Grace and Truth: Why Both Are Necessary

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John tells us that Jesus came “full of grace and truth.” (John 1:11).

That perfectly sums up what we find in the Gospels. Jesus was big on grace and big on truth. We see it in John 4 – he shoots straight with the woman at the well in calling out her “husband” situation and yet it doesn’t run her off. He shoots straight with the lame man in John 5 when he asks him if he wants to be well before Jesus heals the man. The same thing in John 8 with the woman caught in adultery – “neither do I condemn you…go and sin no more.”

Today I am seeing more and more people big on grace and light on truth. I am also seeing people big on truth and light on grace. Jesus picked both…Jesus embodied both. And so should we.

If we push too hard into one or the other we are going to have problems. Grace without truth will produce people cavalier about sin who will have no understanding of the true effects of sin and how detrimental it is to us as divine image bearers. Truth without grace produces people who see God in terms of legal requirements. Both extremes produce people who don’t understand the very nature of God as a God of truth and grace. Justice and righteousness require both.

People won’t listen to your truth if they don’t sense your grace. People won’t appreciate the grace unless it is also paired with truth (how do you appreciate grace if you don’t know the truth about sin?).

So let us people Jesus’ people and embody what he embodied…both grace and truth!

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