Jesus is full of grace and truth.  The Gospel of John and 1 John begins very similar in words and thoughts, Jesus becoming flesh and dwelling among us.  I like the 1 John version, “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. 15John 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. 16And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. 17For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”  (1 John 1:14-17)

As I study the Scriptures one thing that has always fascinated me is those verses that have a run (two or more words) we must meet to be able to walk in the truth the Holy Spirit is expressing. For example in Matthew 6:33, “seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.”  It is one thing to seek the kingdom of God (in man’s perspective in God’s kingdom we can get a job and make money, even manipulate and control people), but it is a different thing all together to seek His righteousness. Not much glory, power, and authority in this, but death to our self-seeking, selfish, fleshly desires which is the requirement to having God’s righteousness.  Or “the LORD killeth and maketh alive” in 1 Samuel 2:6.  Or in 1 Corinthians 13:13, “And now abideth faith, hope, charity.”  Two things I have learned while studying the Bible; words matter and the order of these words matter more.  Usually the last word in the run has been particularly ordered by the Holy Spirit highlighting the greater importance.  So too here in our text, the Scriptures says, Jesus was “full of grace and truth.”  Jesus was “full” there was no room for anything else in Jesus only grace and truth.  There is a spiritual principle moving here; to be full of something we must empty ourselves of other things to make room.  So too in our lives we are to be full of grace and truth, but to be able to be full of grace and truth we first empty ourselves of all of our worldly desires, hopes, and ambitions. Oh yes, believe it or not my friend we are to be like Jesus here, we too are to be full of (both) grace and truth.  Now this is God’s intention for our lives (us being full of grace and truth), but if it never comes to pass in our lives it is  not because God has made it so oh no, it will happen because we have chosen to move in obedience to God’s intention for our lives.  God has given us the power to decide in these eternal matters of the heart.  God really has no say (it is His intention He wants to see it happen), but whether it happens or not is up to us.  Now if we are only full of grace we will not be able to judge righteous judgment and if we are only full of truth we will not be able to express love to others as Jesus did.  The end results in all we do for God and man must be love out of a genuine concern for their spiritual and physical well-being. 

 We have received grace in our lives because Jesus first gave grace and now we can give grace to others.  God saves us from our sins so that we can save others; not from their sins only God can do this, but we can save our friends from doctrines that do not line up with the Bible, wrong choices and decisions they have made, and etc.  If we see a friend (or anyone for that matter) in a burning building would we not do all we could to save him from the fire? Yes of course, well how about eternal things?  How much more should we be concerned for our friends and acquaintances to tell them the truth?  But the main point here is unless we receive grace from God we will never be able to give grace to man.  A man cannot give what he does not have.  Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace are we saved through faith,” now this is the process – salvation through faith, but how about the

