Oil & Water/Grace & Truth

“Hallelujah! O my soul, praise God! All my life long I’ll praise God, singing songs to my God as long as I live. 
 Don’t put your life in the hands of experts who know nothing of life, of salvation life. 
 Mere humans don’t have what it takes; when they die, their projects die with them. 
 Instead, get help from the God of Jacob, put your hope in God and know real blessing! 
 God made sky and soil, sea and all the fish in it.
 He always does what he says—he defends the wronged, he feeds the hungry. 
 God frees prisoners—he gives sight to the blind, he lifts up the fallen. 
 God loves good people, protects strangers, takes the side of orphans and widows, but makes short work of the wicked. 
 God’s in charge—always.  Zion’s God is God for good!  Hallelujah”

Psalm 146, MSG

In God, grace and truth—as different from each other as oil and water—blend together so thoroughly that there is no separation. This is what Adam and Eve experienced in the Garden of Eden and what God intended when he created the world. When they sinned, their first act was to hide from God, and that perfect relationship was broken.

So God gave them truth (the 10 commandments), a blueprint or a structure to live by. And the truth is, no one can live up to God’s standards. We are broken by sin.

Truth without Grace is judgment. It sends you straight to hell, literally and experientially.” 1

Hallelujah! God is also Grace.

Grace and love (often used interchangeably in the Bible) are inseparable, undeserved, and unearned. God knows the real you and, by his grace, loves you anyway. But God is bigger than grace alone. Grace without truth lets us get away with less- than-successful living; it stops growth. Think of a child who is never reprimanded, but always patted on the head no matter what his behavior. He terrorizes the household.

Our Father God blends grace and truth together.

“When you attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects, you are cut off from Christ, you fall out of grace.” (Galatians 5:4, The Message)

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only [Son], who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14, NIV)

“From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:16-17, NIV)

Jesus doesn’t stop at grace and forgiveness—he loves us while we are sinners, but he tells us to identify our sins and confess who we truly are. When we hide behind a false front—the face we present to others—we aren’t in relationship with God. Then our only choice for healing is by our own strength, methods, and false solutions—an impossible task. We need God’s help. He accepts us with a full realization of who we are, and then gives us direction for how to live in the future. Grace and truth blended together.

1Henry Cloud, Changes That Heal, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992), 9

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