Showing posts from December, 2019

Full of Grace and Truth

                John 1:14 tells us that Jesus is “full of grace and truth.” It’s an amazing thought. In Jesus Christ, God is manifested in a way man could see and touch and hear and understand. We know God is light and in Him is no darkness at all, so He must be the perfect embodiment of truth, and when this Truth came to us, it was to bring glad tidings of grace upon grace, even though that good news cost Him His life. He is full of grace and truth. No one has ever been more truthful and no one has ever been more gracious because He is perfectly filled up with both. So why are we so often told that we need to have balance between grace and truth? I can’t count how many times I’ve heard something along those lines. It is presented as if these concepts are in tension and Christian maturity has the correct balance between the two. A graceless person might be said to “lean too much on truth and not have enough grace,” or someone who has few convictions might be told, “It’s good to

Understanding Romans 9, Part 1, Context and Theme

This post was originally published at Introduction There are a lot of passages in Scripture that people intentionally avoid. Usually it is because they have an idea about what it says, and they don’t like that idea. Romans 9 is one of those passages, and there are a lot of jokes at the expense of non-Calvinists because of it. Calvinists use it as a proof text for the idea that God unconditionally predestined some to salvation and some also use it to suggest that the unelect are predestined to damnation. It says things like, “He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens,” and that is assumed to mean that God chooses individuals for each from eternity past and without conditions. I don’t expect this series of articles to solve the debate about Romans 9, or even to persuade those who are committed to Calvinism. That isn’t the point of this series. What I’m hoping to accomplish is to help those who say, “I’m not sure I understand Romans 9, and I hav