“The glory as of the only begotten of a Father, full of grace and truth” (1ohn 1:14).
The Need for Spiritual Balance
The age in which we live is full of complexity. The mixture of light and darkness, truth and error, good and evil have worked together to conform the world to the plan devised by the master deceiver. We need to better understand that his greatest successes have resulted from such mixtures; “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Cor 2:11).
The need for spiritual balance was never greater. This is a subject with which every believer struggles. Balance is not compromise and is not a mixture. It is not a mixture of godliness and worldliness, nor a mixture of pleasing self and serving God, nor obeying God and pleasing men. It is not a mixture of God’s Word and men’s thoughts.
The Perfect Pattern
The Lord Jesus was neither a mixture nor a blend. We are mistaken when we explain Him by saying that at times He acted as God and at other times as a Man. We may think we have cause for such an explanation, but let us never suggest that there was any conflict between His eternal deity and His perfect manhood. He had two perfect natures in one glorious Person. Even in humanity, He was not only of “like substance” with God, but the “same substance” (Heb 1:3).
He was “full of grace and truth.” Some have suggested that the grace was in His Person and the truth was in His words, but how then can we explain, His words, “I am the Truth” (John 14:6). John wrote, “The law was given by Moses, BUT Grace and Truth came…” (John 1:17). We can never say that Moses was the law, but we can truly say that Christ is Grace and Truth. This explains the amazing statement of Titus 2:11, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared. Grace has come and Grace has appeared because God became Man in the Person of Jesus Christ. In all His ways and words grace and truth were revealed and the balance was perfect. The Gospel of John affords us many proofs of His perfect balance.
1. Balance between His Pity and His Purity
John said, “There standeth One among you”(John 1:26). He mingled with the crowd, but He was unique in His sinless purity. Even though it was said of Him, “Behold! a friend of publicans and sinners” (Matt 11:19), let us be careful that we always understand that He was “separate from sinners” (Heb 7:26), I was once asked, “We don’t go to bars and places of worldly entertainment, but the Lord Jesus mingled with sinners, shouldn’t we do the same?” He was separate from sinners. We must show compassion, yet be separate from sinners.
2. Balance between Social Station and True Worth
Nathanael asked, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46). Like him, we can equate poverty in material things with spiritual and moral poverty. But God has “chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith” (Jas 2:5). It is so easy to judge a person by social station, educational background or success in the business world. James wrote, “But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin” (v 9). The Lord displayed the grace of poverty in Nazareth. “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, for your sakes He became poor” (2 Cor 8:9). There was a far deeper poverty that has brought us eternal riches.
3. Balance between Natural Ties and Divine Claims
The marriage in Cana (1ohn 2:1-11) allows us to see how the Lord Jesus honored His mother, yet kept a perfect balance between natural ties and His obedience to the will of God (John 13:1).
Christians with unsaved relations often need this balance. The claims of family need to be recognized and we should every show tender love and kindness to them, yet never allow our separation to be compromised by joining with them in their sins.
4. Balance between the Supply of Need and Waste
The Lord used the five loaves and two small fish to feed 5,000. This vast provision amazes us, but He said, “Gather up the fragments that nothing be lost (v 12). What a lesson this is for us in a world where there is so much wantonness and waste!
5. Balance between Condemning Sin & Forgiving Sinners
The woman taken in adultery was brought to the Lord Jesus to “to tempt” Him. (John 8:6). What a perfect balance of grace and truth He displayed! Sin was condemned, but not just the woman’s sin. One by one the accusers were “convicted by their own conscience” (v 9). The Lord showed tender forgiveness, yet condemned sin. We often fail in this balance.
6. Balance between God and the Instrument
The Lord Jesus could have opened the blind man’s eyes by His word, but He chose to use the clay (John 9:1-7). This is our pattern for recognizing the instrument God is pleased to use, yet not making too much of it. Mr. Albert Joyce said, “We pray knowing everything depends on God, yet we work knowing that God uses us.”
7. Balance between Belief and Behavior
The upper room ministry of the Lord (John 14-16) gives us a perfect balance between truth and practice Devotional truth that exalts Christ will produce greater devotion to Christ as Lord and likeness to Him in our ways.
8. Balance between Majesty and Meekness
“Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe” (John 19:5). Covered with spittle and shame He displayed the majesty of the Lord of Glory He truly was majestic yet “meek and lowly in heart” (Matt 11:29).
Many other evidences of perfect balance were seen in the Lord Jesus. He was “full of grace and truth”.