Do You Have Christ’s Fullness?

Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash

John 1:14-18 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. 15 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. 16 And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. 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 the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, God Himself entered His own creation. Jesus Christ is the Eternal Word of God, God the Son …

Colossians 1:14-17 … in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15 who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Word Study This Jesus, this Word was made flesh. The word translated made is the Greek γίνομαι gínomai, {pronounced ghin’-om-ahee}, which means to begin to be, to become. Though Jesus was born (Greek γεννάω {pronounced gennaō}) into this world as children have always been born, John previously made the point that Jesus preexisted with God the Father in eternity. Jesus did not just come to be when Mary bore Him (Matthew 1:16), but existed with both Father and Spirit from eternity past. Through the operation of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35) and without the assistance of man, Jesus was conceived. He, Eternal God, took on flesh. The Biblical Illustrator notes:

It was a custom of old among the shepherds, they {clothed} themselves with sheep-skins, to be more pleasing to the sheep; so Christ clothed Himself with our flesh, that the Divine nature may be more pleasing to us {Less frightening}. The human nature {of Christ}is {like}a glass, through which we may see the love and wisdom and glory of God clearly represented to us. Through the lantern of Christ’s humanity, we may behold the light of the Deity shining.”

Jesus Christ is God … manifest in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16). Jesus lowered Himself from Heaven’s Throne to reach us with the glorious Gospel of God. The Gospel of Christ is not a Gospel of works. It is a Gospel:

John 1:14 … FULL of Grace and Truth

It is God’s intention one day – at the end of time – to bring Heaven down to earth. To populate this future Kingdom He is bringing more sons and daughters into His present Kingdom. Be certain, I do not know when, for none know the time, but God’s future Kingdom will come. He said through the Prophet …

Isaiah 65:17 … For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

And that new Heaven and new earth was to be for His people. God said:

Isaiah 66:22 … For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.

That future earth, cleansed of sin and sadness, is the home of God’s present people. Our eyes should be heavenward, looking up! The early Church stressed looking up and being prepared. Jesus stressed looking up and being prepared.

2 Peter 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

God will not make a new Heaven and a new earth until He makes a new people, a people to inhabit that future glorious place. When God brings the New Jerusalem down to this new earth, old lost people will not inhabit it. Only those who are in Christ, saved by the grace of God. Only those who have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior will be in that future world. We become new creatures by being IN CHRIST:

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

The NEW CREATURE is not founded on the rituals of the Mosaic Law, but by faith in Christ.

Galatians 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

God Introduced The Messiah Far From
The Temple For A Reason

It was prophesied that when the Messiah came, that He would be proceeded by a herald. When the King came, He was always announced by a Herald.

When John the Baptist began to preach on the Jordan River, people flocked to His services. The Pharisees were curious. If John were actually the Herald of the Messiah, why wouldn’t the Herald announce the King from the Temple.

John 1:19-23 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? 20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. 21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou {Elijah}? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet {the one to replace Moses, the Messiah}? And he answered, No. 22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? 23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet {Isaiah}.

Who art thou, John?”. What they were asking was, “Why aren’t you at the Temple? Why out here in the wilderness?” The answer is simple.

Year after year the Israelite went through ritual sacrifices, ritual feasts, and ritual circumcisions. These things all emanated from the Temple.

John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses

John is not referring to a moral code, but a ceremonial code. The moral code of right and wrong has never changed. But the ceremonial code, the Law given by God through Moses. Now, let me ask you this question:

Was Moses saved by the Law? Was he saved by sacrificing animals? What about Israel? Was any Israelite ever saved by the ceremonial Law? Absolutely not!

Moses, like John the Baptist, was a Herald of God. When God raised Moses up to lead Israel from Egypt, Israel had NEITHER Tabernacle nor Temple. Both Moses and John the Baptist ministered outside of the Temple and its sacrifices.

Moses was not saved by the Law, but by the Grace of God.

