I’m still reading and meditating on John 1. Several years ago I started memorizing the book of John. I stopped at chapter 6. Life interfered. Now I want to start again. The more I read this amazing book, the more I see the fullness of Jesus. He consumes me as I read. John was so consumed with Jesus, he wrote this book to reveal the majesty of his Lord.
In verse 1 we see where the Word, Jesus, was and is fully God. Verse 14 tells us He is full of grace and truth. Finally in verse 16 we learn that out of that fullness we all received one blessing after another. The dictionary definition for the word full is: filled to the limit, complete, of maximum size, extent, degree. In my own words it means: nothing but. To the believer, Jesus is nothing but grace and truth.
The following excerpt taken from Nancy deMoss’s powerful study, Seeking Him best illustrates grace.
If a young man is killed through some random act of violence, and his father tracks down the guilty person and kills him, we would call that vengeance. If, however, the father calls the police and the murderer is arrested, tried, convicted, and executed, we’d call that justice. If, at the trial, the father pleads for the guilty man’s life to be spared and the judge and jury consent, we’d call that mercy.
Now imagine this: in addition to pleading for the guilty one to be spared, the father actually appeals to the judge to release the offender into his custody and care. Miraculously gaining approval, the father takes the young man into his heart and home, adopts him, and raises him and loves him as his own son…that would be grace!
No word brings greater joy to the heart of a follower of Christ than grace. Grace is the free gift of God to those who have sinned against Him and deserve only His wrath. Grace is that which God gives us to meet His requirements and to face the difficulties of life. (Ephesians 2:1-9)
We must settle the issue that Jesus is fully God before we can accept He is fully grace. The courtroom illustration is perfect since everyone must give an account before God. Because there is no one without sin and all sin deserves death. God’s wrath will be unleashed upon the sin of mankind. All will stand trail before God. How are we assured of His grace? The courtroom of God’s judgment is filled with Jesus. He is the One on the bench with gavel in hand ready to declare judgment on our sin. He is the defense attorney pleading our case. He is the Father asking for our release into His custody and care. The Judge agrees because He and the Mediator are fully One. Jesus is then the One who adopts us and loves us as His own. As His children, we can’t lose.
Jesus is consumed in grace. Therefore we too should be consumed by His grace. Once we are, then we will begin to live the blessed life this grace affords us. His fullness assures us one blessing after another (NIV), grace after grace (HCSB), one gracious gift after another (NET), and finally, we all live off his generous bounty, gift after gift after gift (MSG). Each translation makes fullness of grace more appealing.
There is not enough paper to record the blessings of His fullness. No amount books could contain the list. To borrow from another quote, “if all the trees of the forest were quills and the oceans ink, still they couldn’t record all His blessings.” The vastness of the World Wide Web is limited when compared to God. If every website filled every byte it would fail to hold the vastness of his blessings. To the believer He is nothing but grace and grace always gives.
Grace gives salvation. Jesus died for our sin. He took our punishment.
Grace gives life. Not just any life, but a life abundant.
Grace gives love, joy, peace, assurance, contentment, compassion, tenderness, fullness, patience, self-control, gentleness, faithfulness, kindness, goodness, unity, power, strength, freedom, knowledge, wisdom, discernment, truth, glory, sanctification, rest, renewal, righteousness, rewards, deliverance, victory, confidence, belonging, authority, endurance, acceptance, honor, discipline, healing, forgiveness, happiness, inheritance, humility, justification, life, obedience, mercy, perfection, holiness, approval, pleasure, prosperity, safety, satisfaction, and if all this were not enough, the list continues on and on and on.
Grace gives eternity. It never ends. We never lose.
Do you know His grace? Are you living in His fullness? How has He gifted you with one blessing after another?