What is the meaning of grace? The Lord Jesus Christ became sin for us so that we would be able to stand before God as righteous. Nothing in us deserves such love; there is no merit in us that would cause Christ to look upon us.
14 And the Word became 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.
15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’”
16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
John 1:14–18, NKJV
Meaning of Grace
In one short phrase, the Apostle John covers what other Gospel writers spent several chapters declaring. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Word, became flesh and dwelt among us. No accounts were given of His lowly birth in Bethlehem, the angels’ visitations to Joseph, Mary, and Zechariah, or even the visits to the temple when Christ was a baby or later when He was 12 years old.
In his succinct style, John rushed right to his main purpose in writing the Gospel of John: to present the Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God and Son of Man, as the Savior. John presents to us Jesus (the Word), which became flesh and lived among men. Though He was human, He never ceased to be divine, and thus, as the only begotten of the Father, and the only One who has seen God at any time, He was full of grace and truth. This Jesus spent His life declaring the righteousness of God, and providing a way for sinners to come to the Father through Him, the Son.
No wonder John the Baptist cried out, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’”
What is the meaning of grace? As he continued his narrative in verse 16, John introduced an entirely new concept to the Jewish people. They understood truth, but what was the meaning of grace? Why did John say, For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ?
The Jewish people certainly understood the Law. Given by Moses over 1000 years prior to this time, and summarized in the Ten Commandments, God’s Law was their holy guide for living. The only difficulty, however, was that no one could keep the Law perfectly, thus all stood condemned before a Holy and Righteous God who required perfect obedience of the Law.
No one could keep the Law perfectly, that is, until now. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Word, and the Light of the World, as the only begotten Son of God was perfect in every way. Not one time in His over three decades of walking on this earth did He ever break the Law, for He was not only man, but also He was God, full of grace and truth.
As all humanity stood condemned before a righteous God, the Lord Jesus Christ came to this earth with one purpose. He came to do what no other man could. He lived in perfect righteousness and obedience, and then shed His blood, dying in our place, paying the debt that we could not pay, to appease the righteousness of God.
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Now that is the meaning of grace! The Lord Jesus Christ became sin for us so that we would be able to stand before God as righteous. Nothing in us deserves such love; there is no merit in us that would cause Christ to look upon us. We are totally unworthy. Yet, in our unworthy state, the Lord Jesus took upon Himself all of our sin, and shed His blood that we might be made clean.
What is the meaning of grace? The Online Merriam-Webster dictionary gives the following definition for grace.
1. Unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification.
And of the fullness of Christ, the Son of God, the God-man, we have received grace.
Christ is all! Go to Christ, for He became sin for us, that we might be made righteous before God Almighty.
Oh, what an amazing God we serve!
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,