"Grace and Truth"- John 1:12
Grace and Truth John 1:12-17
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
The apostle John writes after the synoptic gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke; and tells his version of the gospel from the perspective that Jesus is the Son of God (fully God) and the Messiah or Anointed One long expected to deliver God’s people from their enemies.
The greatest enemy of all mankind is sin, and the Light has come into the world to declare, reveal the Father and His plan of how men can be forgiven of their sin.
John the Baptist or “Baptizer”, has come to identify who the Savior is, and point all the world to Him. Before Jesus came to John to be baptized, John preached as a voice called for men to prepare themselves for the Redeemer. “Repent, the kingdom of God is at hand” was his message to his generation. We will see it would be the same message the Messiah would pick up, and then teach us about the kingdom, how to enter the kingdom, and what kingdom living will be like when we have been adopted into the kingdom.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came to his own, and his own received him not. The apostle’s message tells us the Son of God came to the world and people He created He became a Son of Man (fully man), and they did not know who He was, and did not welcome Him or His message into their lives; the rejection of the Christ. It is said “The Son of God became a Son of Man, so that sons of men might become sons of God.”
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Now we see the result of accepting Jesus as the Christ. Israel as a nation rejected Jesus, but there were many individuals who did believe and welcomed Him as their redeemer, He gave them the authority to become or be adopted as sons of God. The requirement for this is to believe on His name. The name means everything He is and claims to be.
This did not happen because of blood lines, genealogy, or because someone willed to be saved; but only by the grace of God. Grace is unmerited favor, receiving a favorable verdict from God because of faith in Jesus. All are guilty and the wages of sin has not changed, it is still death; but God the Father accepted Jesus’ sacrifice and death as the payment for the sin of all who truly trust and surrender to Jesus as Savior and Lord.
The Word, that is eternal, that was with God before the beginning of everything, became flesh. He became a man, this speaks of what we celebrate as Christmas, when God entered the human world as a baby in the manger of Bethlehem.
We beheld His glory means we saw His God-likeness in His life, in His words, how He treated others; His miracles that alleviated sickness, pain and grief; how He treated His enemies; how He suffered and died on the cross of Calvary, not for Himself but for guilty sinners. They saw how He gave up His Spirit, and was buried; but hallelujah on the third day He rose from the dead, taught them and ascended into the heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father.
They saw the glory of God in this man Jesus of Nazareth.
15 John bore witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spoke, He that comes after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.
The Baptist testified emphatically, “This is Him! The One I told you that was coming, He’s here!” This is the true spirit of a minister, to know that the Lord Jesus is preferred, more important than self. He was before me goes back to the opening verses of this chapter, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word with God, and the Word was God.”
Jesus told the religious leaders who chided Him for saying Abraham saw My day and rejoiced in it, that He was not yet 50 years old, yet claims that Abraham saw His day. Jesus responded, “Before Abraham was, I am.” He was before all both in time and in importance. He was more important than Abraham, Moses, or the law that Moses received from God that they claimed to follow.
16 And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. Apostle resumes speaking.
Seeing grace is God’s unmerited favor and has been explained using the letters of the word g-r-a-c-e to mean “God’s riches, righteousness, redemption; at Christ’s expense.” This encapsulates the theme of grace, everyone has received blessings of God’s grace that allows the sun to rise, or the rain to fall, and He keeps the world from self-destructing.
His grace keeps us from receiving the deserved judgment of God the first time we sinned. “upon the just and unjust”.
The general grace of God keeps Him from condemning us at the moment of our rebellion or sin. But John is telling about grace for grace. It is by God’s grace He allowed Jesus to go to the cross for us.
Everyone who believes in what Jesus has done on the cross to pay the penalty of their sin, received the grace of forgiveness of sin, being restored or adopted into the family of the King. But grace does not stop there.
By the power of His Holy Spirit He enables us to live a life that is constantly being changed from the inside out. He changes our hearts and minds, which changes our attitudes and actions, all by His grace upon grace.
Belief in Jesus is the foundational grace that God redeems us, and then He builds upon that grace with much more grace day by day.
The Bible says His mercies (graces) are new every morning. We are saved by faith through His grace, and we live by faith through His grace. The unmerited favor and blessing of God flow through faith in Jesus.
He wants to bless us, He wants to save us, He has promised to save us. But why? Because we are a wonderful person? Absolutely not!
We are deceitful and desperately wicked, but because of His grace, “He is not willing that any should perish, but all should come to a knowledge of the truth.”
That is grace, not giving us what we deserve, an eternity in hell separated from God, His goodness and light; but not only forgiving us, but adopting us as His own children.
He judged us guilty before a Holy God, He paid our penalty on the cross, then the judge brings us into His family as beloved children, by the grace that cost the life of His Only Begotten Son. That, is grace.
But this grace has a purpose, a reason; so that He may use us as examples of His grace and show other lost, dying, hell-bound sinners, He has grace for them too, through faith in Jesus’ name.
JFB states, “"Grace" being the chosen New Testament word for the whole fullness of the new covenant, all that dwells in Christ for men.”
As no mercy comes from God to sinners but through Jesus Christ, no man can come to the Father but by him; no man can know God, except as he is made known in the only begotten and beloved Son. MHC
Here the picture is "grace" taking the place of "grace" like the manna fresh each morning, new grace for the new day and the new service. RWP
17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
The law of Moses, however excellent in itself, was little in comparison of the Gospel: as it proceeded from the justice and holiness of God, and was intended to convict men of sin, that the way of the Gospel might be the better prepared, it was a law of rigor, condemnation, and death:
It was a law of shadows, types, and figures: (shadow of the coming reality; type like that or who was to come; figure like Christ) and incapable of expiating sin by its sacrifices: But Christ has brought that grace which is opposed to condemnation: and he is himself the spirit and substance of all those shadows. Adam Clarke.
The Jews understood the Law of Moses which was their rule and guide of that day. Their righteousness consisted largely in a punctilious observance of the external requirements of the Law; the disciples must yield heart obedience to the inner spirit of the Law, its external and internal requirements. The righteous penalty of the Law has been borne by Christ; the righteous requirements of the Law have been fulfilled by Christ. That perfect righteousness secured apart from the Law, but satisfying to the Law, comes to men not through their relation to the Law, but through faith. ISBE
The believer justified through Christ has died with Christ. The "old man"--the sinful nature--has been crucified with Christ; the condemning power of the Law has terminated in the death of Christ, and through the death of the believer with Christ he has freedom from the condemnation of the Law. ISBE
"He that doeth them shall live in them" (Ga 3:12), but the doing implies the possession of life, and the Law only guarantees the continuance of life while it is perfectly obeyed. Law controls life, but cannot confer life. It regulates life, but cannot restore life. It may impel to righteousness, but it cannot impart righteousness. ISBE
The Law was delivered to Israel by Moses, it was the Word of God engraved in stone. It spoke of the perfect holiness of God and His expectation for His people. The evidence of the inward faith in God and His Word was in the doing of the requirements of the whole Law, which is impossible for natural man.
The truth of God’s Word and His grace came in the form of the Son of Man, the Son of God, Jesus Christ. The grace was begun and perfected in the Lord Jesus, and even now continues to grow in the life of believers. As the Creator of all things, He is also the Creator and perfector of truth and grace.
WAY? Have you found the way, the truth and the life? It is God’s gracious gift in the Lord Jesus.
You can right now right where you are, simply confess your sin to God, ask Jesus to forgive your sin and save you; and take control of your life and make you who He wants you to be. That's a prayer He wants to answer, and don't forget to thank Him!