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.
When the Word assumed human nature, He lived on earth with two predominant characteristics—grace and truth.
full of grace and truth.
Jesus functioned on earth constantly with two features: “grace and truth.” We can see the unique glory of the Son made flesh in the words “full of grace and truth.”
“Glory” in the phrase “we beheld His glory” is modified by the phrase “full of grace and truth.” “Grace and truth” manifest Christ’s glory, which the disciples saw.
Grace without truth is an imbalance. These two are never separated in God’s mind. Love and light are not polar opposites.
The grace of the Son moves toward men with compassion. Jesus was full of grace; He did not measure it out in parts. Grace is all that God is free to do for us because of Christ.
“Truth” occurs 25 times in the gospel. It is a key word in this book of the Bible. Truth is what corresponds to the facts. Truth unveils what is actually there. It strips us from sham, illusion, and façade. Christ was the stark and plain revelation of God. He is the most complete expression of what God is like.
God blends both truth and grace in one Person without sacrificing either.
Christianity rests upon two important factors: grace and truth. Truth is that which is consistent with objective reality. Christianity is truth oriented first and foremost (Co 1:5; Ja 1:18). Truth exposes fraudulent ideas. Jesus declared Himself the “truth” (Jn 14:6). Knowing Jesus is to know the truth (Jn 8:31-32).
Second, Christianity is grace oriented. Grace is all that God is free to do for us because Christ made Him free to give to us by His death on the cross (Ac 20:24; Ro 3:24; Eph 1:7; 2:8, 9; 2 Th 2:12-13; 1 Ti 2:4; 2 Ti 1:9; Ti 2:11; 3:7).
There is no grace without truth or truth without grace. These two concepts are inseparable. Grace taken by itself without truth would give us a distorted picture of grace. Jesus was capable of anger. He could curse as well as bless. God never separates grace from truth in the Bible. If there is no truth or righteousness, there could be no grace and mercy.
Grace freely joins us to God and puts us in fellowship with Him. Truth makes no peace with sin. That is why we need God’s grace and mercy. God always acts according to the standard of His character; He never violates Himself to have fellowship with us.
Different situations in life demand different resources. We need one kind of grace in times of duress and another in times of blessing. We need one grace in victory and another in defeat. Grace is dynamic, not static. It will meet us in our need.
People claim today that there is no truth and no one can know what is true. They say, “That may be true for you, but it is not true for me.” That statement presumes that everything known is relative and no one can claim an absolute.
On the other hand, Christ is the truth and tells the truth. Finite man has the problem of understanding infinite truth because he is confined to the finite. Christ transcends the finite because He is eternal. Those who believe in Him will have His eternal life. Christians can count on Jesus to give us grace and truth throughout our lives.