The Dispensation of the Grace

Ephesians 3:1-4 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

‘This cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles.’ For the cause that the Gentiles are equal with the Jews in Christ, Paul said he was a prisoner of Jesus Christ for them.

‘Dispensation’ [Greek: oikonomia] stewardship (1:10) and dispensation (1Cor. 9:17; Eph. 1:10; 3:2; Col. 1:25; 1Tim. 1:4). Five dispensations are named in Scripture: Dispensation or administration of the unjust steward (Luke 16:1-9). Dispensation of the gospel (1Cor. 9:17), which is Paul’s administration of the gospel of grace. The dispensation of the grace of God (3:2); the same as pt. 2. The dispensation of God (Col. 1:25), God’s administration of grace given to Paul; the same as pt. 2. The dispensation of the fullness of times, in which God gathers together all things in heaven and the earth in Christ ridding the earth of all rebellion (1:10; 1Cor. 15:24-28; Rev. 20:1-15).

‘Revelation he made known unto me’ [Greek: apokalupsis] to unveil or uncover. It implies the lifting up of a curtain so that all can see alike what is uncovered. When used of writing, it means to reveal or make clear (Eph. 3:3; Gal. 1:12); when used of a person, it denotes visible presence (Rev. 1:1; 2Thess. 1:7; 1Pet. 1:7, 13). ‘Mystery’ A mystery is a secret previously hidden but now made clear so that no mystery remains for anyone who will accept the truth as revealed (Matt. 13:19; 2Cor. 4:3-4).

According to the Grace of God

1Corinthians 3:10-15 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master-builder, I have laid the foundation, and another builds thereon. But let every man take heed how he builds thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he has built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 

‘Master-builder’ [Greek: architekton] architect. The plan belonged to God, but the execution of the plan was entrusted to Paul and the other apostles who were commissioned to write the Word of God so that we in this era can live according to it.

‘But let every man take heed how he builds thereupon.’ Let every man be careful to teach the same doctrines that Paul has preached and ask no practice contrary to them.

‘For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’ Christ, not Peter, is the only foundation of His body upon which people must build (Eph. 2:19-22).

‘Gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble …’ This is the 2nd New Testament prophecy in 1Corinthians and is unfulfilled. Works are compared to these materials – some become more pure in the fire and others are completely burned up by fire. Fire will try every man’s works. If his are gold, silver, and precious stones they will abide the fire and he will receive a reward for his works. If they are wood, hay, and stubble his works will be burned up, yet he himself will be saved from loss of his soul (3:12-15).

The judgment of believers’ works will consist of the following: Subjects: believers (Rom. 14:1-23; 2Cor. 5:10; Gal. 6:8; Eph. 6:8; Col. 3:24). Time: between the rapture and the second coming (Luke 14:14). Place: in heaven (9:24-27; Rom. 14:10; 2Cor. 5:10). Basis: works, both good and bad (3:11-15; 2Cor. 5:10; Rom. 2:6; 14:1-23; Col. 3:1-25; Matt. 16:27; 2Tim. 4:14). Result: reward or loss of reward, but never the loss of one’s soul for any wrongdoings properly confessed and forgiven (3:11-15). This judgment deals with the believer as a servant (Rom. 14:1-23; 2Cor. 5:10, 11).

Believers will be judged concerning: Doctrines (Rom. 2:14-16; 14:1-23); conduct to others (Matt. 18:1-35; Rom. 14:1-23); carnal traits (Col. 3:1-25; Rom. 1-2; 8:1-13; 14:1-23); words (Matt. 12:32-37; Rom. 14:1-23); things that affect others: slander, quarrels, idle words, foolishness (folly), dishonesty, broken promises, wrong dealings, etc. (Rom. 1:29-32; 12:1-21; 14:1-23; 1Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21; Col. 3:1-25; Eph. 4:1-32; 5:1-33); things that affect themselves: neglected opportunities, talents wasted, loose living, lack of spirituality, etc. (Rom. 2:14-16; Heb. 2:1-4; Gal. 5:1-26; 6:1-10; Col. 3:1-25); things that affect God: refusal to walk in the light, disobedience, rejection, failure to cooperate and yield to the Spirit, etc. (Rom. 12:1-21; 1Cor. 12:1-31; Eph. 4:1-32; 5:1-33). ‘He shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.’ A man will suffer loss if his works are burned (3:15), or not suffer loss if they are not burned (3:14). He himself will be saved, if he is in Christ, regardless of what happens to his works (3:13-15).

