GRACE, AND GRACE FOR GRACE
"John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." (JOH 1:15-18)
Verse 14 speaks of how The Word was made flesh and dwelt, or "tabernacled," among us, and concludes, that He was "full of grace and truth." "And the Word was made 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." Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, as we see in verse 17. Grace and truth have been connected together, they came by Jesus Christ.
John the Baptist was the forerunner and witness of Christ. He not only testifies of Christ's Excellency saying, "He that cometh after me is preferred before me," but he again testifies of Christ's origin in eternity: "for he was before me."
We understand the history from Luke 1 and 2, that John the Baptist was older, he was born before the Lord Jesus. When he says, "He was before me," hes speaking of from eternity. We read in verses JOH 1:1-3, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." He is reestablishing the eternal nature of the Son of God.
The wonder of the "grace and truth" of our blessed Saviour is what John came to bare witness of. See verse 16, "And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace." (JOH 1:16) The testimony, the witness, which John came to bear witness of, was to bear witness of this grace, and fulness.
The word fulness comes from the Greek word pleroma (play-ro-mah), which means "to fill," "to influence," "to supply." So when we read, "And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace," we must understand that the word fulness includes the Divine influence that He gives upon our hearts. By nature you and I are carnal and at enmity with God. By nature we are not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. But now, of His fullness, of the fullness of His grace, He gives us that Divine influence of the Holy Spirit upon the heart. He supplies every need. It is to fill, to influence, to supply.
The word fulness is the same word that we find in COL 1:19, "For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell." What does this teach us? You and I by nature are destitute, naked, and bare; we are poverty stricken spiritually; but "in him should all fulness dwell." All our grace flows from Him. It is from the Lord Jesus Christ that we have all our influences, our Divine influence upon the heart. It is when He is set evidently before the eye of our faith, that our hearts are altered, that our enmity is broken, and we start to see the image of God in the human nature. This is when we start to understand the spirit of the law. It is in the Lord Jesus Christ, and in His full satisfaction upon the cross, of perfect obedience unto death, even the death of the cross. It is in His humbling Himself and becoming obedient unto death. It is in this fullness that is in Christ, that all fullness dwells.
It is so beautiful to see how our blessed Saviours condescension, the Word being made flesh, and dwelling or tabernacling among us, where you and I can again meet with God in peace (as we see in verse 14), is to supply and influence us. We see the beautiful harmony of this in COL 2:9, "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." The fullness of the Godhead! You and I were created to be the reflectors of the character of God, to be filled with the fullness of the Godhead in our human nature, but this was lost in Paradise. We see in COL 2:9, "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily;" in other words, in our human nature, in the flesh; "the Word was made flesh."
Our text says, "And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace."
How full is "full?" In LUK 6:35-38 see what it is for you and I to have received of His fullness, "grace for grace." Verse 35 says, "But love ye your enemies " Did you know that it is only of grace that you and I are able to love our enemies? " and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest " Do you see how He fills us with His fullness and with the love of God?
"And ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you." (LUK 6:35-38a)
See what He means when He says that ye shall be filled with His fullness: "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over." (LUK 6:38a) It is not the merchants fullness, that just barely tips the scale. No. It is overflowing, good measure, pressed down, running over, and so "shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete whithal it shall be measured to you again." (LUKE 6:38b)
The Lord will give us "grace for grace". The grace to love our enemies. He fills us with His fullness.
What grace is there, that we have, that we have not received from Him? Verse 16 says, "And of his fulness have all we received." Is there any of this that we can claim of our own merit? Can we say, "I was such a loving creature and always loved my enemies. I always "? No. We receive this grace "of his fulness." It is of the fullness of Christ that these graces are bestowed upon us. It is out of His inexhaustible fullness that we have received life itself. The very nature of spiritual life, as well as our natural life. All life itself we have received from Christ!
JOH 10:28 tells us, "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." Our very existence in spiritual life, is received from Him. Christ gives it unto them.
Is it not also out of His inexhaustible fullness that we receive peace? JOH 14:27 says, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you." He says, "my peace I give unto you." The Lord says in ISA 26:3, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." What does that mean? That doesnt mean that youre going to have everything just exactly the way the flesh would have it, but in every circumstance in which the Lord brings you, you will have peace in those circumstances. Do you know what Christ means when He says, "my peace I give unto you?" When He was in the Garden of Gethsemane sweating blood, He had perfect peace. Do you know why? He had perfect peace of mind because He said, "Father, not my will but Thine be done." Under all circumstances, we are able to have peace. " My peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (JOH 14:27)
Dont be afraid of the future or of these circumstances. "My peace I give unto you." Out of His fullness, He gives us His peace, we receive it.
