Saturday, June 3, 2017

In Jesus Christ, Truth Is Balanced By Grace.

For those in our culture honest about the existence of a spiritual world, an immaterial realm, the loss of God so eagerly embraced by the West leaves us leaning in one of two directions: legalism or superstition.  Let me begin with the latter.  Superstition, at its core, is the subtle lack of faith— or for some, the loss of faith— in a good and righteous God.  If there is no righteous God, no loving Creator in control of all things, we wind up trying to appease the world of unseen powers.  This is at the heart of all animism, pantheism, and paganism: ‘I must appease the powers to protect my person, no matter how capricious or malicious they may be.’  Whenever Abba is displaced but belief in the spirit realm remains, the placation of superstition will dominate man’s efforts.  We good here?

On the flip side of the coin, but born of a different mother, is legalism.  When grace is evicted from the scene, legalism steps in and dominates.  Ceremony and ritual, without a corresponding reality {this being relationship}, become the focal points.  Do you see what’s happened to Jesus’ generation in the Gospels?  Do you see what’s happened to the Jews— even those from outside Judea— who’ve taken their stand against Stephen in Acts 6-7?  Do you see what’s happened to the ritualists and the legalists today who gnash their teeth and claw their own skin at the ideas of Freedom and Life being exactly what Jesus came to bring, or at those who teach the ‘security of the Saints’ for all Eternity?  There are many, many preachers of insecurity in the bounds of Christendom today.  Where are those who will ground the souls of their sheep in the glory of grace?

What does it say in John 1:17?  “For the Law was given through Moses; grace and Truth came through Jesus Christ.”  My personal and profession opinion is there ought to be a triple exclamation point after this statement.  Grace and Truth— and these in perfect balance— in the Person of Jesus Christ.  TLB says, “For Moses gave us only the Law with its rigid demands and merciless justice, while Jesus Christ brought us loving forgiveness as well.”

When the absolute nature of Truth is not balanced by the forgiving nature of grace, in an individual and especially an institution, power-seekers take over.  Those who profit the most always do the greatest damage to those who can resist them the least: the bruised and battered, the hurting and heart-broken, those in slavery to their sinful selves and dying for freedom!

One of these two dynamics— or some vicious combination of both— will rush in to fill the vacuum of a heart devoid of the God of mercy and grace.  Believe it.

HJC
Ric Webb  |  Shepherd
Heart’s Journey Community
9621 Tall Timber Blvd. |  Little Rock, AR 72204
t +1.501.455.0296
hjcommunity.org
Heart’s Journey – Live Generously and Love Graciously