Grace and truth show the way
Pastor Orval Wirkkala, Apostolic Lutheran Church, Kingston
“Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel: for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.” Hosea 4:1
The teachings and experiences we have had from our past, combined with our attitude toward the future, collectively form our identity today.
If we have had sound biblical teaching sown into our minds and hearts and have been nurtured in the ways of truth by the lives and words of those around us, most likely, we are experiencing a living, healthy, and growing relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
In order for this relationship to flourish, it must be a result of the vertical relationship we have with our Heavenly Father through His Son Jesus Christ. All other relationships which we have flow out of the union we have with Jesus, and all communion or fellowship which we have with one another is a direct result of our understanding of and acceptance of the attributes of God mentioned above: truth, mercy and knowledge. Without the biblical understanding of truth and mercy, there will not be the true knowledge of God.
In the New Testament, John says it like this: “The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth by Jesus Christ.” John 1: 14
Jesus puts it this way: “God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24
The Word of God was inspired by God, and was recorded by men on documents in the original languages of the day. These originals were copied onto manuscripts and finally, these manuscripts were translated into languages of the world so that today, nearly everyone has the opportunity to read the Word of God in their own native tongue.
This Word of God has been recorded for the following purposes:
1) we will be taught the knowledge of God;
2) to reprove or rebuke us when we begin to stray from the knowledge of God;
3) to point us toward the knowledge of God; and
4) for the purpose that we would continually be learning of and experiencing these two most important attributes of God, which together form the knowledge of God: grace and truth, or to say it another way: relationship and direction.
Hosea makes a very sobering statement for us to consider in relation to this discussion: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me. Seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” Hosea 4:6
That statement is made to all of us who are involved in teaching and preaching of the knowledge of God.