We receive joy out of Christs inexhaustible fullness. Look at JOH 15:10-11, "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you." It is His joy, "that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." These are the graces that we receive of His fullness.
Out of His inexhaustible "fulness" we have received the revealed will of God by the Word of God. It is a wonder of Gods grace that we have His Word. Christ is the Word. He came to bring the mind of God verbally, which is now in print. The mind of God is revealed unto you and I by His grace that we received in the Word of God.
JOH 17:14 says, "I have given them thy word." Do you see that it is of Christ and that we receive it of Him? "I have given them thy word, and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." When you and I receive the Word of God, then we are no longer able to mix and to merge with and to be part of the world; it separates us from the world.
It is out of Christ's great storehouse that all true believers receive all their needs for this time and also for eternity. It is out of His fullness that we receive the Holy Spirit.
JOH 20:22, "And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost."
Do you and I know what it is to become the temple of the Holy Spirit? We receive this from His fullness. It is "of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace." All these graces, all these undeserved favors and these undeserved blessings, we receive out of His fullness.
Our text goes on to emphasize the wonder of His grace which came by Jesus Christ. Outside of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are of all creatures most miserable. We would be utterly destitute of every one of these graces.
This word grace is a very rich word. It comes from the Greek word, charis (khar-ece). The primary meaning of this charis, in a spiritual sense, is "the Divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life, including gratitude." Thats the primary meaning, but not the full meaning of it.
It is also translated to mean "acceptable, benefit, favor." Take the word grace, and look it up in Websters Dictionary, the first primary meaning thats given to the word grace, is "unmerited favor." But, the original is not the word grace; the original is the word charis. So it includes the primary meaning, which is "Divine influence upon the heart." It also is translated to mean "acceptable, benefit, favor, gift, joy, and pleasure." This is remarkable when you start to see the fullness of grace. It includes joy, pleasure, liberality, thank, and the last word is grace. The word includes much more than just to say that it is unmerited favor. Favor is one of the illustrations, or one of the translations from the word charis.
As we search for the meaning of the Spirit in the expression used in our text, " of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace," then we must attempt to grasp every word in its full meaning if we are going to understand the meaning of the Spirit in the expression, "grace for grace." This clearly teaches the unspeakable gift of the truth and grace which came by Jesus Christ, in its fullness, it is grace in every respect. Its not only the Divine influence of the Spirit upon the heart, but it is in its fullness, it is grace in every respect.
In an attempt to unfold a glimpse of the teaching contained in our text, lets first see the harmony in the meaning in some of the key words which essentially mean, "to influence." We dont realize what a wonder of grace it is for the Lord to influence our hearts and our thinking. You can have a friend, a brother, or one that you love so dearly, a parent or a child, and try to influence them. Try to show them the wonder of Gods grace, how far short you come, and see how impossible it is for you or I to influence their thinking. So, think of the wonder of grace, that God influences our hearts, that we lose our enmity against God, and learn to love God.
This word fulness comes from the Greek word pleroma (play-ro-mah), which means "to fill, to influence," and "to supply." So this fulness also relates to the influencing of our rebellious heart, breaking our enmity and turning our hearts unto the Lord.
The word grace comes from the Greek word charis (khar'-ece), and that primary meaning is "The Divine influence, and its reflection upon the heart, including gratitude."
Look where the word faith comes from. See the harmony of what it means to have the fullness of Christ, to have the grace of Christ, or to have faith in Christ. It basically all comes from the same principle.
The word faith, as we see it in ROM 10:17, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." The word faith comes from the Greek word pistus, and it also means "influence;" also "persuasion," or "conviction of a religious truth." The primary meaning of the word faith also means, "to rest our hope for salvation upon Christ." But the primary meaning begins with the word persuasion.
We see the word fulness, the word grace, and the word faith, in effect all primarily start with the influence of the Spirit of Christ in our heart. Theres the key to salvation, "by grace are ye saved!" Do you know how were saved? Were saved by the Divine influence of the Holy Spirit upon our hearts to change our attitude. And what is repentance? Again, it comes back to the same key word; its a change of mind. It is so important that we understand the true meaning of these words, to see the harmony of the Gospel as it centers in this one word, "influence, persuasion, change of mind."
