When I was little, I quickly learned which parent to go to that would increase the likelihood of receiving what I asked for. As I grew older, I learned to access both of my parents in meaningful ways in discussions about my life. My mom and dad had different ways of looking at the same thing, and the combination of their viewpoints gave me a much richer understanding of the situation. Even if their counsel to me seemed to differ, the blending of the two viewpoints often produced greater wisdom.
When it comes to God’s truths in His Word, there often appear to be competing viewpoints from different authors and sometimes from the same author! Some of God’s truths are simply so rich they require looking at them from several different angles.
Take Paul and James, for example. Paul had a consistent message of being “saved by grace through faith, not by works.” And yet James makes the point “faith apart from works is dead.” While it appears that Paul and James are going toe-to-toe in a battle of gospel theology, they are actually standing back to back defending the same truth. Paul makes it clear that the core of the gospel is a surrendered faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, apart from anything we can do. James clarifies that a truly surrendered life of faith will also result in a transformational life full of fruit. It’s the same gospel, yet even richer! How awesome is God’s Word!
In JH/HS chapel this week, we unpacked Scriptural principles surrounding living a life of truth in love. Truth and love are not competing qualities but rather complimentary attitudes manifesting the work of the gospel. Love and truth are intended to coexist, both inside the church and in our lives outside the church. Pray for this next generation of disciples as they develop personal convictions of shining the truth of God’s love through their lifestyle and words.