by Mike Ratliff
17 ὅτι ὁ νόμος διὰ Μωϋσέως ἐδόθη, ἡ χάρις καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐγένετο. (John 1:17 NA28)
17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. (John 1:17 NASB)
Without a doubt the “visible church” in our time is in a great deal of confusion. Why? It is because there are scores of so-called “Christian leaders” who have compromised the truth in order to make their ministries more acceptable to the world. As our Lord stood before Pilate He said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” Pilate said what to our Lord? He said, “So you are a king?” Our Lord replied, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” What was Pilate’s answer? He said, “What is truth?” What is it that our Lord is teaching us here is that we must learn and appropriate and apply to our lives? God’s truth is not editable. It is not modeling clay. It is not something that changes as times and seasons and culture changes. Grace is our theology.
Please read John 1:17 in the passage at the top of this post. The word “grace” translates χάρις or charis. Grace is without a doubt the most misunderstood part of the Truth by those who are attempting to change it to make it more appealing to the world and so it is without a doubt the first victim of those who attempt to alter the truth.
Some say that salvation is by grace but good works supplement it or that grace is necessary, but so are works or so is religiosity. Those who go down that path reveal that they know absolutely nothing about grace. Why? No statement on earth is more contradictory than the one where grace must be supplemented somehow through works.
New Testament grace is coupled with the person and work of Jesus Christ. If you remove Christ, and therefore grace, all you have left is another religion. I have experienced this myself and it is an empty religious shell full of darkness that only leads to doubt and despair. You have ten practical commandments, many ethical principles for living, but all you have is mere religion not genuine grace.
In the passage I placed at the top of this post, John 1:17, we read that “Grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.” There you have it. Grace and truth do not come through religion or works my brethren. The ultimate manifestation of God’s grace is Jesus Christ. Throughout the New Testament grace is coupled with Christ because He is the ultimate manifestation of the grace of God.
Grace can, therefore, be defined thusly: “Grace is the unmerited favor of God toward man manifested primarily through the person and work of Jesus Christ, apart from any merit or works of man.” If anyone defines grace differently than that, let him be accursed (Galatians 1:8-9). Also, anyone who does not preach that doctrine of grace is a false teacher.
Soli Deo Gloria!