The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ ” And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. John 1:14-18
1. THE WORD BECAME FLESH: Jesus Became Like Us to Live Among Us. What Grace!
Jesus ate with sinners. He spent time with the lowly, the hurting, the diseased, the demon possessed and the homeless. And, in response to His grace, we should be willing to live among our own kind, no matter where they fit on the social scale.
2. WE BEHELD HIS GLORY: We Saw the Glory (magnificence, excellence, majesty) of Jesus and His Father as it Was Revealed Through Grace and Truth.
He cared about needy people whenever and wherever he found them and never left them unchanged. Are you revealing God’s excellence by allowing God’s grace (good will, loving-kindness, favor, merciful-kindness) and truth to flow through you to those around you?
A. Are You a Grace-Giver? Do you love, accept, encourage, uplift, edify and bless others?
“Grace-providers simply never cease to love you. They see beneath the surface; they see the darkness as well as the goodness in your heart. But when they see the darkness they do not pull away. They are not repulsed. They move toward you.” John Ortlund, Love Beyond Reason
B. Or Are You Grace-challenged? Do you judge, criticize, condemn and tear down others?
“Spirituality wrongly understood is death: … it produces people who mistake their lack of love for righteous superiority… It produces people who are smug, self-righteous, unable to love, unable to feel. It produces cold hearts, plastic masks, sad faces, inauthentic lives, and shriveled souls… The world is tired of Christians who proclaim that they know the right beliefs and are committed to the right values but in whom there is no grace. Without grace, life is a clumsy, awkward business. Without grace, people get hurt.” John Ortlund, Love Beyond Reason
3. FULL OF GRACE AND TRUTH: Which comes first, grace or truth?
Let’s see what Romans 2:1-4 says: Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
Why Does Grace Come First? Because grace, if anything will, leads to repentance! Since it’s God’s heart to draw men to Him, not to drive them away, He expects us to extend grace to others, not judgement. When we judge others, we feel justified in withholding goodness from them. However, when we extend grace to others, we act like our heavenly Father. We offer others what we have freely received. In grace, we mourn with those who mourn and we identify with them in our common human frailties. This identification or empathy opens the door for sharing the truth in love.
Note: Truth can only bring freedom when she’s embraced. For Truth to be received, Grace must precede her, and Love must go with her. Only Grace and Love can make Truth acceptable.
A demand for righteousness without grace KILLS! That’s why Jesus told the Pharisees who criticized Him for eating with tax collectors and sinners: “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Matt 9:12-13
4. OF HIS FULLNESS WE HAVE ALL RECEIVED: Jesus Came to Share His Fullness (Abundance, Completeness) with Us. He Gives Us Grace for Grace!
He was full of grace! We have received of that fullness. He wants us to share the grace we have received with others so we can receive more to share more. That’s grace for grace.
5. GRACE AND TRUTH CAME THROUGH JESUS CHRIST: The Law Was Given Through The Man, Moses, but Grace and Truth Were Given Through the God-Man, Jesus.
Why? Because a man may understand something of the duties required to serve a holy God and be able to tell you about them, but only Jesus as God Himself could live them out for you. Only Jesus could reveal God’s nature to us through His actions, as well as, His teachings.
6. NO ONE HAS SEEN GOD AT ANY TIME. THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON… HAS DECLARED HIM.
Jesus, through His gracious actions and true teachings, declared God’s Wondrous Being by rehearsing for us the glories of His kindness, by recounting for us the stories of His love, by unfolding for us the mysteries of His relationship with us, and by teaching us the goodness of His never changing ways. Only Jesus, the God-man, could reveal the ultimate truth about God’s love and grace by dying for us. His death was God’s ultimate gift.
Grace And Truth Came Through Jesus Christ.
‘Twas grace that brought me safe thus far,
and grace shall lead me home. John Newton