other word Jesus was full of – truth?  We must never sacrifice grace for truth and we must never sacrifice truth for grace.  Jesus was full (and we are to be also) at all times of both.  When sharing the hard truths of God’s word it was done in grace. Karen always tells me I can tell people almost anything, but whether it is received or not often depends on how I am saying it.  We must never sugar coat the truth, but at the same time we are not to cram that last bit of truth down someone’s throat.  I hear many Christians say they have a great desire to know God, but they run from conference to conference, church to church, from the latest Christian movement to the next, from one mighty and anointed song to the next when all they have to do is, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  (Hebrews 12:2)  Believe it or not we do not have to do all that running around to know God all we have to do is take a good long look at Jesus, because He is like the Father, “full of grace and truth.” Unless we can walk in the truth of God’s word we will never be able to give truth.  Remember a man cannot give what he does not have. The best we will be able to do is judge situations and circumstances out of our experiences and our sin sick present heart condition.  The basis for our judgment will not be grace and truth, but presumption and religion that sounds good, smells good, feels good, but in the end if not grace and truth and will lead to destruction and death. Still with that being said we still must judge as Jesus judged, He is counting on us to give righteous judgment in the earth. If not His children who then will be able to give righteous judgment?  In Matthew Jesus said, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”  (Matthew 7:1-5)  Jesus was not telling them not to judge situation and circumstances in their lives and others; the Scriptures are full of verses that encourage us to judge, but He was telling these “hypocrites” not to judge until they can clearly see from God’s perspective and out from a Godly heart condition.  There is a lot of trash goes on in the church today because many Christians fail to hold people accountable to the Godly standards of the Bible all because they do not want to judge. Well my friend this is just flat wrong we must stand up from integrity, honor, and truth. We must call a snake a snake when we see it.  To do otherwise just speaks of our lack of integrity (what God is looking for in His children more than anything), not having a Godly character, and no concern for the truth of the word of God.  We seem to be quick today to share the feelings of our brothers and sisters that have stumbled out of the way and gotten off track not wanting to offend, but what does it profit someone to think well of you as they are going further and further away from God.  Yes, my Baptist friends we can lose our salvation if we willfully choose to turn our back on God. If we turn our heads and look the other way to things that are not consistent with the word of God (sin) we are not extending grace, oh no, we are committing sin.  If I am getting off track I would hope I have friends who care enough about me and my soul to come to me (in humility and grace) and share their concerns, then leave their words and softy heart at my feet so that I can inspect my life (before God) through their observations.  But that is not what usually happens.  Usually we beat our brothers and sisters over the head with our words and leave them bruised and bleeding because of our callous heart.  Now I have experienced both ways and the second format does not work. We must be full of truth at all times and extend grace after the judgment is rendered. Remember one cannot extend grace until after the judgment.  It is after judgment (be in our lives or others) has been rendered that  grace or punishment is executed.  We all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; we all are deserving of hell’s fire and an eternal death the judgment has already been made, God has spoken, but for Jesus through His shed blood on the cross of Calvary grace has been extended to a sinner such as I.  Grace for grace now I can give grace.                           

        In church we are told to give God praise from the bottom of our heart, but how can we do that if our heart has never been changed by the power of God?  And for our heart to be changed we first must come to a place of self-judgment about our heart condition by the Holy Spirit.  And then allow God to begin to work on our heart through His dealings and judgments. Singing songs will not do it, working for God all the days of our lives will not do it, attending church all the days of our lives will not do it, but coming to a honest place of self-reflection of our ungodly heart condition before God and then in obedience submitting our will (as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane) to Him so He can work on us as a lump of clay on the wedging board of life. We must come to an understanding of what sin has wrought in our lives and it must devastate us for us to really have a true conversion.  Sadly many people have walked the aisle (some repetitively) repeat “the sinner’s prayer” (which is found nowhere in the Bible) and go off about their way thinking the work of God was done in their heart, well my friend they are no more saved than Grimme our boxer dog.  Believing or thinking so does not make it so.  I can sit in a garage all day and believe or think I am a car, but that will never make me a car.  There must be more to our conversion.  There must be conviction from the Holy Spirit, there must be “Godly sorrow,” there must be  great sadness and yes even tears, we must feel bad, even be devastated for our past actions to be birthed from above.  If not there has not been much of a work done in our heart, thus there will not be much work done in our lives.  Paul helps us again here, “Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.  10For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” (2 Corinthians 7:9-10) Did you get the thought “not to be repented of?” What Paul is saying here unless there is “Godly sorrow” in our repentance we are doomed to repeat the wrong process over and over (as many do daily), but God has made a way to do it right the first time.  Jesus died once for our sin and He expects; it is His intention for us to repent (about face, go the opposite way sin is going, stop sinning) once and then “grow in the grace and knowledge of the LORD Jesus Christ.”     

  You know we cannot measure the depth of sin nor can we measure the heights of salvation, but we can measure the change in our lives as we allow God to work in our lives; conforming us and transforming us more and more into the image and character of His precious Son Jesus Christ.  We must be able to see God (and God alone) as the one who brings us from defeat into great victory. But unless we come to see the frank sin and short comings in our lives we will never be able to see Jesus “full of grace and truth.” We will never be able to give grace for grace to those lost and going to hell, and the greatest loss we will experience will be never (no never) becoming like Jesus the expressed image of the Father who too is full of grace and truth.