Fullness of Grace

John 1:16

From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.

We can’t truly count our blessings because there are so many of them that we couldn’t possibly identify them all.  In all likelihood, much of what we believe we have accomplished on our own was only done with the hand of God helping and guiding us.

Grace is just as difficult to describe because we don’t always know when it has been extended to us.  It is perhaps best summarized in the lyrics of the 1994 release of “A Real Good Thing” by the Newsboys.

“When we don’t get what we deserve, that’s a real good thing.  When we get what we don’t deserve, that’s a real good thing.”

In its simplest form, grace is getting something good that we don’t deserve in place of something bad that we do deserve.  Romans tells us that the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.  This is the theological definition of grace.

We find that our lives are full of things that God has showered upon us that we don’t deserve however.  Grace is not just reserved for salvation but instead is an everyday occurrence in the life of a Christian.  God gives us so much more than we deserve and we need to always remember this and be thankful for it.

The Word Became Flesh

John 1:14

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The Word become flesh is none other than our Savior Jesus.  This is often repeated at Christmas time and it is a key to any study of the gospel of John.

When Jesus arrived, He was full of grace and truth.  This balance is important as it is ignored in many churches.  As a generalization, conservative churches emphasize the truth of Jesus and preach a “turn or burn” gospel message.  Liberal churches preach love and acceptance with little emphasis on the truth of repentance.

Obviously we need both and there needs to be a balance.  Jesus didn’t hold back when it came time to preach about repentance.  He had harsh words for many of the religious leaders and others who felt that they didn’t need a savior.

But Jesus was also full of grace and mercy for people who fell at His feet in tears and acknowledged that they were sinners in need of forgiveness.

This is just as true today.  Those who trumpet their own righteousness of political activism, charity work, or even “good deeds” will receive the harshest truth from the Lord in comparison to His righteousness.  But those who beg for mercy because they know they are sinners will find a Lord full of grace.