God gave man a wonderful gift when he created us - choice. But as things worked out this gift has become corrupt. The fall of man was a choice made stemming from the temptation of Satan. From that point on, God has been calling us back to him. God, through the ages, has been showing us glimpses of what a restored relationship can be like with Him again. This revelation culminated as He manifested His glory in His Son (the incarnation), which also demonstrates how God's glory can be manifested in us, through His Son (incarnational living).
Life is lived by what we learn and experience. These form paradigms of what we believe to be true and reliable. In the past year and a half I have been challenged by John 1:14. "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the father, full of grace and truth". What has intrigued me most is the paradigm of "full of grace and truth". As with anything good and holy, Satan will attempt to pervert or deceive. I believe he again has deceived us, as Christ followers. The deception is to view grace and truth as an either/or, or at best a balancing act between the two.
If we are to be Christ's disciples, then is it not essential that we capture the essence of Jesus' life, of how he "dwelt among us, in the fullness of grace and truth"? We cannot be incarnational without being missional and we cannot be missional without being incarnational. The same is true for grace and truth. It's not an either/or, but a both/and.
In my upcoming mini-intensive, we will discuss, share, learn and experience what it means to flesh out "the fullness of grace and truth". We will look at how our society has been affected and why it is pushing "Church" into irrelevancy. We'll examine why there seems to be disunity in the Western Church and why the world is becoming more hostile to it. We must engage the world with the both/and of grace & truth. PARADIGMS MUST CHANGE!
by Chad Cayton, Forge Joplin Resident2013