Faithlife Sermons

Glory, Grace & Truth

The Good News of Great Joy  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Christmas series from John 1
Focal Verse: Verse 14 – “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Good News of Great Joy: The preexistent, eternal Son became fully human like us so we can become children of God.
God loves us and we have hope!
Good News of Great Joy: In His incarnation, Jesus brings light and life to all who believe.
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will have true life and true light!


“…we have seen his glory, glory of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Look closely at the two parts of this verse:
“…we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father,”
This part of the verse connects to the word “dwelt” in the first part of verse 14, which we saw last week literally reads “tabernacle” or “pitch his tent.”
In the OT, God’s presence filled the structure of the tabernacle. It was His glory. (A simple taste of Heaven, no doubt!)
As God’s glory was upon the tabernacle, Jesus glory shown through to the disciples.
Of course, Jesus full glory was veiled by human flesh, yet John and others saw glimpses of His glory throughout Jesus ministry. Not only visible glimpses, like in the Transfiguration, but His spiritual glory lived out in his displaying the godly character traits.
John will show how Jesus glory was revealed throughout his Gospel.
He will also show, tragically, that not everyone will see that glory, to their shame. (See verses 10-11)
What does “as of the only Son from the Father” mean?
He is the “Son of God” not in the physical sense of a son born to a man (otherwise verse 3 wouldn’t make any sense). He is the Son in the OT mindset of being exactly like his Father in all attributes.
The best translation of the Greek term μονογενής (mono gen eis) here is “the one and only Son.” It means “the only one of the same kind or class” or “unique.”
He is the Son of God in a totally different manner than a human who believes and becomes a child of God.
Therefore, Jesus displayed the glory of the Father because He and the Father are essentially one in nature; unique to any other relationship in Creation.
“…full of grace and truth”
Jesus is God’s grace on display for all to see and the embodiment of God’s truth.
Therefore, His ministry was full (lacking nothing) of grace and truth.
Verses 16-17
In these verses John personalizes what he has taught in verse 14.
“For from his fullness”
Because he lacked nothing when it came to grace and truth…
“we have all received”
Because he lacked nothing when it came to grace and truth, He poured that fullness on His people.
Not everyone, but those mentioned in verses 12-13…
What did we receive through this pouring out?
“grace upon grace.”
The literal reading is “We have all received from his fullness, even grace instead of grace.” Basically, the grace found in Christ supersedes all previous grace.
The previous “grace” is probably the law, because that is stated in his next verse.
But I thought the law didn’t bring grace, but bondage?
Yes and no. The law showed what sin is. Without it one would never know what sin was. Therefore, it is a grace.
We deal with this today in a number of ways:
Some Christians have increasingly become antinomians (anti no me ans), or people who reject the law completely (antinomianism [anti no me an ism] means “against law”).
The argument is that we live under grace, and because of this the OT and the Law is basically null and void, and therefore should be nothing more than a historical reference point with the occasional good story or life application point.
The troubles with this belief are many:
Jesus observed the Law Himself; He just rejected the traditions of the religious leaders;
Jesus teaching ministry was all about helping people to understand the true meaning of the Law;
Jesus said that the Law mattered:
Matthew 5:17 ESV
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
Antinomianism (anti no me an ism) always leads to libertine lifestyles in which people do whatever they want presuming on God’s grace.
Some Christians are works based Christians. Believing that if they do right God will bless them, and if they do wrong God will punish them.
While we ought to desire to obey God, we create a nightmare for ourselves when we start thinking this way because we live in constant fear of disappointing God and being punished.
And eventually those who live with this belief end up isolated from God out of fear, walking away from the faith because it’s too depressing, or experiencing a major moral failing because their spiritual walk has become one of drudgery, not love.
Some Christians have become legalists. Busy telling others the way they should live because of their own perspectives.
This is where law becomes bondage, because this is how the religious elite in Israel behaved.
Churches today are filled with fruit inspectors, who are quick to tell you what you are doing wrong, but slow to actually look at what the Bible really says.
It’s vital in the church that we approach everything with this question: what informs my thinking here? The world, my traditions, or the Bible? If it’s the Bible, which verses/passages?
The point to all of this is, Christ Jesus is grace that supersedes the law.
As stated in verse 17…

Here’s Good News of Great Joy: In Jesus, we see God’s glory, experience God’s grace, and can know God’s truth.

So What?
Glory, grace and truth are all found in one place alone: Jesus Christ.
That is the message of John’s Gospel. That is the message of Christmas.
We will never see God’s glory, experience God’s grace, or know God’s truth if we do not know Jesus.
Receive the free gift of salvation found only in Jesus.
Receiving vs. accepting...
Remember the real meaning of Christmas (but not the clique ways!)
Live a life of grace.
Reject the libertine influence of he world that is so prevalent today;
Reject any urges to become works based;
Reject any urges to become a legalist.
All are based off of fear.
Jesus has done away with all of these, so we need not fear.
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