For the Grace of God

1Corinthians 1:4-5 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in every thing you are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge 

‘Grace’ – the primary meaning of grace in connection with God is: free, eternal, and unmerited love and favour of God toward free moral agents who are the product of His own creation, whether human or spirit beings, and who are capable of God; consciousness and moral responsibility. Grace is the spring, source, and the very fountain-head of all the manifold benefits and blessings of God to all of His creation (John 1:14-17; 3:16; Rom. 3:24; 5:17-21; 11:5, 6; 2Cor. 9:8; Eph. 1:6,7; 2:5-8; Jas. 4:6; 1Pet. 5:5).

All of God’s great benefits come through His marvelous grace. We deserve nothing but He gives us everything. Grace moves God to act in behalf of and for the best and eternal good of the whole creation. Grace is seen in acts of judgment as well as in acts of mercy. It works for the benefits of the few as well as of the many. All living creatures have an eternal guarantee of God’s benefits and loving providence through grace. We get through grace “every good and perfect gift” and “all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (John 3:16; Rom. 3:24; 5:2, 17-21; 6:14; 8:32; 2Cor. 8:9; 9:8; Eph. 1:6-7; 2:5-8; Jas. 1:17; 4:6; 1Pet. 5:5; 2Pet. 1:3-4). Such benefits are received solely by free moral agents upon the principle of humiliation and entire dependence upon God by faith, realizing that the creature is nothing, and the Creator is all and the source of all Such blessings are wholly apart from works (Rom. 3:24-31; 4:1-4, 16; 5:15-21; 6:14, 15; 11:6; Gal. 2:16; 3:1-12; Eph. 2:7-9).

‘By Jesus Christ’ – Things by Jesus Christ: Righteousness (Rom. 3:22); the grace of God (Rom. 5:15); the reign of righteousness (Rom. 5:21); grace and truth (1Cor. 1:4; John 1:17); peace (Acts 10:36); creation (Eph. 3:9; Col. 1:16-18); reconciliation (2Cor. 5:18); revelation (Gal. 1:12); justification (Gal. 2:16-17); adoption (Eph. 1:5); exceeding riches of grace (Eph. 2:1-22); all needs supplied (Php. 4:19); salvation (1Thess. 5:9); spiritual sacrifices (1Pet. 2:5); a good conscience (1Pet. 3:21); calling to glory (1Pet. 5:10); utterance and knowledge (1Cor. 1:5).

‘Enriched’ [Greek: ploutizo] Enriched in all utterance: the vocal gifts of prophecy, tongues, and interpretation (1Cor. 1:7; 12:4-11; 14:1-40); enriched in all doctrines of the gospel, the testimony of Christ (1Cor. 1:5-6) and enriched in everything, including all the gifts and fruit of the Spirit (1Cor. 1:7; 12:4-11; 13:1-13; Gal. 5:22-23).

According to the Grace

Romans 12:3-8 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teaches, on teaching; Or he that exhorts, on exhortation: he that gives, let him do it with simplicity; he that rules, with diligence; he that shows mercy, with cheerfulness. 

‘Unto me’ – this refers to Paul’s apostleship by the grace of God (1:5; Eph. 3:8).

‘Not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith] Not to be conceited and self-important, but to take a sane view of himself.

‘So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another’ Paul here compares the body of Christ to a human body (1Cor. 12:12-28).

‘Gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us’ – this refers to the spiritual gifts of 1Cor. 12:4-11, 27-31. They are given and to be exercised according to grace and the measures of faith (12:3, 6).

‘Whether prophecy’ – this gift is that of speaking to people to edify and exhort them (1Cor. 14:3-6).

