Grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ. (John 1:17)
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) (Heb 10:23)
Grace and Truth are not THINGS. They are a Person – as He is revealed and experienced by those in whom He dwells. If Christ dwells in you, then HE is your basis for living — the grace of God through faith. And He is Truth personified.
It is a simple fact that all that God does, and all that He has – indeed, that all relationship with God – is based upon His Son – and never based upon us. Sure. All grace is in Christ. This IS the Truth.
Of course, when we say our lives are to be BASED upon Christ, we are not only talking about the sole object of our faith and reliance, but we are talking about the Source from out of Whom we live for all things. We are supposed to depend upon Christ for all things — live from out of Him by faith.
But why should we trust God? According to Hebrews 10:23, there is one reason why we can hold fast — without wavering — to our profession of faith: “HE is faithful that promised.” Indeed, I would submit that this is the ONLY reason we are in the right to trust God: HIS faithfulness.
God is faithful. He is always faithful. He wants us to see and believe that He is faithful, and thus, walk in the Truth of His faithfulness. We do this by trusting and relying upon Him for all.
But notice what it means to say that God is faithful to us: It means that He will always work with us in grace and Truth — He will always be working according to Christ. Everything God does through His Spirit is unto Christ — that we might know Him, and that He might be formed in us. Understand that one thing and much confusion goes away.
Now, to say that we ought to trust God solely because He is faithful is perhaps so simple a statement that it hardly needs to be said. But it is nevertheless a fact that WE are not so simple. We make what ought to be a straightforward Truth complicated with all kinds of contingencies.
If we were to examine it, we would find that many Christian people do not believe God because of HIS faithfulness. Rather, we tend to believe Him because of OUR faithfulness – or we doubt because of our failures. Either way, we tend to base our faith upon ourselves. Our obedience, our efforts, and even the supposed strength of our faith – often THESE are the reasons we have confidence before the Lord in any matter. But you will note that this is backwards from the Truth. The verse does NOT say that our faith is based on anything about ourselves. It is based upon God – for it is based on the fact that HE is faithful.
We can take this simple Truth and apply it to any aspect of faith – including salvation. Millions of Christians today will tell you that they have been saved by their faith. But in a very real sense – the sense in which most of us mean that — we are not saved by our faith. No. We are saved by Jesus Christ. Your faith cannot gender salvation. Rather, by faith, you received as a free gift the finished salvation that is in Christ.
Note: A promise based upon grace cannot carry with it any conditions. The moment I introduce conditions – such as works – it is no longer of grace. No. A promise based upon grace can be based solely on the One making the promise – or there is no grace.
The usual reason we don’t receive what God offers by grace is that we try to receive it based on almost anything but grace – namely we try to receive what God has offered on the basis of ourselves; something about ourselves. And we are going to continue to do so until God shows us the Truth.
Much of the work that God does with us is unto the end that we might come to utter defeat in trying to present to Him OURSELVES as the basis for anything. If God can bring us to that end, then we will surrender and trust Christ — we will gladly lose ourselves to Him. Funny how easy it is to let go of something you finally see is without value. We have to see this about ourselves — indeed, seeing it is part of what it means to be guided into the Truth.
Note: We cannot receive what is offered solely by grace through Christ on the basis of anything about ourselves because doing so IS NOT THE TRUTH. We would be operating out of darkness trying to receive what is offered in light. Furthermore, we are not here talking about grace as a THING, but grace and Truth in a Person. Grace is received in Christ, and there is no grace outside of Him. Thus, to try to receive what is only in Christ on the basis of something other than Christ is, again, error. Finally, it is one thing to receive grace. It is another to walk in it. God gives grace so that we might walk in grace. If we try to receive it upon the wrong basis, and it were possible to do so, we would walk on the wrong basis.
What God freely gives to us is given ONLY in His Son. “Grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ.” Thus, it is futile and contrary to the Truth of grace to try to receive God’s grace, or to understand His Truth, apart from oneness with His Son. There is NO grace outside of Christ, but all grace is in Him.
This fact carries many ramifications. For one, it means that grace cannot be turned into license – even though people try to do so – it cannot be turned into license because the moment grace is turned into license it is not the grace that is found in Jesus Christ. It is no longer of the Truth in Christ. It is a lie. It is not the grace of God.
Grace AND Truth came in Christ. All that is the grace of God is one hundred percent Truth. That is because it is all Christ – it is all a matter of us experiencing HIM. If grace and Truth came in Christ then in order to know and experience grace and Truth we must know and experience Christ. You cannot make a separation here. All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are found IN HIM.
This is wonderful news, but difficult for some. It is wonderful because if all grace is found in Christ, then all grace is based upon Christ – and thus, never based upon anything about ourselves. This makes His grace certain, unconditional, and unchanging. But it is difficult for some of us because in order for us to be set free by this Truth and walk in it, we have to be stripped of everything about ourselves that we might use as the basis of God’s grace. Do we want grace? Then we must have the Truth.
Do you want to enter into the fullness of God’s grace – to walk in the Truth of grace? Then we must BE MADE TRUE – we have to BECOME those who live with God solely on the basis of His Son. This is real freedom – to be set freedom from oneself and to leave oneself alone – and live from out of Christ as our life.
By David A. DePra