The Fullness of Grace and Truth
James Smith, 1860
"For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ!" John 1:16-17
It is a comfort to have a well-filled storehouse, especially in days of scarcity and want. Such is the believer's privilege. God has treasured up in Jesus, and committed to the custody of Jesus, all that we can possibly need. The fullness of Jesus is for us, and is always open to us. May we be able from daily experience to say, "Of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace!"
THE FULLNESS OF JESUS. This is a fullness of
He reveals the true character of God, and all that is necessary to be known of God, either for our comfort, sanctification, or peace — may be learned from Jesus.
He gives the true sense of the law, so that if we would know precisely what God requires, we have only to study what Jesus has said, and what Jesus did.
He exhibits the true atonement, or the expiating and putting away of all sin, by the sacrifice of himself; so that if we would know how God and man can be honorably reconciled, and made one with God — the sufferings and death of Jesus places the matter in the clearest light.
He points out the true way of approach to God, so that the sinner can come with confidence and courage seek mercy, obtain grace, and enjoy fellowship.
It is a fullness ofGRACE. He revealed the grace that was in God, who is "the God of all grace." He promised grace to every one who needed and would ask, saying "Ask, and you shall receive; seek, and you shall find."
He illustrated grace, in condescending to the lowest, listening to all, an giving grace to every applicant. He bestowed grace, pardoning sin, comforting sinners, and promising a place in his kingdom to the dying robber at his side. He still possesses grace. Grace in every variety.
A fullness of grace. Grace for sinners. Grace for seekers. Grace for all seasons. Grace to meet all circumstance. He is ready to give grace. He loves to give grace.
Reader, Jesus has just the grace you need, and he is
ready, willing, and waiting to give you grace:
Pardoning grace, if you are guilty.
Sanctifying grace, if you are unholy.
Saving grace, if you are lost and ruined.
No one need despair, no one should despond, while there is a fullness of grace and truth.
THE TESTIMONY OF JOHN. "Of His fullness we have
all received, and grace upon grace!" We have received grace from Jesus.
We needed grace, deeply did we need it. We discovered our need of it,
and were painfully affected by the discovery. We applied for grace and
cried mightily to Jesus for it. We obtained grace, for a time our
sincerity was tried, our sense of need was deepened, our
endurance was tried — but we found grace:
grace, that showed us we were pardoned;
grace, that gave us peace;
grace, that set us to work for God;
grace, that made us useful.
We have received "grace upon grace." That is, grace gratuitously, freely. Grace after grace, or continually. Grace in abundance, the grace of the new covenant, glorious grace. Grace in us, answering to grace in Christ — as the seal leaves its exact print on the wax, as the grace we receive from Christ, answers to the grace that shines in Christ. O to receive more grace from Christ, and to receive from him more frequently! All we need is comprised in the word, GRACE — and grace comprehends all that God has to give.
Observe, there is in Christ, an abundance of Grace — yes, a redundance of grace for sinners. There is not so much water in the ocean, as there is grace in Christ. There is not so much light in the sun, as there is grace in Christ. No created object will supply a suitable figure, to represent the fullness of grace that there is in Christ.
From Jesus we receive light and love, truth and grace. The truth that informs us, and the grace that ennobles us, come alike from Jesus. Here is light for the intellect, and holiness for the heart. In Jesus, we find truth in abundance, in perfection; and grace without limit or degree.
Having once received grace, we should come again and receive more. Jesus is never weary of giving; we, therefore should not weary of asking. He gives more grace. What he gives today, is intended to encourage me to come again tomorrow. What I receive in the morning, should lead me to apply again and again through the day.
His grace is sufficient to . . .
fortify us against every trial,
sustain us under every burden, and
to make us victorious in life and death.
But in order to this, we must receive it; and in order to receive it, we must feel our need of it, apply for it, so and receive it.
If we receive grace from Christ, we shall become like Christ, and be both truthful and graceful. We cannot have much to do with Christ, or receive much from Christ, without becoming like Christ; and if we become like Christ, we shall be sincere and truthful. We shall hate deception, and scorn to stoop to a lie. Men will be able to trust our word, and understand our meaning.
We shall be graceful too, there will be a dignity, a moral beauty, an attractive charm about us. Society always molds us, the society of Jesus especially. Grace always ennobles, much grace especially.
Let us then come to Jesus, that we may learn to know the truth, and receive grace as every day's needs require. Jesus is the great teacher in the Church. He brought truth into our world, truth that had been hidden in God, truth that never could have been known — but by his revelation. He teaches us the truth, and teaches us so to know it, that we perceive its glory, its adaptation to our circumstances, and its trustworthiness.
Jesus is the source of grace, and as every day brings new needs, new trials, and new sorrows — we should daily seek grace to act the Christian, and in everything glorify God.
If my reader is graceless, never having received grace from Jesus, the fullness is open to him; the invitation is sent to him, and he is welcome to come, to ask and receive.
The grace we receive from Jesus now, is our preparation for glory. It makes us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. If, therefore, we would be happy on earth, or be prepared for the happiness of heaven — if we would be useful now, or be rewarded when Jesus comes — if we would be attractive Christians now, that we may shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of our Father — we must do as John and his fellows did, receive out of the fullness of Christ, and grace upon grace.