So where does salvation begin? It doesnt begin by spending a certain six months over hell. It comes by a change of attitude. Where the rebellion, the bitterness, and the hatred against God is taken away. Were given to see the love of God and our hearts are brought in conformity with the image of Christ.
What must we understand by the term, "grace for grace?" The term clearly implies two separate meanings by the word grace. We must also go in to the secondary meaning of the word to understand the meaning of the word grace in the second instance. This was not just a fumbling or a repeating of the word grace. When it says, "grace for grace," we must understand the primary meaning of the word grace, is what brings us to the secondary meaning. It begins with the Divine influence upon the heart; this grace is for the next grace.
Do you love your enemy? The influence of the Holy Spirit upon your heart, which is grace, brings you to the second influence, which is loving your enemies. It is "grace for grace." It is a very inestimable grace, if youve learned to love your enemy, because thats not according to human nature. You receive the grace, which is the Divine influence, the persuasion, the change of mind, for the grace of loving your enemy.
Lets take this apart just a little. The Greek word charis (khar'-ece), is also translated to mean "acceptable, benefit, favor, gift, joy, pleasure, liberality, thank, and grace."
The word chairo (khah-ee-ro), is the root word for charis. It means "cheerful," that is "calmness, happy, or well-off, especially as a salutation (on meeting or parting)," like "be well, farewell, be glad, I bid you God speed, be joyful and rejoice."
Did you know that was the meaning of the word grace? The "grace for grace" we receive is grace, which is that influence of the Holy Spirit upon our heart which gives us a new attitude, which gives us a persuasion. The fruit of that is the second meaning of grace, which is "cheerfulness," "calmness," "happy," or "well-off," especially "being able to salute one another with bidding them God-speed, bidding them to be peaceful and joyful."
The first instance recorded in Scripture which illustrates the meaning of the term "grace for grace," that is the joy and rejoicing which comes with the Divine influence upon the heart, persuading the heart by the conviction of religious truth, is found in MAT 2:10, "When they saw the star, they rejoiced..." They had the influence of the Holy Spirit to follow that star, and this grace brought them to the next grace. "When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy." "Grace for grace" is that the influence of the Holy Spirit is used to convey the grace of joy and rejoicing in the Lord.
We see another recording in LUK 1:41-44 of the grace of joy. I want you to see that joy is a grace that comes from the first grace. It is the fruit of the grace of Christ's Divine influence upon the heart, persuading the heart by the conviction of religious truth. We mentioned also the word grace being included in the word salutation.
See how the salutation of Mary brought joy. LUK 1:41-44 says, "And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy."
There we see "grace for grace." It was the influence of the Holy Spirit. She said, "and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost." The influence of the Holy Ghost wrought such joy that the babe leaped in her womb.
I want to ask you a question. Do we find that depression is godliness? Is that the Word of God? Look in ISA 58:5 and see what the Word of God says about depression and godliness, "Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?" No. There is no joy in such a celebration or in such a fast. The "grace for grace" is that Divine influence upon the heart and the fruit of it is joy. Her heart leaped for joy, and the babe leaped within her womb for joy, because of the influence of the Holy Spirit. Mary had not told her anything yet, the Holy Spirit filled Elisabeth at the salutation of Mary.
The grace of joy and rejoicing comes not only as a Divine influence upon the heart, but also as a command. We are commanded to rejoice. This rejoicing is the fruit of grace. We will never rejoice under such circumstances as recorded in LUK 6 outside of the Divine influence, the persuasion, (the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ). Outside of His fullness, outside of His "grace for grace," yet, its a command. Verses 22 and 23 says, "Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. [Now we see the command.] Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy."
And of His fullness we receive "grace for grace." Do you know that it takes grace to rejoice when youre hated by your fellow man? When youre put out of their company and your name is cast out as vile? Do you know it takes grace to rejoice in such an hour? And this is "grace for grace." We need that grace of the Divine influence of the Holy Spirit. We need that fullness of His grace of the influence of our bleeding, dying Saviour, in order to be able to rejoice and leap for joy. Why? "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith." (HEB 12:2a) What He is saying here, "for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets." (LUK 6:23b)
We look at that reward with our eyes fixed upon the Lord Jesus Christ, for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross. You and I are going to endure this cross for the joy that is set before us with our eyes fixed upon the Lord Jesus Christ and His faith.
