Tension. If you missed last week I would encourage you to hop online or go grab the podcast and listen to last weeks message.
I’m really excited for this series because I think this Tension between grace and truth is a really important reminder for us all. Because this isn’t something we naturally drift towards. We’ve got to be intentional about setting the course to get to the right tension.
I don’t know about you, but I find it difficult to live in this tension. There’s no place in my life that I lack this tension more then when I am driving in my car. The second I get in my car grace goes right out the window, my wife can attest to that… Anyone relate? I know the rules and the customs of the road and if you aren’t following them I got NO grace for you. I lack that tension in the car.
But every now and then I will make a mistake while driving, rare, but it happens. I’ll cut someone off, pull out in front of a car I didn’t see, or not pay attention to my speed. I make a mistake and someone honks at me and flips me off. And then a strange thing happens. For the rest of my drive when I see someone do something wrong I don’t get mad. I don’t honk. I don’t get up on their bumper. I let it go. It’s in those moments I realize the importance of living in that tension of Grace and Truth because I see how out of whack I am.
In John 1:14 it says Jesus came full of grace and truth. But problem is in our lives most of us lean towards grace OR truth. (Show Rubber Band) Here’s the reality, we need this tension. Because truth without grace breeds self-righteousness and legalism. Grace without truth breeds deception and moral compromise. The best expression of love is found in the tension between grace and truth. And that’s why we are doing this series… Because we want to know how to live in the tension between grace and truth.
The truth is we are really bad at this tension. We aren’t very good at living in this tension. Sometimes we don’t offer grace to people in our lives that need it. And sometimes we don’t tell people the truth of their actions. But we aren’t alone, we aren’t the first ones to struggle with this tension.
Throughout the Bible people have struggled with this tension. Maybe the one we can relate to most is the first century Church of Corinth. They struggled with this tension as we do. And if you were to read 1st and 2nd Corinthians it would probably look a whole lot like a mirror. They struggled with very similar issues that we are facing today. Questions about church leadership, sexual immorality, and how to live in a culture but not be influenced by the culture were just some of the issues they were facing.
They leaned towards grace and but often ignored the truth. They just kept playing the Jesus card. Jesus loves me, I’m saved by grace… Which is true… But then they go on to say, therefore I can do anything I want. Does that sound familiar?
I can get drunk on Friday night because I’m saved by grace. I can sleep with whoever I want because I’m saved by grace. I can blow up my family. I can cheat that person out of their money. I’m saved by grace. I got a get out of hell free card. I can do what I want, when I want, to who I want. And who are you to judge me? I’m saved by grace.
The church in Corinth lost their tension. They were full of grace, (Show Rubber Band) but not of truth. The Church is called to be full of grace and truth. We must live in the tension between. Otherwise we will end up in an unhealthy spot.
Jesus came full of grace and truth… But we often pick grace or truth.
Here’s what this looks like..
(Show Rubber Band) On one extreme you have grace… A lot of Christians believe it doesn’t matter what the Bible says. It doesn’t matter what a person does or doesn’t do. It doesn’t matter how a person chooses to live their life. Because at the end of the day there’s grace. A lot of people believe that God is so loving, so forgiving, that truth doesn’t matter anymore. Or at least matter enough for me to change the way I’m living. Here’s what a lot of people say… I don’t care what the Bible says. I don’t care what God says is better. I’m going to do what I want and hope in the end grace lets me get away with it. It’s all grace, no truth. No tension.