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June 01, 2019
Grace-Centered Truth
By Mike Adkins

Grace-centered truth: We challenge people to be their best and love them at their worst. 

Some churches are all about truth. They focus on rules and regulations — how to behave and what to do. Their faith is often joyless, and although they know God saved them in grace, the rest of daily life is a heavy burden of righteousness that’s entirely up to them.
Some churches are all about grace. They believe their only job is to love people, and they’ll let God sort out everything else. They live without boundaries, and ultimately without direction.
But scripture is full of both truth and grace. In fact, Jesus Himself was the embodiment of the glory of God, and it was made up of these two things:  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
To live in only grace or in only truth is to have a deformed view of both Jesus and the Christian life; it is a theology that is crippled on one side or the other. To follow Jesus correctly, we must have an informed view — one that follows the teachings of scripture and the historical understanding of those teaching by the church and that overflows with the love and grace we’ve been given by God through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
I like to teach it like this:

If we live in high grace but low truth, our faith is abandoned. We have no direction or chance knowing how to become like Jesus, who IS the Truth. Without truth, we also have no hope of changing in the future or escaping patterns of sin and death. We also cannot truly know how to love ourselves. “Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth.” 1 Corinthians 13:6
If we live in low grace with high truth, we fall into legalism. We crumble under the weight of obedience, living like Jesus’ sacrifice for means nothing. We become harsh with others because we are harsh with ourselves, and we do not understand the purpose of teaching: love. “The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” 1 Timothy 1:5
If we live with low grace and low truth, we are apathetic toward God. We have no desire to know His love or His truth at all, and we will forever remain unchanged.
Only if we live in high grace and high truth are we engaged with the person of Jesus. We are dependent on a relationship with Him — we must know Him in order to live out truth with love, and we must know Him in order to feel His grace.
With both grace and truth, we walk with Him. We know we can aim toward His highest good while experiencing His highest grace — we don’t have to be perfect, we’re not alone, and we are loved. That’s what Grace-Centered Truth is all about.


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