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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Grace AND Truth

During the message at church this morning the pastor mentioned as an aside to one of his points, John 1:17.  In the Sunday school class a few minutes later we were covering Romans 14 and one of the questions the pastor teaching that class asked was “…what was the bottom line of the chapter?”
Have you ever heard someone say that doctrine is not as important as grace?  Thoughts at DTTB.
One member of the class answered, “Live and let live.”

That answer, or something very close to that has been the type of answer that I have heard on a number of issues.  That answer ignores both the word after the “and” in the second half of John 1:17 and the first 11 chapters of Romans.

Believers are quick to invoke grace, but are seemingly resistant to truth.  I have heard more than once in more than one community that doctrine is divisive so we really need to focus on grace.  The problem is that if we read the Bible we are not allowed to do that.  Grace AND truth were realized through Christ.

Doctrine is mentioned 12 times in the New Testament.  Truth 111 times and Grace 122 times.  Grace and truth, doctrine, right teaching are treated as equally important.  Paul warns us against false doctrine and tells us that at the end people will not tolerate sound doctrine, 1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 4:3.  Christ in Matthew 15:9 decried the teaching of the Pharisees saying that they were teaching as doctrine the tradition of men.  The implication being that there is a right doctrine were not teaching.

It is both.  Not either or.  We are called to live in grace.  We are called to spread truth.  To do one without the other ignores one aspect of Christ’s purpose.

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