Saying that we need to balance grace with works is similar to saying that we need to balance breathing air with suffocation. There is no balance; you either breathe air or you die. People try to grasp some of these concepts about God by introducing the idea of balance in a nonsensical way.
7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For […]
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Think about it like a normal person for just a second: how can you say He was sacrificed for sins and then say that if you sin, the sacrifice is no good?
This was why the “Lord Lord didn’t I” people in the sermon on the Mount were turned away. They equated virtue with earning the bestowal of favor. The cross of Christ severs this tie completely. It says, when you do right, you will be rejected and crucified. It says, if you want to be my disciple, you must bear the cross. The Father God will not necessarily step in and help you in the way and at the time that you think He must. We learn the secret of contentment at the point when it becomes evident that our virtue has not secured our blessing (Philippians 4:12-13).
I don’t want Him to have to believe in me! I am glad that He knows up front that I am not to be trusted, and that I am a sinner, and that even all of my righteousness is selfishly and sinfully motivated. I need a savior who does not require my faithfulness and trustworthiness. I need a savior who sees me exactly how I really am at my worst and still offers Himself as the Lamb who takes away my sin.
People are proud of their idealism. They believe that their high standards and their perfectionism are a sign of integrity and success. Actually our ideals are weapons that will ultimately turn on us and kill us. What we need is a rescue and an escape from our ideals. We need to be seen and loved and accepted and forgiven as we really are, and we need a way to love others the same way. This is exactly what the gospel offers us!
He has fullness. There is a completion, an abundance, a sufficiency in His glory. In verse 14 John says that the Word made flesh is full of grace and truth. This fullness, this grace and truth, is something we have received. It isn’t distant and theoretical and ephemeral; no one has seen God, but we have received of the fullness of His grace and truth in Jesus Christ. His fullness of grace and truth is something which can be apprehended by people.