Ann Spangler

Ann Spangler is an award-winning writer and speaker.

GRACE + GRACE + TRUTH = GOD’S LOVE

Sunset over the mountains through evergreen treesWe know the Bible is God’s Word. All of it—even the messy, gory, challenging parts of the Old Testament that we find hard to decipher. But as important as Scripture is, God wanted to communicate himself even more clearly, so in an ultimate act of grace, he sent his Son.

John’s Gospel describes this momentous gift by saying, “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). It’s interesting that John describes Jesus as the Word and also as the one who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. All aspects of Jesus—what he said, the miracles he performed, the way he lived and died—are a message from God, a revelation of his character. John goes on to say, “The law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (1:17, niv).

Mart De Haan, of RBC Ministries, points out that most of us have either a grace default or a truth default. Those oriented toward grace, for instance, are always willing to give the benefit of the doubt. They will do almost anything to smooth things over, even if that means disregarding the truth at times.

On the other hand, those who are oriented toward truth can sometimes be harsh and insensitive. But Jesus was perfectly balanced, oriented toward both grace and truth. De Haan goes on to remind us that just as adding two parts hydrogen to one part oxygen yields water, the life of Jesus would seem to indicate that two parts grace plus one part truth yields the love of God. That is the divine equation that should characterize our lives as followers of Jesus Christ.(1)

Let’s ask God to help us remember this formula as we encounter people who disagree with our most cherished beliefs. Let’s also remember this formula for God’s love when it comes to relating to those closest to us.

(1) Based on an unpublished sermon by Mart De Haan (Maranatha Bible and Missionary Conference, Muskegon, MI, July 17, 2011).

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