Today at Missiongathering – Christian Church, Erika continued with part 4 of our series “Christian” – Grace and Truth.
We have learned that the term “Christian” was used to describe the followers of Jesus. Jesus actually called his followers, “Disciples”. This is what is means to follow Jesus. From John 13:35 we read “By this everyone will know you are my disciples if you love one another”, the way Jesus loved one another. And that can be different for each of us.
Looking at the Gospels, we see how Jesus loved and it’s a bit terrifying and a bit inconsistent with a dose of tension. Jesus never landed in a place where that tension was resolved. The way Jesus loved was messy, inconsistent, unfair and confusing. And yet we must try to get comfortable with the tension because when we step out of the tension, we end up with a Christianity that looks nothing like Jesus.
Jesus was all over the map, sometimes he’s forgiving, sometimes holding everyone accountable. Sometimes harsh, kind or sometimes he will point out sin and then another time ignore it. Yup, messy, inconsistent, unfair and confusing.
John writes in John 1:14 “The Word (Jesus) became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen the glory, the glory of the one and only Son who came from God, full of grace and truth.”
Grace – unmerited favor of God – forgiven
Truth – you are accountable
Grace says I love you no matter what. Truth says but you’re accountable.
I’ll share an example here, but be sure to check out the podcast for much more from the great sermon. Here’s one we are probably all familiar with, but check it out again for the first time.
Remember the story of the Women caught in Adultery from John 8:1-11? The Pharisees thought they were being slick in bringing the women before the crowd and Jesus. They were trying to trip him up. The law of Moses said to stone her. Jesus says let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone. Yup, the accusers split. Jesus asked the women, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
Did you catch that? Jesus doesn’t condemn her, but tells her to leave her life of sin.
Because that is how Jesus loves. Jesus is the embodiment of Grace and Truth.
And the church is at its best when it embraces grace and truth and refuses to let go of either. And so are we.
Grace without truth robs us from intimacy with our creator and the abundant life that was made possible to us through Christ.
Truth without grace isolates and pushes away.
But truth and grace together draw us in, connect us and facilitate abundant life full of freedom and love.
John 1:17 “For the law was given through Moses; Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
Be sure to check out the Missiongathering Facebook page and “like” it. This will keep you up to date with all the happenings at MG. Also, this morning Erika shared some verses from the Gospel of John. If this has peaked your interest in this wonderful book, please join the Sunday morning bible study class which is studying the book of John. We meet at 8:30 am in the Little Villagers room. Let me know below if you want to join us and I can connect you to our wonderful leaders, Candy and Mark.