We are most ineffective in sharing our faith when we forget the 2 essential ingredients: grace and truth.
And pastors, this includes forgetting from the pulpit.
Some of us tend to be heavy on the grace side, using “Jesus loves you” as our talking point of choice, but not really mentioning the sins that are so prevalent and need to be dealt with. Or at the least, mentioning them as a side note. Others of us preach repentance to dirty, rotten sinners without so much as a hint of God’s love for them.
Neither bias is right. Neither is biblical. There must be a balance.
The Bible says that Jesus was “full of grace and truth” – He was not lacking in either department. Nor was he skewed one way or another. (John 1:14)
I teach personal evangelism to our freshman students here in Metro Manila. I use the example of a coin when teaching them how to share the gospel. On one side, you have the “good news” – the fact that Jesus gave Himself for us. That’s grace. On the other side of the coin, you have the need for repentance. That’s truth. And like a coin with two sides, the availability of grace and the fact that sinners must repent cannot be separated. They should – they must – both be present. In fact, like a coin, you cannot have one side without the other.
I contend that all of us (myself included) stray to one side or the other at times. Maybe it’s our personalities, maybe it’s our training. But we all at some point forget to emphasize grace, or we come very close to leaving out truth.
So what is the solution? The good news is that we can ask the Holy Spirit to help us stay more balanced – to be more like Jesus. Jesus was full of grace and truth. He wants you to be the same way, and He will help you get there.
Share the truth in love and grace.
Which way do you most often stray?