Message Scripture:  John 1:17 (NASB)

For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. – John 1:17 (NASB)

Introduction:

Greetings Everyone!

Welcome to the first message of the first teaching series of 2015. I hope that this series was worth waiting on, and I hope that we will all learn about what growing in grace is all about.

I ask you to pray and believe with me for the supernatural unction and utterance that comes from the Holy Ghost. Believe with me for ears to hear, and hearts that will be receptive and respond to what the Lord is about to speak to us not just in this message…but the entire series.

So, without any further delay, let’s finally get in to the first message of the first series of 2015 penned by Joseph Prince you can follow along by going to www.bible.com

Grace And Truth Are One

Well…good evening everyone, and welcome to the first message of the first teaching series of 2015.  This is the message I’ve been waiting to pen since we selected it from the possible topics we voted on, and so this is the first of five messages.  I hope that y’all find it worth the wait, and here we go.

Let’s give Joseph Prince the opening word:

Did you know that God sees grace (unmerited favor) and truth as one and the same thing? Notice in John 1:17 that truth is on the same side as God’s grace and both grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. written by Joseph Prince

I think a lot of us would do the Body of Christ and the world a favor if we would remember that grace and truth are on the same side.  But, how many of you know that most of the time when we tell people we’re speaking the truth in love none of that statement is really true, is it!?!  How can I say that?  Read on, and I’ll explain…and maybe you’ll agree with me by the time we’re done with this message.

Many of you know I’ve spent a great deal of time talking about how judgmental we can be as Christians, and the reason for that is this very point that has been on the tip of my fingers every time…the point that grace and truth come together.  I’m happy and excited because this is the first time that what I’ve been trying to pen is finally written in word form.  Even if it wasn’t my pen that wrote it, but now that I know what it is I’ve been trying to say makes what I’ve written about being judgmental spot on.

Most of what is supposedly spoken in love today is rarely spoken in love or seasoned with grace.  Most of the truth that is spoken today is spoken with self-righteous judgment, and let’s all be extremely clear none of us have any right to speak to another human being that way.

Jesus Christ is our example.  The Bible made a point to talk about Grace and Truth being together, and when we speak the truth without grace we’re not being the ambassadors for Christ we’re called to be. I think we all can agree that one of the first things that needs to grow in grace is the way we talk to people, and that’s why many times I ask the Lord to season our speech with grace.

Let’s go on shall we…

When I did a study of this verse in its original Greek, I found out that “grace and truth” are actually referred to as a singular unit, since they are followed by the singular verb translated as “came.” In other words, in God’s eyes, grace and truth are synonymous—unmerited favor is truth and truth is unmerited favor. written by Joseph Prince

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m glad when other people do the research when it comes to the original Greek or Hebrew text because I’m horrible at it, but I’m also quite interested in what they find and what they share about what they find.  Like this fact here that Grace and Truth are a singular unit.  Which leads me to a thought that I think will really get this series off to an amazing start. Are you ready!?!

Jesus said many times that He and the Father are one.  Joseph said that in the original text that Grace and Truth were synonymous (in other words they’re the same thing), and so if Jesus is Grace and Truth…so is God…and if God is Grace and Truth…and Jesus is Grace and Truth, and God dwells in us by the Holy Ghost whose job it is to point us to Jesus whom is Grace and Truth…then the most wonderful point of all is that we have Grace and Truth living in us waiting to be extended to the world through us as His ambassadors.

What’s the difference?  We have the ability to choose whether we’re going to walk in love and treat people with grace or not.  We have the ability to choose to respond to people with grace or not.  Just as we have been talking over the last few days about how God isn’t good because He does good…God is good because He IS good, and that God doesn’t love us because that’s something He does…God loves us because love is Who and What God is.

The Word of God isn’t truth because God spoke it.  The Word of God is true because God IS The Word.  In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word WAS God.  The WORD became flesh, and dwelt amongst us.  God’s Word isn’t true because it was spoken and breathed by the Holy Ghost…God’s Word is true because the Word of God IS God.  And…God doesn’t give us grace (His unmerited favor) because that’s what He has to give.  God gives us His grace because He IS Grace.  He became sin who knew no sin that we might become His righteousness.

So all of these things:  Grace, Truth, Love, Mercy, Holy, Just, and Righteous these are all things that are a part of Who and What God IS, and as His children and ambassadors to a world that is full of people who are on their way to spending eternity without Him…WE need to learn that we don’t have to do these things…we ARE them also because we are created in His image.

