Summary: (PowerPoint Slides and Cell Study Notes freely available by emailing Emile@Wolfaardt.com) Exploring the dramatic combination of unlimited grace and absolute truth as the consistent expression of God.
Journeying With John - It’s a Trip (JWJ-06)
The Glory of Grace and Truth
How many of you know what I mean when I refer to a watershed truth? A watershed truth is a truth that, when correctly understood, has a profound implication for other truths as well. It is like tossing a pebble into a pond - the ripples seem to touch everything around them - and go on and on and on. That is exactly what the truth we are going to look at this morning does - it is profound, sheds light on other things less easily understood, simplifies things that are more complicated than they need to be - and just makes profound but simple sense.
This truth is not new to any of us this morning - you know it, I am sure, have read it many time, perhaps even quoted it from time to time. But as I have poured over these verses this week I found myself renewed and refreshed by it. You see, when you understand this truth correctly this morning it brings both freedom and power into your life.
Please open your Bibles with me to the Gospel written by our new favorite disciple, John, and the first chapter. I am reading from verses 14-18.
Our series title is “Journeying with John, It’s a Trip!” and this morning the title of my message is “The Glory of Grace and Truth.” I hope this morning to so excite your heart about grace and truth that you never see these two in the same light again.
John 1:14-18 - Read - Pray!
A little more than 2000 years ago God stepped onto our earth, pitched His tent and set up camp right in the middle of us all. That is what the word ‘dwelled’ can mean - to set a tent. In other words, the Word became flesh and pitched His tent among us. And when He did that it was the most profound revelation of God man would ever know on this earth.
There are four things I want to invite you to see with me this morning from this passage that records by way of summary that profound reality.
1. The Divine Duality
Would you stop with me for a moment to look at those two profound realities that we see in Jesus Christ, that we are told He was full of, grace and truth. It is important that we understand what the Bible says about these two.
Grace is that profound aspect of God’s nature that chooses to save man and love man despite the fact that man is fallen and unlovely. It is not simply that God walked up to us in our lostness and gave us something we need. We were at enmity with God - we were defiant and rebellious. When God pitched His tent on this earth some 2000 years ago - the only time He would ever do that - we killed him. We crucified the Son of God! But here is the amazing unlimited grace truth - still God loves us, still grace forgives us, still grace did the unimaginable and unthinkable - it reached down and saved the very ones that were trying to kill it.
There is no sin that is so bad that grace cannot cover it.
There is no sin that is so ugly, horrendous or depraved that grace cannot forgive it. The most sickening of sinners, when they come to Jesus, will find that there is enough grace to cover them.
No matter how long a sin is committed, no matter how often a sin is committed, when you come to Jesus you discover that grace is grace enough - no matter what the sin is.
And in Jesus Christ we see this very unlimited grace of God to us in all of its fullness. We beheld Him full of grace. Jesus was full of grace because Jesus was full of God.
People do not find it hard to believe they are saved by grace. That is easy - man all over recognizes the corruption in His heart that he is unable to resolve. The greater challenge is to accept that he is saved by grace alone. Yet that is what the Word says:-
Titus 3:6, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.”
Eph. 2:8-9, “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works lest any man should boast.”
Precious friend, it is because of grace that you and I are saved. John Newton, the slave trader that ran into God and was forgiven, converted and reformed penned those amazing words after he had understood something to the depravity of his heart and the corruption of his ways - he wrote, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.”