‘Ministry’ [Greek: diakonia] service rendered by a diakonos, a deacon, one who executes the command of another. It is used of: Servants of kings (Matt. 22:13); servants at feasts (John 2:5, 9); ministers or officers of civil governments (13:4); men and women servants of congregations (Matt. 23:11; Mark 9:35; Rom. 16:1); deacons or business elders and distinct from bishops or teaching elders (Php. 1:1; 1Tim. 3:10-13; Acts 6:1-7); Jesus Christ as a minister to the Jews in the work of preaching, teaching and healing (15:8; Gal. 2:17; Matt. 4:23-24; 9:35; Acts 10:38); ministers of congregations (Matt. 20:26; Mark 10:43); teachers of the gospel (1Cor. 3:5; 2Cor. 3:6; Eph. 3:7; Col. 1:23, 25; 1Thess. 3:2); ministers of Christ and of God (John 12:26; 2Cor. 6:4-10; 11:23; Eph. 6:21; Col. 1:7; 4:7; 1Tim. 4:6); also used of ministers of satan to counterfeit the work of true ministers and to deceive (2Cor. 11:15)

‘Teaches’ – the teacher [Greek: didaskalos] was an instructor of others (Acts 13:1).

‘Exhorts’ [Greek: parakaleo] to call aside; make an appeal to by way of exhortation, entreaty, comfort, or instruction (Acts 4:36; Heb. 10:25). ‘Gives’ refers to the rich that give help to others (2Cor. 8:2; 9:11-13). ‘Simplicity’ [Greek: haplotes] Do not give with outward show or pride. (2Cor. 1:12; 8:2; 9:11, 13; 11:3; Eph. 6:5; Col. 3:22).

‘Rules’ [Greek: proistemi] to stand before, that is, (in rank) to preside, or (by implication) to practise: – maintain, be over, rule. ‘He that shows mercy, with cheerfulness’ – those who work with the sick and work for charity must be cheerful and sympathetic.

Election of Grace

Romans 11:5-10 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeks for; but the election has obtained it, and the rest were blinded  (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. And David said, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. 

‘Remnant’ – the doctrine of the remnant always refers to Judah and the other tribes of Israel, never to Gentiles or the body of Christ. It teaches that God is obligated to save a remnant of all Israel, so as to preserve their line to eventually fulfil with them the covenants made with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David. God promised an eternal line to these men, and He promised their descendants an eternal land (Gen. 12:1-3, 7; 13:14-17; 15:18-21; 17:2-8, 19; 21:12; 22:17-18; 26:3-4; 28:3-4, 13-15; 2Sam. 7:1-29). God often predicted the deliverance and preservation of a remnant of the thirteen tribes and their final and eternal restoration under their Messiah (Isa. 1:9; 10:20-22; 11:10-12, 11:16; 38:1-22; 46:3; Jer. 23:3; 31:7; 39:9; 40:11; Ezek. 6:8-10; Joel 2:32; Mic. 2:12; 5:3-8; Zeph. 2:7-9; 3:13; Zech. 8:6-12; Rom. 9:27; 11:5; Rev. 12:17). According to Isaiah 1:9 Isaiah predicted that a very small remnant would be saved in the coming destruction of Judah and Jerusalem; otherwise Israel would have been totally destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah.

‘Election of grace’ – grace elects to save all that will believe. Anyone chosen of God at any time, Jew or Gentile, is the elect of God (9:11; 11:5, 7, 28; 1Thess. 1:4; 1Pet. 5:13; 2Pet. 1:10). All men are called to become God’s elect or chosen ones and can be if they will choose God (Matt. 11:28-30; 20:16; John 1:12; 3:16-20; 6:37; Eph. 1:4; 2Thess. 2:13; Jas. 2:5; 1Tim. 2:4; 2Pet. 3:9; Rev. 17:14; 22:17).

‘And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace’ – the Jews were saved by grace and not because of any connection with a covenant of works. If it were of works, then it would cease to be a free and unmerited gift.

‘What then?’ What then is the real case under discussion? It is this, Israel has so earnestly desired. The election or chosen ones only have obtained it. The rest have been blinded.

‘God has given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear’ this is the 12th Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in Romans (11:8; Isa. 29:10). The very Word of God that should have awakened them has blinded them. God is not to blame, Israel is (9:12-18).

