Fully Truth & Grace

Gray Foshee

Timothy Keller says, “Truth without grace is not really truth and grace without truth is not really grace”. Let that sink in for a moment.

John 1:14-17 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out), "This was he of whom I said, He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me." For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 


The word Grace is used in the bible 170 times with 131 times coming in the NT.  Grace is the Greek word 'Charis' meaning a blessing, credit, gift or favor. Some people have defined grace as you receive something you don’t deserve. 

II. Cor.12:8-9 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

The weaker we are in our human ability the more powerful we become in Christ. It is His grace that empowers us.


The word Truth is used 224 times in the bible. Truth is derived from the Greek word 'Aletheia' meaning what is true and that which is unhidden. John 8:32 says And you shall know the truth and the truth will make you free. In John 4:24 scripture states, God is spirit and his worshippers must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 14:6 Jesus said I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. I Cor. 13 says love rejoices with the truth and Eph. 6:14 says stand firm with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, which by the way, is the first piece of armor we are to put on.

If we as believers hold firm to one over the other, we are not fully embracing the Christlikeness that the Father has for us. In fact, it’s possible we are denying who Jesus is, full of Grace and Truth. I have learned, as believers, we have found it easier to embrace the contrast between either/or, for example, lying is a sin or it’s not. But there is a very real tension when it comes to both/and. We usually gravitate to the either/or verses because they define a specific boundary or a difference between 2 categories. But Jesus came to defy categories and He came to establish grace & truth. Jesus is 100% grace & 100% truth. 

Tauren Wells says this: “A gospel without the truth of human sinfulness is rendered powerless, for what is there to be saved from without truth exposing how we missed the mark. A gospel void of the power of grace is meaningless, for how can we be delivered of our own sinfulness without sufficient grace to set us free from it." If we are driven by truth but light on grace or driven by grace and light on truth, that leaves us without the fulness of Jesus.

One of the greatest examples in the bible where Jesus displays 100% truth and grace is with the woman at the well. He speaks truth about her having 5 husbands. He tells her that He is the Living Water and reveals Himself as the Messiah. She then leaves her water pots and goes and tells the entire town what? “Come and see the man that told me all that I had ever did”. Jesus brought light to the hidden parts of her life. He brought truth. And the truth is what set her free. Free from her sin, shame, failures, and regrets. 

The Truth About Truth & Grace

Most of us would probably swing to one side or the other when it comes to truth and grace. What would your spouse say that you tend to lean towards when it comes to truth and grace?

GRACE PEOPLE: These would view their world and concept of God through the lens of God’s grace. For example, they like the stories in the bible that talk about grace. In John 4, Jesus shows grace to the same Samaritan woman at the well or in John 8, He shows grace to the woman caught in adultery and was thrown at his feet. Most conversations that 'grace people' have lean into grace and sometimes steer away from hard truths. Some may even try to hide the truth.

TRUTH PEOPLE: We view our world and concept of God through the lens of Truth. It’s God’s truth that sheds light on our own sinfulness as well as the sins of others, i.e. in John, Jesus told the woman at the well ALL she had done. Or in Mark 9 Jesus tells his disciples the widow has given far more than anyone else by giving her two coins. Jesus always showed grace and spoke truth. Many 'truth people' are black and white, sometimes judgmental, giving very little grace.


Hidden is defined as to be covered up, concealed or in the dark. How many times have we tried to cover up our mistakes? The more we try to cover them up the more we become bound, enslaved. and in the dark. It’s only when we allow Jesus to shine His light through His word that we can become free. You can know the truth and truth will make you free. Remember, as we said in a previous blog, God's ultimate goal for marriages are to be naked and unashamed. This can only happen when both grace and truth flow through each partner. 

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