Grace and Truth

It is easy to give the Pharisees a hard time. Let’s face it; they are always butting heads with the Hero of the story. They get mad when people are healed on the Sabbath. They cast judgment on those of a lower social standing. And they conspired to have Jesus killed. Our negative view of them is certainly justified. 

But what if I told you I can relate to the Pharisees more than I like to admit; and maybe you can too. Here is why.

I can’t follow God’s law in my own strength, so I will often add protective rules to my life. Many times, these are wise and helpful. But they can also be deceptive, if I start to believe I can measure up to God’s righteousness by simply adding more rules. Trusting in my ability to follow my rules is fuel for self-righteousness.

There is a better way to grow like Jesus, and thankfully He is teaching me this more and more. With the limited time we have left in this devotion, let’s focus on the end of John 1:14. “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.”

Jesus is full of grace and truth, which is great news for people like me. Knowing He is full of grace frees me to allow the Holy Spirit to examine my heart as it relates to my sin. He will reveal the desires that led me to sin, which then leads me to more repentance. Since Jesus is full of grace, I don’t have to hide in fear. And it is His grace that starts to change my heart.

As He graciously leads me to repentance, He also leads me to truth. By replacing the lie or deceptive desire that led me to sin with the truth of God, true transformation begins to happen in my life. The entire process is a work of God’s grace and nothing I can produce on my own. 

Does this mean I don’t have wise boundaries and rules in my life? Absolutely not. But knowing Jesus is full of grace and truth keeps me from relying on such things for true growth in holiness. Only God can produce that in my life.

Do you have an area you have closed off from Jesus? Your rules may keep sin at bay, but that isn’t true transformation. Humbly submit to God, trusting the promise of 1 John 1:9. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

By Philip Jones

Philip and his wife, Stacy, have been attending Immanuel since 2015. They are blessed to be raising four kids. His passion in ministry is to help others follow Jesus through teaching, preaching, and personal discipleship.

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