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John 1: 17

For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.

Jesus told the Pharisees that they would be judged by the law they served. He was trying to show them a paradigm of grace. Jesus not only represents a changed paradigm but also, he ushered in salvation by grace. The Apostle John opens his book making this distinction about Christ. He understood that Jesus caused a shift in the way we were to think and to live. As I pondered this verse I began to question, what does this shift mean us? How does the church of grace and truth differ from a church of law. We don’t deny the law Moses brought down from the mountain, do we? So, what does Jesus’ ministry do to alter our spiritual and ecclesiastical experience. Ultimately the question would seem to be, “What does a life, and a church, of grace and truth look like?” The follow up question is, how are we doing with that?

I am a lawyer by training. I like my rules. They tell us where to step and where not to step. However, we have all experienced times where the rules frustrate other purposes. This points out an important concept. The laws are made according to guiding principles. When the rules, or law, run afoul of the principles we have a problem. That is what Jesus encountered. The Pharisees criticized him for breaking the rules, but he was fulfilling God’s guiding principles. When is the appropriate time to heal? Jesus’ coming was a fulfillment of the law. He actually ushered us back to a time before the law, when we were supposed to be led by the Spirit rather than by codified rules.

Tomorrow, I will carry this a bit further as we all attempt to picture what a church of grace and truth is.

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