This grace of joy or rejoicing in tribulation is one of our choicest graces. Theres a joy in believing. There is joy in the fullness of grace when we have "grace for grace." It is the choicest grace and it is one of our surest bases for the assurance of faith.
Turn with me to ROM 5:1-5, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith ["faith" is: by this persuasion or this influence.] into this grace [Theres more than one grace.] wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." (ROM 5:1-2) Were speaking of this grace of rejoicing.
Where does the rejoicing begin? Where is this grace of rejoicing? "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations [We rejoice in tribulation. We have joy in tribulation] also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience." (ROM 5:3)
How little do we realize the preciousness of this grace of patience. Patience comes from the Greek word hupomone (hoop-om-on-ay'), which means "cheerful endurance."
Do you understand what it means when we say "grace for grace?" Do you know that it takes nothing short of the influence of the Holy Spirit? It takes nothing short of the fullness of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ to be able to cheerfully endure hardship, to be able to cheerfully endure persecution and tribulation. "And of his fulness [we] have received grace for grace." (JOH 1:16)
ROM 5:4-5 says, "And patience, [worketh] experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed." It is by this patience that the Lord has led us these forty years in the wilderness to humble us and to make us fit in character, to be able to become inheritors with the saints in life.
"And patience, [works] experience; and experience, [brings] hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts." (ROM 5:4-5a) The precious love of God, shed abroad in our hearts, is another one of His choice graces. It is only by the love of God that you and I have patience in tribulation. We can cheerfully endure hardships, cheerfully endure persecution, have our name cast out as vile, and go on rejoicing, because we have our eye fixed upon the precious reward. For the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross, He despised the shame. Do you know what that joy was? The joy that was held out before the Lord Jesus Christ was that kingdom that would be given Him. And where is that kingdom? Its upon the throne of your heart. The Lord Jesus Christ so rejoiced, and He so endured, for the purpose of having His throne established upon the hearts of His people.
Faith to have joy and rejoice in tribulation becomes our greatest consolation. "...Of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace." In ROM 15:13-14 Scripture says, "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost."
When we have received of His fullness, and received of His influence "grace for grace," then we are filled with hope. You see now where the assurance of our faith lays. "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing. [Theres a joy in believing.] That ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost." (ROM 15:13)
Sometimes when we see the harmony of some of the words in Scripture, we start to see such a beautiful connection. The word believing comes from the same root word, pistus in the Greek, as the word faith in ROM 10:17, which means "influence or persuasion, conviction of religious truth." Our heart is fully persuaded of the truth when we believe. The hope that we have with all joy and peace in believing, that we "may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost." (ROM 15:13)
See the principle of "grace for grace" again set forth herein! Oh, what joy there is in being persuaded by that Divine influence of the Spirit to walk in the law of love. Lets see now what verse 14 says, "And I myself also am persuaded of you " Do you know what he means by saying "I am persuaded of you"? Meaning, "I have faith to believe." That word persuaded, is the same word as the word faith. "I am persuaded of you, [I have faith to believe] my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another." (ROM 15:14)
Are we able to admonish one another? Do you know how important that is? Because thereby, we have sharpened the countenance of man and have helped spare and deliver each other from the pitfalls of Satan and sin. But now our text goes on to say in verse 17, "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." (JOH 1:17)
What a contrast between what was "given by Moses," and that which "came by Jesus Christ!" Grace and truth were not merely "given," but they "came by Jesus Christ" in His fullness. "We have received of his fulness." (JOH 1:16)
Now, to obtain just one glimpse of what it means, turn to HEB 12:18-22 and see what it is telling us, that the law came "by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." Verse 18 says, "For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched " The word touched, means "manipulated, alterable," in other words, it was unalterable, it could not be changed. The mount was not to be touched. The very Son of God, laying in the Garden of Gethsemane, pleading with His Father, "If it be possible, let this cup pass from me," could not alter Mount Sinai. This is the law that came by Moses. How was it altered? By being fulfilled in every jot and tittle by our Substitute. How was it that you and I can now find mercy? It was satisfied by perfect satisfaction by the Lord Jesus Christ. Now truth and grace come by Jesus Christ. By Moses came the law that could not be altered.