Israel was not saved by the Law, but by the Grace of God.
No one – absolutely NO ONE – has ever been saved by animal sacrifices.

God’s Word in both Old and New Testaments is “the JUST {those right with God} shall LIVE BY FAITH” (Habakkuk 2:4). Would you like further proof? Before there was ever a Tabernacle (a temporary and portable Temple), God and Moses had this discussion:

Exodus 33:12-17 Moses said unto the Lord, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet Thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. 13 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. 14 And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. 15 And {Moses} said unto {God}, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. 16 For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth. 17 And the Lord said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.

Salvation has always come to humans through faith in God, apart from the feasts, the animal sacrifices, and apart from either Tabernacle or Temple.

Salvation has ALWAYS been by Grace, according to the Grace of God. God gave Israel the Law not to save Israel, but to show Israel the COST AND VALUE OF GRACE. Grace is free to us, but cost God so very much. The Innocent must die to cover the sin of the guilty. The ritual sacrifices of animals without spot or blemish looked forward to the coming of Christ Jesus. God would become Man, and take the place of the Old Covenant sacrifice. Jesus Christ would come and bring salvation to all who believe in Him. Salvation has ALWAYS been by faith in God, a free GIFT of God. When we read:

John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

We are not being told that there was EVER a way that the Law could bring about salvation. Moses was saved by grace. If the Israelite was saved, they were saved by Grace. But the FULL COST of GRACE was not seen until Jesus Christ came.

Back to John the Baptist. Like Moses, John ministers to the people far from the rituals associated with the Temple. The Temple itself was defiled. The Temple was built by Herod, a puppet king under the thumb of Pilate and Rome. Herod set on the Throne that was supposed to be occupied only by the line of Judah.

And Herod was not even a Jew! He was an Idumean, a relative of the Edomites, the line that descended from Esau and not Jacob.

Those who came to John in the wilderness were tired, broken people. They had been under Roman rule for so long, and the ritual sacrifices and the self righteousness of the Pharisees wearied them. The people needed the Messiah. They wanted God to fulfill the promise that He made through the Prophet,

Jeremiah 31:33 … this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

a promise of a better covenant. A covenant that did not require repetitive ritual sacrifices. A covenant that actually changed their hearts and fitted them for the Kingdom of God. The New Covenant brought in by the Messiah, Jesus Christ, freed us from slavery to the rituals of the Law. It freed us from slavery to ourselves.

The Messiah is not Moses, not John the Baptist, but the One that both Moses and John saw. The Messiah is Jesus Christ. John said of Jesus:

John 1:15 … This was He of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for He was before me.

Word Study Let’s break this down. The word translated preferred is the Greek Perfect Active Indicative of γίνομαι gínomai, {pronounced ghin’-om-ahee}, meaning to exist”. He is saying “Jesus existed before me”. Then John says, He was before me. The word translated before is the Greek πρῶτος prōtos, {pronounced pro’-tos}, which means “first in power and authority”. Jesus Christ is no mere Man, but He is God in human form. The Bible says that Jesus is:

Revelation 1:11 … Alpha and Omega, the FIRST (prōtos) and the last…

Jesus is greater than John the Baptist. Jesus is greater than Moses himself. This is brought out in:

John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

Praise God for Jesus! The Scottish Preacher Robert Murray McCheyne said:

When this passing world is done, when has sunk yon glaring sun;
When I stand with Christ in glory, Looking o’er life’s finished story;
Then, Lord, shall I fully know, Not till then how much I owe.
When I stand before the Throne, Dressed in beauty not my own;
When I see thee as Thou art, Love Thee with unsinning heart;
Then Lord, shall I fully know, Not till then how much I owe.”

Salvation is by faith in God, by receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The Law was only a partial solution for sin. Jesus Christ is a FULL solution for sin.

John 1:16 And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.

The Christian has received the FULLNESS of Christ’s salvation. What do we pay for our salvation? grace for grace. How is salvation received? By clinging to Christ. By surrendering to Christ. By throwing yourself on Christ.

