John 1:16 has long been one of my favorite verses —

“For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.”

The verse is written in the context of the coming of the eternally existing Word — the One who is co-existent with God and is God Himself.  The Word, the second member of the Trinity of God, lays aside the rights and privileges of His position and assumes the lowly mantle of humanity.

Now not everyone is impressed with this incarnation.  He is not only the Word — the revelation of God — but He is also the Light, who will guide the blind and dead out of darkness and death and into life.  Yet there are those who have nothing to do with Him.  They do not follow the light because they do not understand it (Jn. 1:5), they do not want it (1:11) and they love darkness (3:19). What a tragedy.

Yet some do want Him.  They embrace Him.  And He makes them His children.  And gives them life.  And they see Him (Jn. 1:12-13).  It is these who receive “of His fullness” (1:16).

He Himself is full of grace and truth (1:14).  And it is out of that fullness that we have received from Him.  That is not to say that we have become God, or gods.  But it is to say that we have received something of Him in us.  We are connected to Him in such a way that we who were previously blind now see with His eyes; we who were dead now enjoy His life; we who could never do righteousness now can do righteousness and please Him.  We are complete in Him (Col. 2:10) and we experience progressive maturity in Him (Eph. 3:19; 4:13), and ultimately will receive full glorification so that all of what we have received will be fully realized (Rom. 8:30).

But that’s not all. As if that were not enough (and it is enough), He gives us more.  Grace upon grace is given to us.  Like a coffee cup filled to the brim and then more added on, Christ continues to lavish us with more and more grace.  What we receive from Him is super-abundant, overflowing, ever-deepening, never-depleting grace.  He gives grace, and as it recedes, it is replaced by more grace.

When sin increases, forgiving grace abounds even more.  When temptation arises, grace of obedience is given to withstand the assaults of the world and its ruler.  When weakness develops, strengthening grace arrives.  When suffering and persecution are inflicted, sustaining grace enables endurance.  When questions arise, the grace of wisdom provides instruction and direction.  When we are inadequate for ministry tasks, the grace of the Holy Spirit makes us adequate.  In every corner of our lives, God provides grace that is always more than enough so that we have all we need and more.

What grace we have received.