6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love. 7 You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion is not from him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump. (Galatians 5:6-9, ESV)
Faith works through love. The inspired apostle Paul affirms what many today will not admit; faith works, and a working faith counts for something in God’s sight. God-approved faith is active. “Faith working through love” in verse 6 is synonymous with “obeying the truth” in verse 7. Jesus does not persuade Christians to think they can stop having an obedient faith and still be crowned victorious in the last day. The runner who stops running does not win the race. The Christian who stops obeying the truth will not receive an imperishable crown (1 Cor. 9:24-27). Be cautious and do not fall from the grace you have in Christ (Gal. 5:4). Be obedient in your faith to love the Savior and do His will. Otherwise, the leaven of sinful neglect and complacency will damage and destroy your faith and rob you of your reward.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
The marriage of grace and truth is complete in Jesus Christ; the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us. We need God’s grace and God’s truth; Jesus provides both (Jno. 1:17). God’s grace (unmerited, undeserved favor) offers salvation to every sinner through the cross of Jesus (Titus 2:11). The “word of the truth of the gospel” announces salvation that is obtained “by grace…through faith” (Col. 1:5; Eph. 2:8-9). Like David we cry out, “Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O Lord; Let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me” (Psa. 40:11). God answered by sending His Son (the Word) to be the Savior of the world and to give us “grace and truth” (Jno. 1:17). Christians stand in the grace of God in Christ because they believe and obey His truth (Rom. 5:1-2). Grace and truth come together in Jesus. You need both to be saved. We all do. That’s why we need Jesus.
In mercy and truth atonement is provided for iniquity; And by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil. (Proverbs 16:6)
God combines His mercy and truth to provide us atonement for sin. He is a merciful God whose truth reveals and offers reconciliation to every sinner (see Eph. 2:1-7). We must also appreciate the second part of this verse: It is “by the fear of the Lord” that the sinner departs evil so as to be reconciled to God. The gospel of Christ calls upon every sinner to fear God and keep His commandments in order to be saved by His mercy and truth (Eccl. 12:13; Mk. 16:15-16; Heb. 5:8-9). Mercy does not contradict God’s truth. Neither can we claim to fear God while refusing to leave what is evil in His sight.
Love…does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth… (1 Corinthians 13:6)
Love does not celebrate sin. Oh, how many misunderstand love! The sin of adultery is called a “love affair”, when lust is its true nature (Heb. 13:4). The sin of loving money is prolific and exalted in our materialistic world (1 Tim. 6:6-10). Loving self and loving (sinful) pleasure has defined the masses since ancient times, and it continues to be so to this hour (Gen. 6:5; 2 Tim. 3:1-5). To truly love those in your life, do not take pleasure in their sin. Do not endorse it, encourage it or participate in it. Love makes a clear distinction between sin (iniquity, lawlessness) and the truth. Jesus said God’s word is truth (Jno. 17:17). Therefore, love takes pleasure in the word of God; in learning it, believing it and living it. Love for God compels a yearning for the truth. This is a simple yet profound way to determine whether we truly love God and others. Does truth or iniquity guide our decisions and actions? What are you celebrating; sin or truth?
9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him” (Colossians 3:9-10)
A lie is a falsehood, an untruth, a deception. Every day we face many temptations to lie, from fudging our taxes to calling into work “sick” when that is not at all the case. Christians deliberately choose not to be deceptive – even if it costs them. And, it will. But, Christians choose to follow the example of Christ – and there was never deceit in His mouth (1 Pet. 2:21-22). Make up your mind that you will be a person of truth, honesty and integrity every day. By doing so you will “put off the old man with his deeds” and “put on the new man” who is conformed to the image of Christ. Be like Christ – not like sinners.
45 “But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.” (John 8:45–47)
Isn’t it ironic that many who say they have faith in God refuse the very words that come from God? Jesus said, “But because I tell you the truth, you do not believe Me” (Jno. 8:45). He told them the truth, but they wanted to do the desires of their father, the devil (Jno. 8:44). There is no truth in the devil. Sin always hinders us from believing the truth of Jesus. If you want to do the desires of God, your Father, then you will hear and believe the truth that Jesus taught. He spoke to the world the things that come from God (Jno. 8:26-27). God is speaking to you by the words of Christ. Are you listening? That will depend on whose desires you want to do; the devil’s or God’s.
7 The works of His hands are verity and justice; All His precepts are sure. 8 They stand fast forever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness. 9 He has sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant forever: Holy and awesome is His name. 10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever. (Psalm 111:7-10)
Every work of God is true, just and sure. What God does is always according to truth and altogether upright. You can develop wisdom in your life by trusting God’s precepts, revering His name and doing His will. Do not argue against the work of God or His sure and certain precepts; they are for your good. Instead, fear the Lord and “do His commandments” that you may obtain “good understanding”. God redeems His people who fear Him, keep His commandments and praise His great works.
“The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.” (Psalm 119:160)
We must show utmost respect for God’s word. One way to do that is considering the context of the passage we read, study and apply. All of God’s word is truth, so everything God says on a given subject must be taken into account as we learn what His word is teaching us. There is harmony to truth, therefore, we cannot explain one passage of Scripture in a way that contradicts another passage. We mishandle the Bible when we pit one Scripture against another. The Scriptures express God’s judgments for life on earth and for life to come. The truth of His judgments will endure. We must conform ourselves to His righteous judgments to live in His eternal care.