Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen
Grace and Truth
by Erik Momsen
I have long wondered what makes us truly different from the world. A related question is; "what makes people changed from darkness to light, from the world towards God?"
I regularly observe people following their own stubborn heads, down their own destructive paths and I see little or nothing of God in their ways. This is not a judgment of them, only a realisation that God’s ways are good and peaceful and our ways are not. Proverbs 3:17 says that Wisdom's "ways are pleasant and all her paths are peace".
Yet this is not true for many, and we pay a heavy price for this blindness.
As believers and followers of Jesus we must look directly at the Son of God and find out how we can be changed.
The Absolute Basics
"The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. ... For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." (John 1:14, 17)
- God became man and came to earth.
- John and the others saw the Glory of God on Him, whom the Father sent.
- The Glory is describes as "grace and truth".
- Jesus specifically came to bring "grace and truth".
The Hebrew phrase translated "Grace and truth" means "unfailing love and faithfulness".
- Grace is a place where God’s love is endless.
- Truth is staying the course with God - a true direction and path as opposed to something we can possess and own - something we might have.
Two Hebrew verses that speak of this "Grace and Truth" read:
"For your love is ever before me and I walk continually in your truth." (Psalm 26:3)
"Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for, through fear of the Lord a man avoids evil." (Proverbs 16:6)
- Jesus was full of the Father's Love and walked constantly in His true path back towards the Father.
He did say He would show us the Father and that "I am the way truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)
"The Truth Will Set You Free"
Jesus points out the state of slavery the Jews are in. Despite their political slavery to the Romans, they claim their freedom because of ancestry. They are children of Abraham.
Jesus however claims; "If you hold to my teachings, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." (John 8:31-41)
The Jews, along with 21st century citizens, believe slavery is a political and economic condition. Jesus notes "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin" (v. 34). What binds us is not so much who we are, what we wear and where we live, but how we sin and how we are sinned against. Jesus says we are slaves to sin - this is our problem.
The problem for the Jews was a constant battle with observance of the Law. They knew that some times they felt like sons of Abraham and sometimes due to their sins they felt like sons of the devil.
Jesus notes this situation when he says, "Now a slave has no permanent place in the family."
Jesus however has a remedy for this, "... but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." (v 35,36)
"If You Hold To My Teachings"
What are Jesus' teachings? He taught a lot of this but it will help us in this passage to return to John’s comparison between Jesus and Moses.
"For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." (John 1:14, 17) Jesus died at the hands of the Jews because he was a Law breaker. He came to supersede the Law with a completion of the Law. In Himself he fulfilled the Law.
In the whole passage from Jn 8:8 to 8:58, Jesus is teaching about His relationship with the Father - of the Father, one with the Father, speaking in the Father’s authority.
Love leads to sonship which leads to a walk of truth that defeats sin.
"Whoever follows me will never walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life." (8:12)
"... justified freely by his grace." (Romans 3:24) ---- NB
Date Added: 2009-02-26
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