1 Corinthians 16.23, 24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Paul needed to say some very hard things to the church at Corinth. They were carnal, out of order, and divided. Some had even preferred the preaching of Peter and Apollos over his. Yet, he ends this letter of correction the way he began it, with the grace and love of Jesus Christ as his motive. None of us deserve God’s grace and love; yet, that is the essence of not only the gospel, but gospel living. Without grace, where would you or I be this morning, beloved? Without the absolute assurance of God’s love for us through Jesus, how could we live another moment?
Maul did not meet grace, Grace met Paul on the Damascus Road in the Person of Jesus Christ. Legalism and self righteousness died that day as well. Without shirking or compromising the truth, Paul had learned that the way of Jesus is the way of grace and love. They are the twin towers of correction. They are the attributes of God that display His truth in and through us.
Truth can not be compromised, but truth apart from love and grace is a misrepresentation of the heart and mind of God. Thus, when we are called upon to correct others, we need to ask ourselves a couple of questions. Am I doing this out of a love for Jesus and the person I am talking to? Are my words and attitudes gracious as Jesus is gracious towards me?
If not, it is best to pray for a heart adjustment, lest the correction you expect to give others do more damage than good. May the grace and love of Jesus be the basis of all of your relationships today for the glory of God.