10: Section 2
balance of grace and truth
John 1 v 14 to 18
verse 17 you see that Jesus brought "grace"
and "truth". Why are these two aspects of
Jesus mentioned? They are obviously important because
they were mentioned in verse 14 as well. Here there
is an "echo" from Session 8 Section 1. In
that section we discovered that Godís glory is in His
characteristics. These characteristics can be summarised
as "mercy" and "truth". This passage
in John repeats the same message (assuming "grace"
and "mercy" are similar), and adds the information
that Jesus came to show the same attributes. We then
need to find out what the Bible means by "mercy",
"grace" and "truth".
we look in Strongís Concordance, we find the
following information :
means: goodness, kindness, faithfulness, joined with
a desire to help.
indicates favour, acceptance or good will.
means: firmness, faithfulness, sureness, reliability
at these meanings, Godís character can be summarised
as "goodness, kindness and faithfulness joined
with a desire to help us to be acceptable to Him, whilst
God is being faithful, reliable and stable in His principles".
we put that rather complicated definition into simple
terms, we could say that God wants to be kind and help
people to be acceptable to Him without going against
His own principles.
tells us that there is a balance in Godís kindness and
what He expects of people. He cannot just ignore disobedience
of His rules. On the other hand, He wants to solve the
problem caused by people going against His rules.
has found a way of solving the problem caused by people
going against His rules that does not compromise those
same rules. God will show mercy if people acknowledge
that He is right regarding His standards and what He
expects of them. This is the basis of how God deals
with people. Jesus came to show how it was done.
are "echoes" of this principle all through
the Bible. Here are the passages where "mercy and
truth" and "grace and truth" are mentioned
together. These passages were found quite easily using
the computer Online
Bible that we mentioned earlier.
32 v 10
34 v 6
3 v 6 *
25 v 10
40 v 11
57 v 3
61 v 7
69 v 13 *
85 v 10
89 v 14
98 v 3
100 v 5 *
108 v 4
3 v 3
14 v 22
16 v 6 *
16 v 5
4 v 1
7 v 20
v 14 to 18
1 v 6
up the passages with an asterisk and
see if you can find the relationship
between Godís mercy and His truth. The 1
Kings 3 reference probably spells out the
principle in the simplest terms. If you want
to find out for yourself, donít scroll down yet!
relationship can be summed up as, "God will show
His love and mercy to people, if they acknowledge that
His principles are just and right". This is how
God can do something about the problem that has been
caused by the violation of His principles.
can see the principle in action in the case of King
2 Samuel 11 and 12
Samuel 11 tells us how David committed adultery with
Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite. David tried
to hide the facts, and in desperation had Uriah killed
so that he could take Bathsheba as his wife. The end
of the chapter says that "the thing that David
had done displeased the Lord". David had now violated
Godís principles in two ways - adultery and murder.
Samuel 12 tells how God dealt with the problem. Nathan
the prophet made David realise that he had violated
Godís principles. As soon as David acknowledged that
God was right and he (David) was wrong, God forgave
him. But notice that David was told he would not escape
without suffering consequences to show that what David
had done was wrong (v 10 to 12). You will see echoes
of this balance of kindness and maintaining principles
all through the Bible.
balance of grace and truth
you wish to look at this principle a little more, look
up the rest of the references. If you have marginal
references, see where they lead you!
you read through the Psalms, you may notice that wherever
"mercy" is mentioned, "truth" or
a similar idea will often be mentioned as well. You
may like to look at these references:
30 v 9 & 10; 31 v 5 to 7; 51 v 1 & 6; 117 v
2; 145 v 9 & 18
a list of the times you see this principle in the Bible
stories. The "David and Bathsheba" incident
can be the first on your list.