This revolves around the incarnation story of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, as revealed and presented by Apostle John in the gospel written according to John. The theme JESUS, THE GRACE, AND TRUTH is established from one of the teachings and testimonies of John on the deity of Christ Jesus, and so in his approach to give a strong defense of Jesus as the Christ and the son of God to his audience who were not familiar with the hand of Palestine, Jewish traditions, or old Testament prophecy concerning Messiah, he presented Jesus as the incarnate word who existed as God in eternity before the word was incarnate.
In other words John in our text emphasizes the pre-existence of Jesus, the incarnate “Logos” and the fact that He came into the world in the form of physical flesh at a specific time in history, having given up equality with God according to the teaching of Apostle Paul in Philippians 2: 6-7. Read Hebrews 2: 17 further.
John and Jesus
So John moves further in his gospel account to say that this Jesus who came in human form “dwelt among us”. The Greek text would literally read here that He “set up the tent” among us and that is to say that deity indwelt a physical body in order to be identified with man for the purpose of accomplishing the plan of redemption. John, in his attempt, expands the revelation of God to man through Jesus Christ and affirms that the teachings of Jesus were not the invention of men.
It is important to note here that John, as one who has had a personal witness to Jesus, as well as the other apostle, wants to assure us that this same Jesus we have not only seen in human form but we have continually lived with Him(Behold His glory) as the imamateWord, we have continually gazed upon his glory, we are still beholding and looking at His glory as the express representative of the invisible God on earth. The only begotten son, the only one who carries the glory of the father, He was the only one sent forth as God imamate among men.
There is no man who can claim he has seen God once; Jesus, the only begotten son. Who is in the bosom of the Father as He had declared Him”.Therefore John introduces us to the uniqueness of the incarnate word, declaring to us that this same Jesus, who is the exact representation of the Father, is “full of grace and truth, and it is interesting to note that our theme has found a root around the description of John about the deity of Christ and I have no doubt that beyond seeing Jesus as God among men and beyond the expression of His glory, we have come this year to discover and experience the revelation of His fullness in Grace and Truth.
Biblical Perspectives of Grace and Truth
The Bible describes grace as undeserved acceptance and love received from another. It is an undeserved favor granted by a superior to an inferior. When divine grace toward mankind, it refers to the undeserved favor of God in providing salvation for those deserving of condemnation.
Grace is an act of God’s favor and merciful act and the kind turning of God to persons in an act of assistance in time of need (Prov. 14:3; Ps. 4:1).
In the Old Testament “grace” is the translation of the Hebrew noun “Chen” and the verb“Chanan” and both mean “Be favorable, merciful or showing kindness”.Grace forms the basis of all of God’s relationship with man and His activity on behalf of man.
The New Testament word for “grace” is Greek Charis. Originally it referred to something delightful or beautiful in a person, things, or acts that brought pleasure to others. It is used to describe Christ in His incarnation (John 1:14) and as something that those who believe Him receive as contrasted with the law(John 1:14-17). Charis is most frequently used to refer to power that flows from God or the exalted Christ; which gave the Apostles success in their mission(Act4:33,11:23).
Scholars have drawn their meanings for “truth” in the New Testament. Dictionary of NewTestament Theology, the major biblical words translated as “truth” In Hebrew “emet”, and Greek”Aletheia” have a wide range of meanings, such as proportional, personal, moral, and historical truth. Emet frequently does mean faithfulness.
Jesus, the Manifestation of God’s Grace
Jesus was the revelation of God’s grace and He is still the express manifestation of the grace of God unto all men..For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us, that by denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live sensibly, righteously, and godly in this present age(Titus 2:11-12). The grace that God has shown through Jesusto to all men is not without a price tag. The price is for all men who have truly responded to salvation through genuine repentance to say no to all ungodliness and worldly lusts. In other words, this grace in the person of Christ stands for righteousness, purity, the sanctification of life, holiness, integrity, and discipline, and this increasing, yearning, and desiring to live a godly life that is far above reproach.
The grace of God that was demonstrated through Jesus Christ is a saving grace, an unmerited grace. To some this grace has appeared to them to say by the grace of God, I will not fall, I will not fail and I will not disappoint God, while to some this grace has appeared to them as a second chance to also say by the special grace of Christ Jesus, I will not take this second chance, this entrusted opportunity for granted. The one who has received the manifestation of God as grace is the one who will say like the prodigal son after coming back to his senses…(Luke 15: 17- 19).
This matter with the grace of cod calls for a critical reflection and personal examination to say where have I taken the manifestation of God’s grace for granted? Where I have squandered the fathers’ grace. It calls for an outcry to God that where have I missed it, where have I wasted your resources, the manifold gifts and unlimited opportunity that have come my way? Yet I could see that this matter is so serious that God is counting on us as fathers, husbands, and nation builders, especially in a world that is characterized by lawlessness, indiscipline, loss of passion, and desire for spirituality with high tolerance for permissiveness. God is counting on us to restore the truth of God’s word in our homes righteousness, integrity, and dignity in the various organizations it our capacitygodliness, moral purity, credible and trustworthy leadership in many spheres of life.
In essence, it is important to note that this Jesus, was God’s statement that His grace had come to man regardless of the sin of man, so this grace is an open door to salvation, and as much as it is, it is not an open door to lawless and unworthy lifestyle.
Beloved friends, fathers, and brothers in Christ Jesus, let me round off by saying there is no shortcut to the way that leads to this ever-amazing grace that God had revealed and given to us through the manifestation of his beloved son Jesus, who is both lord and the advocate of Jesus.
Rev. Amos Adegbanke