Read John 1:1-18
If you are part of Grace Church in Wooster, OH, you probably know that members of our congregation sponsor orphans in an orphanage in Cambodia, which we have affectionately named “Grace Place.” Meanwhile, our son is a children’s pastor in a local church in Oklahoma City. Any guesses what the name of the church is? It’s “Grace Place Baptist Church.”
More than the “what are the chances of that?” aspect of the names, I want to draw attention to the name itself. “Grace Place” is a fitting name for a ministry seeking to honor and to reflect the character of Jesus Christ. Perhaps you noticed in today’s reading that Jesus is “full of grace and truth” (v. 14) and that “grace and truth came through” Him (v. 17). In similar manner, His church should be a place where both “grace and truth” abound.
“. . . the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (v. 17)
There is something distinct but also complementary about the two phrases of that verse. The law conveyed the holy requirements of God. Its emphasis on purity and performance communicated an unattainable standard. God’s purpose in giving it through Moses was to point out the impossibility of living a life pleasing to God. It communicated the inadequacy of the individual and the necessity of Someone greater.
That Someone was Jesus Himself. He perfectly fulfilled all the requirements of God. He was the missing ingredient . . . the very One to whom Moses and countless other Old Testament characters had pointed. Through His “grace and truth,” He made connection with the Father possible.
It is true, the church must use the law properly. We must use it to help people understand their inability.
It is true, the church must be a place where the truth of God is spoken. We saw last week that the church is the pillar and foundation of the truth (1 Tim. 3:14-16).
But we dare not forget that the church is also to be a place where the grace of God also abounds.
Are you full of grace and truth? Does the pendulum swing farther towards one than the other?