In our message last Sunday we concentrated chiefly on the

first part of verse 14.  In our message today we will concentrate

on the last part of that verse and move on down through verse 18.

John wants us to know that grace and truth comes to us through

Jesus Christ.


I.  Jesus, a man full of grace and truth


    Let us take another look at verse 14.  V. 14, "And the Word

was made flesh, and dwelt among us..."   The Apostle John

informed us that Jesus became a man.  He was born into human

flesh as a man.  He was altogether human.

    But the apostle John said also that Jesus is much more than a

man.  He is Deity God.  He is a member of the Godhead.  He is

Deity God dwelling in human flesh.

    The human flesh in which Jesus dwelt so veiled the glory of

His God nature that one could not tell by merely looking upon His

human body that He is Deity God.

    Yet the glory of His Deity did, in a limited way, show

through to those who saw Him in the flesh.  That is, His glory

showed through at least to those who were willing to acknowledge

it.  The apostle said, "...(and we beheld his glory, the glory as

of the only begotten of the Father,) "We beheld His glory..." All

who saw His miracles saw the evidence that He is more than a man.

He is God.  Peter, James and John, who saw Him transfigured, saw

the glory of God shining through His flesh as bright as the

noon-day sun.  They saw the evidence that He is God in human

flesh.  All of His disciples who saw Him after He arose from the

grave, saw the evidence that He is the Son of God.  Those who saw

Him arise into the air and go away into heaven saw the evidence

that He is Deity God.

    The Apostle John then said that Jesus is "...full of grace

and truth."  The word, grace, means "Unmerited favor."  This is

the thing that is so vital to us.  We are all somewhat like the

man whom the judge sought to comfort him by telling him that he

would receive justice.  The man said, "Your honor, I do not want

justice.  What I want is mercy."

    We are all guilty of sin.  Even though the God of heaven will

deal with us in all justice, if He showed no mercy we would be in

serious trouble.  What we need is the grace and mercy of God.

The Bible says that all have sinned and come short of the glory

of God, Rom. 8:23.  That means that we can not only look about us

and see sinners all around us in the world, but we can look in

the mirror and see a sinner.  It is bad enough to know that we

are living in a world with sinful people, but it is far worse to

know that we, also, are sinners.  To know that you have sinned

against God is a frightening thought.  It means that unless you

receive the grace of God you will spend the rest of eternity in

the fires of hell.

    The Apostle John said not only that Jesus is full of grace,

but he said also that Jesus is full of truth.  We do not need

somebody who will give us a false gospel that will not save.

One of the most terrible things would be for somebody to persuade

an unsaved person to place his faith in a gospel message that

will not save.  The sad thing is that it is being done every day.

Thousands of people are being hoodwinked into thinking that they

are going to heaven who are still lost.  They will never know

that they are still lost until it is everlastingly too late.

What man needs is the truth of God.  It does not matter that the

truth may hurt.  It does not matter that the truth may conflict

with what our parents or grandparents say.  It does not matter

that this is not what we would like to hear.  What we need is the

truth of God.  Our eternal destiny depends on knowing the truth

about our sins and the truth about how to be saved.


II.  The witness of John the Baptist concerning Jesus


    In verse 15, the Apostle John speaks again of John the

Baptist.  John the Baptist is the special witness that God sent

to prepare the way for the ministry of the Christ.  Back in

earlier verses John said that John the Baptist was a man sent

from God and that he was sent to bear witness of the true Light.

    V. 15, "John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was

he of whom I spake..."  Even before John the Baptist knew that

Jesus is the Christ, he bore witness that the Christ was about to

come on the scene.  Then after he learned that Jesus is the

Christ he bore witness that this particular man, Jesus, is the

Christ.  He said, "This is he of whom I spake.  This is the

Christ whom I told you was coming."

    John the Baptist went on to explain, (V. 15), "...He that

cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me."

That sounds like double-talk.  Doesn't it?  The Baptist is using

a play on words to catch attention.  He said, "Jesus came after

me, He is preferred before me, and He was before me."

    What John the Baptist meant when he said, "...he cometh after

me..." is that the ministry of John started before the ministry

of Jesus.  John could truly say, "He is coming after me."  When

John said, "He is preferred before me" he meant that Jesus is a

person who is to be honored more than himself.  Jesus is a

greater person than John the Baptist.  When John said, "He was

before me" John the Baptist was talking about Jesus existing

before the world was ever created.  John was just using catchy

words to catch the attention of people in a effort to persuade

them that Jesus is really the Christ.


III.  The benefits of God's grace through Jesus


    V. 16, "And of his fulness have all we received..."  John the

Apostle is speaking now and says that we have all received

benefits out of the fulness of Christ.  John probably had in mind

that we who are saved have all received the benefits of the

saving grace of God through Jesus.  But it is also true that all

mankind has received benefits out of His fulness.  All mankind

has received His love.  He provides the material necessities for

all mankind.  He provides saving grace for all and makes it

available to all.

    (V. 16), "...and grace for grace."  What this means is that

we have received benefit after benefit.  We have received

kindness after kindness.  We have received goodness after

goodness.  We have received blessing after blessing.  This has

already been true here in this life in this world of trouble and

woe.  What in the world would we do without the help of God in

our lives?  Yet there are greater benefits and greater blessings

ahead.  The greatest benefits of all will come after they get to

heaven.  Great benefits come in this life, but the greatest

benefits of all will be in the next life.


