We must never compromise God’s standard. We are a people of grace, not condemnation. Holy is the Lord. Jesus is full of grace. Obedience to the Word of God brings intimacy with God. We are no longer living under the law, but we are free in the Holy Spirit.
The above statements may seem contradictory, and Christians often debate which truth should have precedence in our lives. However, I don’t see contradictions, but rather complimenting principles. To be like Jesus is to be balanced. He was full of grace and truth. Truth points to God’s character and grace shows His heart. To be like Jesus is to embrace both.
When I wrote Twice a Slave, I discovered both truths took center stage in the life of Joseph Willis. John Willis, Joseph’s cousin, was incensed by the injustice thrust upon Joseph. Slavery was a horrible injustice, but it was only one half the injustice experienced by his cousin. Not only was Joseph a slave, but his father emancipated him in his will just before he died. However, John’s father, Daniel, kept Joseph in slavery and stole most of the fortune that had been left him.
In order for Joseph to achieve greatness, he needed justice. John showed him justice and as a senator wrote a law that gave Joseph his freedom. He stood firm on convictions that many didn’t hold at the time. But, being freed didn’t guarantee Joseph’s greatness. He needed grace as well. Once he experienced the grace of God, he became a pioneer of the faith. He accomplished great things and went places no one else had ever been. Law and grace built a highway upon which Joseph could travel.
Truth, righteousness, and justice gave Joseph his freedom, but God’s love and grace gave him the passion to reach people no one else cared about. Both gave him the power to travel the road to success. It’s when the judge meets grace that we see the beauty of God’s plan in our lives. It’s then that we see the fullness of the character of Christ – the One who is absolute holiness and perfect love. May the love of God and the holiness of Christ always remain intertwined in the fabric of our lives. Together, they will lead us down the road of true success.