Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Full of Grace and Truth

 

John 1:14  And 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.

 

The Incarnation

John 1 gives us a theological explanation of the incarnation of Christ.  We find out that the the Lord is the Word.  A word can be the vehicle that delivers a message or it can be the message itself.  The Lord was both.  He delivered the message of John 3:16 where He says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  That summarizes the Lord’s purpose and the message of the Bible.  We either believe or trust what the Lord says or we question it.  If we trust it, we have everlasting life.  If we question it, we are going to perish.

 

Full of Grace and Truth

But I digress.  What I like about the message of John 1 is that grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.  The Word was made flesh and tabernacled among us.  The Lord represented God and reflected God.  His attributes are the attributes of God.  And He was full of Grace and Truth.

 

The word full in the Bible often means controlled by.  If we are filled with anger or rage or jealousy, it controls us.  The Lord was controlled by grace and truth.

 

I like to think of truth as the engine in a car.  I like to think of grace as the oil that keeps that engine running smoothly.  If you drain the oil out of the engine of a car and then start it, the engine will run for a while.  But ultimately, it will begin to make lots of noise and will “freeze up.”  The engine will be destroyed.  Notice that there was nothing wrong with the engine.  However, there was something lacking, and it was the oil.  The Lord did not give up the truth in order to manifest His grace.  The truth is that we are all sinners.  The truth is that God loved us and provided for the punishment that our sins deserved by punishing Christ for us.  The truth is that God manifested His grace by providing for a fallen race in that way.  Grace is a free unmerited gift.  You don’t have to ask for it.  You only have to receive it by believing in the authority, character and reputation of the Lord.  See John 1:12. 

 

Grace is Amazing

I have always liked the song Amazing Grace.  I understand the sentiments of John Newton who wrote it.  But the song can be misunderstood.   It says, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.  I once was lost but now am found.  Was blind but now I see.”  Those lyrics are an accurate reflection of how one is saved if we understand that grace doesn’t save us but Christ saves us by His grace.  So when we sing the song, most of us are thinking about the amazing grace of Christ because we are saved by grace through faith in Christ. 

 

What is grace?  We have already likened it to the oil in a car.  It is defined as a gift that is freely offered and that is unmerited.  It is probably more fully defined by the fruit of the spirit which is found in Galatians 5:22-23:  The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  One who is full of grace would be gracious and that was true of the Lord.  He grew in grace.  People marveled at the gracious words that He spoke. 

 

The only times the Lord wasn’t gracious was when He was dealing with religious hypocrites and with people who used the worship of Jehovah as a business.  He healed, He fed, He calmed storms,  He willingly died on a cross in order to offer us the free gift of salvation.  We by contrast try to work our way to heaven but Paul reminds us that wages of sin (what we get for working)  is death but the gift (grace) of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23).  That grace will not be available after we die if we reject it now.  The Lord is longsuffering when it comes to reaching unbelievers, but that grace is only available now while we are living.

 

My Prayer

I love the fact that the Lord has manifested the grace of God without giving up the truth.  My prayer is that I can do the same thing as a believer who has received His grace.

Bruce Collins

 

Meditation for the week of September 17, 2017

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