John 1:17 “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
For a little while, I had a major problem reading this verse. The problem was, I didn’t understand it. I wanted to abolish the law, live in grace and skim over truth. I didn’t really want to understand what God is saying in this passage. Instead, I wanted to validate myself rather than recognize my brokenness.
The law doesn’t give life, but it does force me to realize my failures and bring them to Jesus. Its where I should recognize that my self-righteousness isn’t vindicated by the law, its exposed. No one can live up to the law God gave Moses, except Jesus. Realizing this, I can now kneel before Jesus and receive grace, instead of crumbling by trying to live up to the law.
The truth hurts. But it’s the kind of truth that makes you grow, here’s what I mean. Jesus offers us grace, forgiveness, redemption, and the gift of eternal life. It’s a free gift that he paid the price for with his life. With this gift, we receive the Holy Spirit, and are being molded into the purpose God has for us. And here’s where the truth hurts.
Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ so we can live out the purpose God has for us. His purpose for our lives is that we may be conformed to the image of Jesus, which means we need to be truthful about the areas in our lives that don’t reflect him. The cost of following Christ is our own life, meaning we can’t continue doing the same things we did before. This truth hurts.
Honestly, doing the tough things, the things Jesus would do, is difficult. Fighting the sinful nature is a lifelong struggle. But fortunately there’s grace. It reminds us that the law doesn’t conform us to the image of Jesus, but it does help us realize when we aren’t being a good image bearer. Truth helps us understand what our mission is. It helps focus me when I go down the path of self-righteousness. Grace won’t allow us to think too low of ourselves, and truth won’t allow us to think too highly either.