IV.  A contrast between Moses and Jesus


    In verse 17 John the Apostle is again the speaker.  V.  17,

"For the law was given by Moses..."  Primarily, the law was given

to the nation of Israel, but indirectly it was given to the whole

world.  But the point that John was making is that God used Moses

to give the law.

    The whole law system of worship was given by Moses.  Moses

gave not only the ten commandments, but all of the other laws.

This included all the various regulations regarding the

tabernacle, the sacrifices and the holy days.

    The law could not give righteousness to man.  The law could

only call attention to the unrighteousness of man.  It could

point out the sinfulness of man.  It could show him that he had

broken the law and had sinned against God.  But it could never

cleans a man from sin.  It could never forgive sin.  It could not

save a lost sinner and keep him out of hell.  It could not get an

entrance to heaven for any man.  The law could only pronounce the

penalty of suffering on the sinner for breaking the law.

    John was especially calling attention to the law system of

worship because this is the system of worship under which the

nation of Israel of Israel worshipped God in his day.  They had

done so from the early history of the nation.

    I might point out, however, that the law was never intended

to save.  It was never intended to make the guilty sinner

sinless.  It was never intended as a way to stay out of hell and

go to heaven.  The law was always intended to convince men that

they are guilty before God and show them the need of seeking and

forgiveness through the grace of God.

    The law did, by means of types and shadows, show that the

grace of God is available.  The blood of various animals were

slain in order to point men to the coming Christ whose blood

would be shed on the cross for the sins of men.  But the blood of

no animal ever saved anybody from their sins.

    (V. 17), "...but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ."  The

law could condemn a man for committing sin, but the grace of God

through Jesus can forgive a man of his sin.  It can cleanse a man

from every sin so that he will stand before God as though he had

never committed sin.  How is the grace of God made available to

man?  It comes through faith in Jesus Christ.  From the beginning

that is the way that sinful man has been saved.  Adam and Eve

received the grace of God through faith in the promised Seed of

Woman.  God told Adam and Eve about the Seed of Woman and

informed them that the Seed of Woman would crush the head of that

old serpent, the Devil.  Even under the law system of worship the

only way that men could be saved was by the grace of God through

faith in the coming Christ.  The law could not save.  Only the

grace of God could save through faith in Jesus even during the

days of the law.

    During the personal ministry of Jesus on earth a whole new

system of worship was started.  It was started by Him.  Jesus

established the New Testament church system of worship.  Yet even

the church cannot save men from their sin.  Only the Lord Jesus

Christ can save.  The grace of God has never come to lost sinners

any way other than through faith in Jesus Christ.

    This is especially meaningful in our day when men have

devised so many different ways to try to get to heaven.  But

Jesus has said, "I am the way, the truth and the life; no man

cometh unto the Father by me."


V.  Jesus, who brings grace and truth to man


    In verse 14 note that John not only said that grace came by

Jesus Christ, but he also said that truth came by Jesus Christ.

This is the same thought that is involved in verse 18.  V. 18,

"No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which

is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him."  Jesus is

the One who is able to reveal God the Father to us.  He is the

One who is able to reveal the great love that God has for us.

    John said that no man has seen God.  That is, no man has seen

the fulness of God's glory.  Not even Moses, the giver of the

law.  He desired to see God's glory and asked God to let him do

so, but was never allowed to do so.  God did grant him the

privilege of seeing a limited form of His glory.  God put Moses

in a cleft in a great rock.  Then God covered Moses with His hand

so that Moses could not see while God in all His glory passed by.

However, after God had passed by and only a remnant of His glory

was visible God uncovered Moses so that he could see that portion

of God's glory.  Not Moses, nor Isaiah, nor Elijah, nor Ezekiel

nor any of the other great prophets of God ever saw God' full

glory -- not even John the Baptist, who was the forerunner of

Jesus, was able to see God.

    But Jesus Christ is the Eternal Word of God.  He is one of

the Godhead.  He is the Light of God to the world.  He is Only

Begotten Son of God.  He is said to be in the bosom of the

Father.  This is a term which indicates the closest and tenderest

of relationships.  He was on the throne of God with God the

Father before the world was ever formed.  He was there with God

until He came to earth in the form of man.  Now He has returned

to heaven and has taken His place at the right hand of God once

more.  There is one difference.  Now there is a man on the throne

of God.  That man is Jesus Christ, the God-man.

    Jesus is the One -- the only One -- who can reveal God to

man.  Jesus knows all there is to know about God.  He knows the

real truth about God and God's will for man.  He knows every

truth of God.  When He speaks He speaks with the full authority

of God.  Whatever Jesus speaks is the truth of God.




    Every man, woman, boy and girl upon the face of the earth

need to call on the Lord Jesus Christ and trust in Him for the

salvation of the soul.  Nobody knows the love that God the Father

has for lost sinners better than Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

    Every saved person needs to listen to Jesus and let Jesus

direct his pathway in life.  Jesus knows what is best for man and

will direct man in the way of truth and righteousness.

    There may be somebody here this morning who is unsaved.  If

so, would you come today and call on the Lord Jesus and ask Him

to save your soul?  Come today.

    There may be some saved person here this morning who feels

the need of turning his life over to the Lord letting the Lord

have His way.  If that person is you, would you come during this

invitation and let the Lord have His way with you?