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  • David

    February 17, 2022 at 6:00 am

    The Seedbed Daily Text, February 16, 2022

    The “Grace and Truth Paradox” (Randy Alcorn, 2003) has always been difficult for me to clearly articulate, so I can identify with JD’s struggle. That’s why I am a day late sharing my reflections.

    Ron Crandall accurately describes these two seemingly opposites as “two parts of the whole.” They are two sides of the same coin. We can only have one if we have the other. Truth without Grace is legalism and Grace without Truth is either cheap or non-existent. The combination of the two results in Godly love, which is greater than the sum of its parts.

    So What is Grace and What is Truth? Grace is simply the unmerited favor of God that saves us from the Law of Sin and Death. I have always described it as God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense. The Truth is the God breathed Word of God, both written and living. The glue that binds the two together as one is Jesus Christ who is full of both Grace and Truth (John 1:14). The way that we receive Grace and Truth is to accept and stay in love with Jesus. The way we show our love of Jesus is to obey His commandments (John 14:15). His commandments are to love God, to love others, and to love one another as He has loved us. JD nails the nature of this obedience, “It is not the self-interested obedience of compliance. It is the self-forgetful obedience of love.”

    But what is self-forgetful obedience of love and how do we actually do that? Well first, we must be spiritually reborn of “imperishable seed” (1 Peter 1:23). If we are born again, then we have also been purified by His Word and we are declared clean. Then as long as we abide in Him, we will bear spiritual fruit (love). He will also prune us so that we can bear even more fruit (John 15).

    As I reflect on my words and the mystery of Grace and Truth, it still seems a bit muddy. The mystery of receiving Grace and giving grace, and how to live in obedience to the Truth that is in Christ is still not clear. My favorite seminary professor, Robert Mulholland explains in The Deeper Journey that Paul helps us understand this strange combination more clearly when He says, “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3).

    The way we live in self-forgetful obedience is to live in Christ and for to Him to live in an through us. We die to our false self and our false religious self (our self-referenced, self-reliant, self-absorbed self,) and we are resurrected with Christ to our true self, which is our “Christ Self.” It is no longer about us or our futile efforts. These are nothing more than “rubbish” (Philippians 3:3-9). It is about Him and it is His resurrection power that enables us to “to have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart” (1 Peter 1:22). Lord let it be so with me!