"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." John 1:16-17
All of us who believe in Jesus have received "of His fullness ... grace upon grace."
What the law, which was given through Moses, could not do because of our sinfulness, Jesus Christ, God's Son, has done for us! He fulfilled the righteous demands of God's law in our place, and He paid in full the penalty for our sins -- and the sins of the whole world -- by His innocent sufferings and death on the cross (cf. John 1:29; 1 John 2:1,2).
Jesus proclaimed the truth about our utter sinfulness and the judgment of God we so deserve, and He proclaimed the truth about the only way for us sinners to be saved -- through faith in Him and the atoning sacrifice He has accomplished for us on the cross. He is "the way, the truth, and the life" -- the only way for us sinners to be restored to fellowship with God the Father (John 14:6).
Through faith in Jesus Christ and His holy life and innocent sufferings and death in our stead, we receive God's abundant grace and mercy. Our sins, which are like scarlet, are washed away; and we are made "as white as snow" (Isaiah 1:18). "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us" (Psalm 103:12).
And, when we consider how many times we as believers have fallen into sin and disobedience to the Lord God, and then, by the grace of God, have been moved to confess our sins and be pardoned and forgiven through the shed blood of Christ Jesus (cf. Psalm 32:1-5; 1 John 1:8-9), we have indeed received of God's Son, Christ Jesus, "grace upon grace." "Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound" (Romans 5:20).
Even those of you who do not yet believe have received of the Lord Jesus "grace upon grace," for He is patient with you, giving you yet more time to see and acknowledge your sins and repent.
It is as Peter writes in 2 Peter 3:9: "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise [to come in judgment], as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
God, for the sake of Christ and His cross, is patient with us and endures our sin and disobedience long that we might yet hear His Word, repent of our sins and look to Jesus for pardon, forgiveness and life everlasting. Indeed, this is "grace upon grace"!
In Jesus Christ, God's grace and truth have come to us sinners. It is by grace that we are moved to repent of our sinful ways and look to Jesus and His cross, and it is by grace for Christ's sake that we are forgiven of God and are given everlasting life in His kingdom!
"Amazing grace! how sweet the sound -- that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see" (John Newton, 1772).
O dearest Jesus, thank you for coming into this world to bear my sins on the tree of the cross and thus to grant me "grace upon grace" that I might be forgiven for all my sins and have a place in your eternal kingdom. Amen.
[Scripture is quoted from the King James Version of the Bible. Devotion is by Randy Moll. He may be contacted by email at [email protected]. More of Moll's devotional writings are freely available at https://goodshepherdonline.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.]