Reaching Out Like Jesus
With Grace and Truth
Pastor Ron Johnson
In John 1, the author explains that Jesus is eternal and was with God "in the beginning". He goes on to express that Christ was and is God and according to Scripture, everything that has been made has been made through Him. John then went on to say life is in Jesus Christ and that John the Baptist came to testify of Him who was and is the true light that came into the world to give light to all.
Then shortly after, in v 14, John offers a description of Je-sus that I'm inviting you to consider carefully with me this morning.
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.
Out of all the things that could be said about _____ Jesus is and _______ He's like, John (while directed by the HS) summarized his ___________ with these 2 words.
Jesus was full of both __________ AND __________.
Our Lord was able to speak and interact with people (whether they were believers or unbelievers) in a genuinely gracious manner, without ignoring or needing to alter what was true.
* Pastor Ron highly recommends Randy Alcorn’s book The Grace and Truth Paradox.
In that book, Alcorn discusses what he refers to as a 2 point formula of Christ-likeness and suggests that those who truly desire to be like Christ must be full of what Jesus was full of... Grace AND Truth.
However, you and I are often inclined to lean more heavily one way than the other.
People that lean more heavily toward “grace” are often pleasant to be around, don’t ruffle feathers, and are quick to accept everyone for who they are. This is beautiful, but without ________, __________ isn’t really grace, it’s just being nice and accepting.
“Truth” people on the other hand often stand for their con-victions, set standards and have a firm belief in what’s right and wrong. This is beautiful, but without _________, telling the __________ can become an excuse for belligerence.
Some helpful things to consider...
Grace people are often most concerned about being loved. Truth people are often most concerned about being right even it means being unloved. Both have dangers.
Something is wrong if everyone _________ you, and something is probably just as wrong if everyone ________ you.
Consider Jesus words in Matt 5:11 where he reminded his followers “Blessed are you WHEN others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
You see... Jesus understood that when you stand for TRUTH, follow and speak up for God there will inevita-bly be people who won't like it (even when it's motivat-ed by love) and they may even say things about you that aren't true.
Then consider his words in Luke 6:26 when he said “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.”
You see… Jesus understood that people have a ten-dency to speak very well of those who have a reputa-tion of being gracious and telling people what they want to hear, but aren’t willing to speak the truth.
Remember: The same Apostles who were bold enough to proclaim the truth that There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved in Acts 4:12 were also described in Acts 4:33 as giving their testi-mony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus with great power and great grace being upon them all.
In John 20:21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
Church family, Jesus was very clearly sent by the Fa-ther full of both Grace AND Truth. Is this true of you?
Prompts for Personal Reflection / Application
Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.
1) What stood out to you most about today’s message as it relates to Jesus being characterized by both Grace AND Truth?
2) Have you ever shared your testimony or the gospel with someone and tip toed around the truth? Have you ever shared your testimony or the gospel with someone and done so in such a way that it came across harsh?
3) Do you think these words describe you (as a pattern of your life)? Why or why not? Would others describe you as a man or woman full of Grace AND Truth?
4) Do you feel like you’re more naturally inclined to lean one way or the other when it comes to maintaining this grace and truth balance? If so, which and why and what should you do about it?
5) Share how you’d like to see God help you apply this message to your life and invite those around you to pray for you. Are there any specific instances or rela-tionships you could pray for?
Pastor Ron Johnson