"And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more." (HEB 12:19)
It was the law, which came by Moses, that drove them away from God. There is no Gospel in it. They intreated that it should not be spoken to them any more, "(For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) But ye are come unto mount Sion, [But truth and grace came by Jesus Christ.] and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels." (HEB 12:20-22) The law was given and came by Moses, but by Jesus came truth and grace.
The law, which was given by Moses, was certainly "truth," but it was inflexible, it could not be altered, or manipulated in any way. When the law was given from Mount Sinai "...they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (For they could not endure that which was commanded )" (HEB 12:19-20)
"Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." Now by the grace of Jesus Christ, you and I can come unto Mount Sion, where we receive that same law of love, but it is now the law of the Gospel. It is now a satisfied law, it proclaims mercy, but now the Lord Jesus Christ has fulfilled it. Truth came by Christ, the law was not altered, but also grace (undeserved favor). Now we have truth and grace coming together, where we receive that same law of love, but now it is ministered by our Heavenly High Priest who has satisfied the just demands of that law.
Now by the grace (which came by Jesus Christ) and truth of that law, we are no longer driven away! Why? Because we have a High Priest that can be touched. The word touched, as we find it in HEB 4:15 is a completely different word in the original. It means that His heart could be touched with mercy, with love. And now we have a High Priest who has satisfied that law, and who now stands before the Father and intercedes in our behalf. Thats why we now come unto Mount Sion.
HEB 4:15-16 says, "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly " Now we dont have to flee from that law, as it said, "...they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more." (HEB 12:19) It no longer drives us away. Now it draws us, because we have that blessed Redeemer lifted up before our eyes, and by faith we see how, for the joy that was set before Him. He endured the curse of that law. For the joy that was set before Him, He suffered the shame and the disgrace of the broken law. He took away our shame and now we can approach unto that law of love, because it is in Christ, the finished law. Now He understands all our infirmities and our weaknesses. Therefore, we can come boldly "unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy." (HEB 4:16)
Now we dont come before Mount Sinai to come under the curse of the law, but now we come unto Mount Sion where we may obtain mercy and grace, where we may obtain joy and peace in His blessed atonement.
Our text says in verse 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."
When Moses, the meekest of all men, asked in EXO 33:18, "I beseech thee, shew me thy glory," what do we read? The Lord Jesus says, "No man hath seen God at any time."
We see in EXO 33:19-23, when the man of God, Moses, asked to see His glory, "And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live." What did Jesus say? "No man has seen "
"And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock." (EXO 33:21) What did the Lord show him when He showed him that Rock, which was Christ? He let all His goodness pass before him. The love of the Father in giving His Son, and the love of the Son in giving Himself.
"And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by." (EXO 33:21-22) He gave him there to see the preaching of the blessed atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. All this goodness and all this love of God passed before him.
"And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: [What is that telling us? You will be able to see the satisfied law; you will be able to see, after you have been placed in the cleft of the rock. Now he understood what it was to be able to come unto Mount Sion.] but my face shall not be seen." (EXO 33:23)
Our text says, "No man [and that included Moses] hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him."
The Word was made flesh. The Word came to declare the Father and who He was. How did He declare Him? Turn to HEB 1:1-2, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things." The Word came now to declare the Father. It is in the Word of God that we see the love of the Father declared. It is in the Word of God that we see the precious righteousness of God satisfied by the perfect obedience of His Son. " In these last days [He hath] spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory " (HEB 1:2-3a)
How does He declare Himself and the Father? He is the express image of His person. "Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high." (HEB 1:3)
Thats how He declared the Father. He declared who the Father was by coming, and becoming the express image of His person, in the Lord Jesus Christ. He told His disciples; "If you have seen me you have seen the Father." Thats how He reveals and declared the Father, by His walk of life, His character, His perfect representation of the character of God, because He was God. He declared the Father by His words and actions.
This declaration was not seen in the Old Testament time. This was not seen, even by the eye of faith, in such clarity and in such perfection, as the Son of God declared it. "In these last days, [He has] spoken unto us by His Son." (HEB 1:2)
I have said many times, and I want to say once more in conclusion: what I say with my mouth, means so little if my feet and footsteps dont say the same thing. This is how He declared the Father, by being the express image of His person, not only in the words he spoke, but in the steps of His life, His attitude, the Spirit of Christ which was reflected by the Spirit of God, which was reflected by His walk of life. We have to understand that our attitude and our walk of life must correspond with our profession of faith. Amen.
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