The world is so sinful.
God continually reveals himself and his truth to all men and women. Some hear God’s truth over the airwaves, some learn of God and his ways from their friends, some read his proclamations in his Book, and all have a measure of his truth written on their brains and consciences. However, despite God’s distribution of his truth, none appreciate his revelation. Instead of worshiping him and loving their brothers well, all men and women ignore God, suppress his teachings, and fill the gap with some sort of replacement theology. Yes, relativism, materialism, and hedonism rule the day. All humans prove to be arrogant, foolish, idolatrous, and dangerous followers of Satan.
The world is so condemned.
God continually sees all man’s wicked affections, thoughts, words, and deeds. And being the Just Judge of all the earth, he rightly condemns the guilty.
And one ought not think for a moment that God dispassionately condemns the guilty. In his Word, he reveals how he burns with a holy hatred towards Satan, Satan’s followers, and their sinful conditions.
Therefore, he removes his protective hand and pours out a measure of his wrath upon his creatures.
All men and women suffer spiritual excommunication, physical disability, physical disease, and physical deterioration followed by death.
All men and women suffer reproductive agony; generational pain, vocational difficulties, and relational discord.
And all do so on a planet that has been divinely cursed; climate change and environmental damage is God’s righteous doing.
And it gets worse. Following men’s experience of God’s earthly condemnation and curse, rebellious sinners exit the globe and enter hell. It is a horrible thing to fall into the hands of a righteous God. It is a horrible thing to be sinful and condemned.
The world is so graced.
God is longsuffering and does not immediately pour out the full-measure of his righteous wrath.
God is the one who graces Adam and Eve with his Gospel-plan of salvation. They are to abandon trust in themselves, and place all their hope in their someday-coming Seed. They don’t yet know his name, but Jesus is heading their way, and he will be the enemy of Satan. Jesus will be the injured and sacrificed one. He is destined to be the victor who clothes men and women with his righteous covering. Adam, Eve, and their children are to place their faith in him, and as they do they are graciously made holy sons and daughters of God.
God is the one who graces Israel and all who hear the Good News through them. Continually, God proclaims his Law and Gospel to every generation through ministers like Job, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and the prophets. Through their ceremonies and sermons they point men and women to the someday-coming Son, Prophet, Judge, Priest, Sacrificial Lamb, and King. All who abandon self-righteousness and look to faith in him, though they be horrifically sinful, they are graciously made holy sons and daughters of God.
God is the one who adds a human body and soul and comes to earth. But notice, the Son does not come to condemn and curse, for this is already being accomplished. Instead, Jesus Christ comes to provide grace and truth:
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 … 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.
John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
John 12:47 If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.
And today, though the sacrificial ministry of Jesus is complete, he still works. Today, Jesus Christ — through his Word, Spirit, and children — showers grace and truth upon horrific sinners who are already condemned and cursed.
Therefore … Let us be more honest.
Who do we think we are? Who do we pretend to be? Why do we think our sin stinks less than our neighbors? Friends, there is no reason to look about, notice the particular brand of sin in our neighbor, compare, point the finger, pretend there is a grading curve, and pray with the misguided Pharisee:
“God, I’m thankful I’m not a sinner like __________, because I do __________.” (Lk. 18:11ff)
We are all putridly wicked in the Judge’s eye. God’s righteous standard has neither grades nor degrees, and our neighbor’s transgressions are not more odious in God’s sight than are ours. In our Holy Judge’s judicial opinion — none are righteous; all are rankly wicked; all smell like the pit; and we are not the exception.
Therefore … Let us be more happy.
There is no reason for the Father to send his only begotten Son — but he did.
There is no reason for the Son to come, live, and die for us — but he did.
There is no reason for the Spirit to see our rebellion, sovereign affect our hearts, and motivate us to repentance and faith — but he did.
For us who are married to Jesus Christ, we are horrific sinners — foreknown, foreloved, predestined, chosen, redeemed, united, reconciled, regenerated, justified, adopted, sanctified, married, and waiting for the day of eternal consumption.
All of this is undeserved. All of this is free. All of this is immutable and unchangeable. Instead of the condemnatory truth of God, we have received the gracious truth of God. What’s wrong with us? Where’s the joy? Come on believer, be happy and enjoy our God.
Therefore … Let’s be more gracious and truthful.
Some might conclude we are to never stand for good and oppose evil. Some might reason we are only to be huggers who never remind our neighbors of God’s truth and their condition. Oh friends, such conclusions are foolish. They are neither gracious nor truthful. Never are we to idly sit by and smile while our neighbors …
- Forgo the Glorious God and his fantastic truth
- Write and re-write their own moral code
- Seek comfort in relativism, materialism, and hedonism
- Bow at the feet of their own false gods
- Teach their children to be godless idolaters
- Continually suffer dissatisfaction and disenchantment
- Forsake the Christ who sacrificed himself for sinners
- Suffer more and more of God’s earthly curses
- Pass into the afterlife where they will experience God’s eternal curse
No friends, let us be gracious, truthful, and active.
Let’s point our sinful friends to the Gracious and Truthful One. Let’s make less of ourselves and lift high Jesus Christ. Let’s be most known as those who shout loudest about Christ’s sacrifice, free offer, companionship, inheritance, family, fantastic lordship, and divine wisdom. We, our families, and all our neighbors need this. We all need the Gospel. We all need Him. Let’s point everyone we come into contact — in the church and outside the church — with to the Gracious and Truthful One, and let’s do so over and over and over again.
But … let’s do so in a gracious and truthful manner. Our family, friends, and neighbors do not need another judge; they already have One in heaven. And they do not need us to condemn and curse, for they have already received such through the scriptures and in their consciences. No, they need humble and happy recipients of the Gracious and Truthful One, gracefully and truthfully pointing them to the Friend of Sinners. So as we serve, minister, love, evangelize, and seek to make disciples, let’s pray that Christ’s grace and truth might shine through our faces, our writings, our conversations, our social media posts, our competitions, our hobbies, our work dealings, our politicking, our sermons, and our worship services.
Yes friends, our world needs more grace and truth. It does not need an army of arrogant and judgmental demigods who think they are either the Savior or the Judge. Our world needs gracious and truthful witnesses proclaiming the Christ of Grace and Truth.