The Law Teaches Us Our Need,
But Jesus FULFILLS Our Need

John 1:16 And of his fullness have all we received…

You have nothing that God can use, but Jesus has everything you need. We are all broken. The Law was given to show us our brokenness. The Bible says:

Galatians 3:23-26 … before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Israel kept falling into enslavement of other nations because, instead of relying on the grace of God (Grace for Grace), they relied on their own righteousness. Year after year they made ritual sacrifices, followed ritual feasts, and went through ritual circumcisions that did nothing to save them. These rituals – repeated yearly – were proof that:

Hebrews 10:1-4 the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshipers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

Every year, year after year, the Israelite made sacrifices and followed rituals that did not satisfy. They were continually incomplete. But when Messiah came, He came to save us ONCE AND FOR ALL. The Scripture says:

John 1:16 … And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.

When you receive Jesus, you receive a FULL salvation. Note again the text, “of His fullness have we ALL RECEIVED”. When you give yourselves to Jesus, when you receive Him as Lord and Savior, you receive a FULL salvation. The word “RECEIVED” is past tense. It is a completed action. We are told in:

Galatians 3:11-14 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. 13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Chuck Swindoll said:

The law emphasized God’s divine standards and the inability of fallen mankind to meet them, while grace rescues fallen humanity from deserved punishment. The law pinpoints the problem, and grace fixes the problem.”

Jesus was made a curse in our place. The believer in Christ has received of His fullness. We have,

A full pardon from sin.
A fully new birth from God.
A full partnership with God the Holy Spirit.
A full citizenship in God’s Kingdom.
A full acceptance in the Beloved.

John 1:16 And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.

If you have been saved by faith in Jesus Christ, you are not a PART TIME Christian, but a FULL TIME Christian. John Gillmartin wrote:

Part time butterflies don’t exist! Why? No butterfly ever returns to crawling on branches once it has flown in the heavens above. Butterflies might periodically rest among the branches, but they’ll never abide there again. Likewise there are no such creatures as part time believers. Once the spirit of man has tasted the freedom of our heavenly and eternal Christ, it will never return to the bondage of this earthly and temporal world. Anyone guilty of longing for his former life has never left it!”

Salvation – true salvation – focuses on Jesus Christ. No one is ever saved from sin by their own works. The Apostle said:

Romans 4:4-8 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. 6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, 7 saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

Salvation is not a wage that God gives us for being His servants. Salvation is a gift that God gives to those who cast themselves on Him, by faith. If you are a Christian, God is at work in your life. You are …

2 Corinthians 5:17 … a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new ..

The Christian is given a new focus in life. From the moment of salvation, the Christian lives for God and His glory, not for ourselves. We are givenm the daily gift of life to live for our Lord and Savior. We are a delivered people:

Colossians 1:13-14 {God the Father} hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

We who are Christians belong to God the Son. Our citizenship is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body(Philippians 3:20-21). As believers we don’t need to drive our tent stakes too deep in this present earth. This world is not our home – we’re just passing through! God is at work in our lives, and will hold on to us until the day we see our Savior face to face.

I close with these appropriate words from John Newton, the Author of “Amazing Grace”:

I am not what I ought to be – ah, how imperfect and deficient! I am not what I wish to be – I abhor what is evil, and I would cleave to that which is good! I am not what I hope to be – soon, soon shall I put off mortality, and with mortality all sin and imperfection. Yet, though I am not what I ought to be, nor what I wish to be, nor what I hope to be, I can truly say, I am not what I once was; a slave to sin and Satan; and I can heartily join with the Apostle, and acknowledge, “By the grace of God I am what I am”.

No Christian is perfect, but we are on the pathway to perfection and eternal life. I pray that you have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Only through Christ can you be made fit for Heaven and God’s Kingdom. If you do not know Jesus as Lord and Savior, I pray that you will call on Him this very day. Jesus said:

John 6:38-40 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

May God touch your hearts with His Word and His Spirit. Amen and Amen.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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