Monday, June 2, 2014

Tell the Truth or Extend Grace?

A preacher should do both.  He should preach the truth (even the hard places) while extending grace.

John 1:14 says Jesus came… full of grace and truth.  He embodied both attributes.  He thundered the convicting truth of God’s Word and extended grace to repentant sinners.  Jesus offered neither a feel-good theology that glazed over any real talk about sin, nor the legalism of harsh condemnation.

The frightening trend today, however, is to go heavy on grace at the expense of truth.


As Henry Cloud has written, “truth without grace is judgment, and grace without truth is license.”

We are currently in a series on the Ten Commandments.  It’s a strong word, heavy on truth.  Yet we keep coming back to the NT finding the promises of grace.  It takes both – grace and truth – to make disciples, to edify the Body of Christ, to build a healthy church.

Recently I read that hundreds of thousands of Catholics are falling away from their church.  Mainline Protestant denominations aren’t doing much better.  The Southern Baptist Convention, for instance, has become alarmed by a two-decade decline in baptisms.  The United Methodist Church has recently reported that they are facing a “slow, organizational death.”

The real headline here is that lukewarm religion holds little value in the minds of people influenced by secularism.  If a faith religion lacks conviction, passion, absolutes, or life change, then it seems both privately and socially irrelevant.

Hence, it falls on deaf ears.

This means the only kind of voice that can arrest the attention of the world (and our congregations) will be convictional in nature, clear in its message, substantial in its content, and bold in its challenge.

So while a lot of people may be losing their religion, let’s be sure that PCC doesn’t lose its prophetic voice.

“Preach the Word.  Be instant in season, and out of season; reprove, and rebuke with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2).

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