** For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. ** John 1:17
In our last post, we defined grace as unmerited favor and the blessings of the Lord in our daily lives.
Let’s look a little more at grace and try to answer some possible questions.
Where did grace come from?
Our verse for today tells us. John 1:17. ** but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. **
It came from Jesus Christ. It came from God. The New Testament tells us that grace and truth came through the life of Jesus.
In the Old Testament, it says…
** All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies. ** Psalm 25:10
Mercy and truth. Mercy defined is not giving us the punishment we deserve. It is showing great patience and compassion. It is showing special favor or forgiveness to those that serve the Living God.
From the Old Testament to the New, mercy blends into grace. Mercy is the lack of punishment that we deserve but don’t receive. Mercy crosses over from Malachi to Matthew, and is amplified into grace, the great favor we do receive but don’t deserve through the grace of Jesus. Grace is the smooth transition between the Old and the New. In other words, we do not have to pay for the punishment for the commandments of the OT that we break, but now we live in the great favor of God, who daily showers us with His blessings even though we have done nothing spectacular to deserve His love and attention.
Who is the we that we are talking about that receive this grace?
**unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies. ** Psalm 25
Psalm 25 also tells us that mercy comes from the Lord: to those who keep the Lord’s covenant and testimonies. If someone kept their pact with God and obeyed his laws, the Lord showed him mercy. He got a pass on some of his mistakes. Like David did. Like Abraham did. These men’s lives openly reflected their commitment to God and His ways. So when they made some mistakes, they didn’t get all they deserved from those mistakes. They received mercy.
The Father’s mercy blends into the Son’s grace in John 1:17. Grace and truth comes through Jesus Christ meaning that when God’s children are looking for favor, or blessing or forgiveness today, because we don’t do all that we should, we receive grace (mercy inverted) from Jesus Christ. The truth part stays in its place. OT and NT. Mercy and truth. Grace and truth. Either one sets the truth in the center with them. Truth=God’s Word. Both mercy and grace are dependent on God’s Word…
If we follow and obey God’s Word we receive mercy and grace.
** Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly. ** Proverbs 3:34
Accepting that the Lord knows best and choosing to follow His commandments, to love Him with all our hearts… and loving our neighbor as we do ourselves, shows that we have humbled ourselves before His Sovereignty and Wisdom. We allow Him to lead us day by day. We are humbled before His Word and accept it as our Guide. This humbling invites His grace over us.
What benefit was grace to the first followers of Christ?
** And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. ** Acts 4:33
The apostles were witnessing, sharing their story, living miracle-filled lives…a regular demonstration of great grace…just like we can do in our own lives. We can boldly tell others how the Lord has changed our lives. We can be examples of the Great grace we have received from a great God and Savior.
How can others recognize this grace in us today?
** Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. ** Acts 11:23
The grace that we receive can be seen by others. Grace manifests in God’s children when we walk with Him. Grace is visible to others when they see our faith and strength in trials. Grace is evident when we walk away from serious situations unharmed. Grace is the answer to our prayers. Grace is being able to love the unlovable. Grace is not having to have the last word. Grace is knowing when to be silent and when to speak.
We receive grace from the Lord and we show grace to others. Unearned favor. Unearned help and kindness. Grace received, grace given.
Our final question…do others see the grace of God in us?
Let’s not be hard on ourselves. Of course they do!
As the Lord’s children, His favor is always evident. In the way that our children are stronger of heart than others’ children. In the way our table is always full when others go hungry. In the bountiful closets we have when others have little. In the boldness we have to speak of our faith. In the solidity of our families. In the hearts we have to help and serve others. In the courage others see in us when we go through great trials.
Grace. Paul’s wish for Timothy. Paul’s assurance that the Lord’s grace was already there with him. And is now with you.