Monday Musings are reflections on things I've been pondering lately. They may be a result of the previous day's sermon or come from my own life or the ministry I'm involved with. As with any of my posts, I invite your comments, questions, or further reflection. Thanks for stopping in!
A year or so ago I was preaching on truth and grace and one of the dear members of the church was led to create a grace and truth banner for our sanctuary.
I used that banner as a sermon illustration a few weeks ago and it grew into this graphic, which spelled out a little more of what I think Jesus was teaching.
The gist of the idea is that real grace and real truth are inseparable. There is a false grace ("license") and a false truth ("legalism"), but the real thing is held together in Christ (literally, IN Christ - embodied in as well as taught by).
Further, in that space between grace and truth there is FREEDOM, specifically two freedoms. There is FREEDOM TO FAIL, which is an important freedom. It is the freedom to hear the truth of God’s Word and be found both guilty and still wanted and loved. We settle for believing we are not guilty or for finding others who look worse than we are. Yet we are not righteous before God. And here’s the Good News: we are not cast out, but we are chosen, wanted, and loved.
And in understanding that, accepting that, and rising in that, there is the FREEDOM TO LIVE. That’s also in that space and tension between grace and truth, in the presence of Christ. It’s a freedom to obey God’s Word, not because we have to, but because we want to. It’s the freedom that comes from failing and experiencing forgiveness. It’s the freedom God has designed us for. And it exists there in the middle space.
That's the main idea I'm continuing to muse upon. You can read more in the three sermons linked below (especially the second one, where I first used this graphic).
- The Space Between Truth and Grace (Matthew 5.17-26)
initial illustration with the banner
- Fulfilling the Word: Vows (Matthew 5.27-37)
main development of the theme of redemption
- Fulfilling the Word: Neighbors and Enemies (Matthew 5.38-48)
identified an additional theme of reconciliation alongside redemption