“Grace and Truth: How to handle issues culture brings our way”
by Sam Luce

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Redeemer.tv
June 30, 2013

Grace and Truth

As the Church we have lost our ability to speak to the issues these bumper sticker raise because we are not grateful that we have a faithful savior but because often we are grateful those bumper stickers are not true of us. We wrongfully look at the Gospel as an event that takes place and fail to see the need to continue to preach the gospel to ourselves every day.

When we understand that the abortion issue stems from the garden when we lose the ability to see every person as made in the image of God we have to construct a worldview that allows us to diminish that image so we can kill those who are most innocent.

When we understand that the homosexual issue is nothing new but is a rebellion from Gods created order. A rebellion that thought began by thinking things about God that were untrue.

When we Twist sexuality to fit our idea of what healthy sexuality would and should be based on what we think rather than what God intended.

We realize that all these issues we have discussed are founded in a flawed understanding of sin and sinfulness. We understand that none of these issues are new or unique but have been struggled with and confronted for years.

How do we confront these issues?

With Grace and Truth

Paul writes to timothy in 1 Timothy 1:5-17

5 The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, 7 desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.
8 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers,10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers,[b] liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound[c] doctrine, 11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.
Christ Jesus Came to Save Sinners
12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, 13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief,14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. 17 To the King of the ages,immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever.[d] Amen.

TRUTH –

Paul Didn’t shrink back from using the law but he used it lawfully he didn’t take the law and use it to condemn people to point to their evil and his good. The church has lost the moral ground on moral issues because we are more concerned with comparing our righteousness to their sinfulness. In doing this we are not using the law lawfully. The point of the law is not to beat the sinful but to point the sinful to that which is sinless.

“By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Truth should illuminate over and over again in our hearts the reality that Paul understood that we are good not because we avoid things and God owes us we are what we are and have what we have because of God’s grace alone.

By the grace of God that we are as good as we are. – When you understand what sin is and where sin comes from you see your pride and see your need for a savior.

When condition of our hearts are revealed by the truth the law demands our only option is grace. When you have a revelation of the gospel and understand the things that Paul understood. Paul was a blasphemer of God, a persecutor of the church and an opponent of grace. If God can save him He can save anyone.

John 1:14
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. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.[d]17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Our arguments have to be founded in Truth spoken in love.

Grace –

Our humility that is not based in the gospel produces False humility and false pride. We can’t stand it when people don’t notice. The gospel says you are the worst no matter if you are a serial killer or the reincarnation of mother Teresa. The gospel tells us that the problem is not everyone else the problem is me. It allows you to say what Paul says that Christ came to die for sinners of whom I am foremost.

Paul said that Christ came to die for sinners of whom I am foremost. – Paul identified with those he was characterizing as needing grace.

We don’t extend grace to others because we don’t see how God has extended grace to us. Those who are forgiven much love much.

When you understand the gospel you can’t contain the gratitude. Gospel centered Christians are happy and grateful because they understand they have been forgiven much Because they understand what God has done if for us in Christ.

Jesus became the worst because so we could become His best. Jesus came not to teach us not simply show us a better way but he came to take our place. He died in our place.

Christ Climbed the Tree.

In the garden we stole the fruit. We sinned in Adam we stole the fruit we can’t fix it by going back and replacing the fruit. We create manuals for fruit replacement. We try to hang it in such a way that we feel that God will no longer be mad at us. But as much as hard as we try God’s wrath will never be satisfied without a sacrifice.

Love how George Herbert says it in his Poem “The Sacrifice”

O all ye who passe by, behold and see;
Man stole the fruit,4 but I must climbe the tree;
The tree of life to all, but onely me:

We stole the fruit but Christ climbed the tree. This truth that compels us is the grace that saves us. When we have our hearts revealed to us and we see what a wretched mess we are we then see our need for a grace filled magnificent savior.

In our church in Redeemer the bumper sticker that I want to be true of us is Grace and Truth.

 

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