This is just the end of the first paragraph of the first message.  We hear it said all the time that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.   There are many people in the Body of Christ hurting people because while they may think they are speaking the truth in love…it’s not being spoken in love or seasoned by grace at all. 

The world is FULL of artificial love…they’re looking for genuine, authentic love and grace…not lip service. Amen!?!

Sometimes, people tell me things like, “Well, it’s good that you preach grace, but we also have to tell people about truth.” This makes it seem as though grace and truth are two different things when, in fact, they are one and the same. You cannot separate truth from grace and grace from truth as they are both embodied in the person of Jesus Christ. In fact, just a few verses before this, John 1:14, referring to the person of Jesus, says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace [unmerited favor] and truth.” Grace and truth came together through the person and ministry of Jesus. Grace is not a doctrine or teaching. Grace is a Person. written by Joseph Prince

Grace is a person.  Truth is also a person.  Jesus said in John 14:6 that He is The Way, The Truth, and The Life.  So, when we combine Grace and Truth and Love then we are truly being Jesus to people, and that’s the Jesus the Body of Christ needs to be.  I love that Joseph says that grace and truth cannot be separated because they are one.  You can’t have one and not have the other.  So, truth without grace isn’t possible.  Speaking the truth in love isn’t possible if it’s not done seasoned with grace.  In reality when most of us are about to tell someone we’re going to speak the truth to them in love…we need to really say that we are just about to tell them our opinion of what they’re doing or how they’re living…because that is the truth. 

Most of the time we are speak law…not truth.  Most of the time we’re speaking judgmentally…not lovingly.  And that is what we should really say to people when we say we’re going to speak the truth in love to them.  We should really say I’m about to speak law and judgment to you…not the truth in love.

I want you to notice that grace came by Jesus whereas the law was given through Moses. Jesus didn’t come to give us more laws. He came to give us His unmerited favor, which is His truth! It would be of immense profit to you to keep in mind that every time you read the word “grace” in the Bible, you translate it mentally as “unmerited favor,” because that is what it is.

I don’t know about you, but I’m glad Grace and Truth came by Jesus.  I’m glad that God’s unmerited favor came through Jesus, and is now a part of who I am because Christ is in me.  That same unmerited favor is also apart of you, and in you as well if you are in Christ.  How do I know that?  Because Christ is Grace and Truth, and because He is in us and we are in Him…guess what that makes us?  Like I said, however, we have free will, and the choice to walk in that or not. 

Jesus came to give us grace and truth…not law and judgment.  Are you representing Jesus or are you representing Moses?  That is what you have ask yourself.  Are you full of grace and truth or law and judgment?  That will go a long way to explaining why people react to you the way they do.  If you are treating people with grace and truth…you will draw them in like Jesus did…but if you are treating them with law and judgment you will hurt them and push them away…because all the law will do is show people how unmerited God’s favor really is…and the more you treat them with law and judgment the harder it is for people to believe, trust, and know that God loves them…and wants to reconcile their broken relationship.

Are you drawing people in to the Body of Christ or repelling them from it?  The answer to that question will tell you what you are full of…and it will also help you understand just how much growing in grace you need.  I am learning.  I am not perfect.  I don’t always treat everyone with grace and truth, but I am growing and getting better.  It’s a process…but it can be done.  The thing of it is…God’s grace is sufficient to help us to grow in grace.

With that, I’m also going to give Joseph Prince the last word…

My friend, “grace came.” It is one thing to give, but it is another thing to come. Grace came by Jesus Christ. God came down to where we were to lift us up to where He is! written by Joseph Prince

Let’s Pray:

Lord God, we thank You for leading and guiding us to this series.  We know we have a lot of growing in grace to do, and we also know that we can’t do that in and of ourselves.  We need You to help us grow and mature and become the best examples and ambassadors for You that we can be. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

In Closing:

It’s so good to be getting into this series.  It’s important that we understand how and what it takes to draw people in…and not repel them.  In this day, we see so much law and judgment in the world, and the only way we are going to stand out from the world is by treating people with grace, truth, and love.  We must understand that all three of those things are one…because all three of those things really are one.

Grace and Truth and Love aren’t doctrines…they are a person…and that person is Jesus.  I don’t know about anyone else, but that gives me a different understanding of what it means to be Jesus to the world.

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

Blessings & Grace;

Pastor B

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