‘Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock …’ this is the 13th Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in Romans (11:9-10; Ps. 69:22-23). Their table (i.e., providential blessings) become a snare, a trap, a stumbling block and a means of punishment.

We Conclude

Romans 3:26-28 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believes in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

‘At this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believes in Jesus’ God is now ready to declare His readiness to impart His righteousness by faith to penitents and can now be just in justifying them by His grace (3:24-26).

‘Righteousness’ [Greek: dikaiosune] found 92 times and always translated “righteousness.” The English word is found 305 times in Scripture. It always means the doing of what is right. Fourteen facts about righteousness: Revealed in the gospel (1:17); not commended by unrighteousness (3:5); manifested apart from the law (3:21); witnessed by the law and prophets; freely given to all alike (3:22-25); imputed by faith without works or law (3:22; 4:3, 5, 13, 22). It is God’s righteousness in remitting sins through Christ (3:25; 1Jn. 1:9). It is Christ’s righteousness because He did all that was required of God to redeem people (5:18; 2Cor. 1:1-24). The medium of grace reign (5:21); a requirement of saints (6:13-20); and it produces life (8:10). The law required it, but could not give it (8:4; 9:31-32; 10:4-6); produced by the Holy Spirit (14:17). Conditions of receiving it (3:22; 4:1-5:11; 6:13-19; 8:1-10; 10:9-10).

‘Where is boasting then? … By what law? of works?’ Here (3:27-28) we have the second dialogue between Paul and the Jew. Paul has been proving from Romans 3:9 that the Jews are as guilty and condemned as the Gentiles and that both must be saved by the redemption in Christ. The Jew, finding his boasted religion of Romans 2:17-29 of no merit at all to save his soul, interrupts (as Paul anticipates) and asks, “Where does our boasting come in with such a program of salvation without works and the law? Have we no merit of our own? Do we not have anything accruing to us from our 1,700 years of circumcision and the Mosaic covenant?” Paul answers, “It is completely out-your boasting.” The Jew responds, “By what law? of works?” Paul says, “By the law of faith-you have sinned and you need forgiveness. The law of works cannot pardon. It requires obedience and only kills if transgressed. Faith alone in Christ will pardon and cancel the death penalty” (3:27-28; Eph. 2:8-9).

‘Boasting’ ten things that people boast about: bargains (Pro. 20:14); security (Pro. 27:1); religion (Rom. 2:17-29); strength (1Sam. 17:8-10); conquest (Isa. 10:8-16); gifts (Pro. 25:14); riches (Ps. 49:6); sins (Ps. 94:4); plans (Jas. 4:13-17); and power (Luke 10:17). The only boasting allowed is “in the Lord” (2Cor. 10:12-18).

‘Conclude’ to arrive at a judgement or opinion by reasoning. ‘That a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law’ to be saved through faith in Christ’s atonement and not through the Law of Moses.


1Peter 1:9-12 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. 

‘The end of your faith’ the Greek word telos meaning the end of a thing. It could also mean the consummation of being admitted or initiated into religion, marriage, etc. If this is what Peter has in mind it refers to believers being initiated into salvation by their faith (1:8-9). He could also have had in mind the end of salvation itself, which is at the end of a life of faith. 

‘Enquired’ [Greek: ekzeteo] to search out. They carefully and diligently sought and examined the truth of the things they were prophesying.

‘Grace that should come unto you’ they had salvation, grace, fillings, and gifts of the Spirit. It was the fullness of grace they predicted (John 1:16-17). Remember that the receiving of the fullness of grace is conditional.

God cannot give grace to men who disobey the gospel. If so, then God is under obligation to save all, even sinners who disobey if He saves even one (Rom. 2:11). God is under obligation to saints only when they walk in the light and remain true to the gospel (1John 1:7). He is not under obligation to sinners until they come to full obedience of the gospel. Grace teaches men to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and to live soberly, righteously, and godly here and now (Tit. 2:11-12). If people do not obey its teaching grace can go no further.

Anyone may: Receive grace in vain (2 Cor. 6:1); frustrate the grace of God in his life (Gal. 2:21); fall from it (Gal. 1:6-8; 5:4); fail of the grace of God (Heb. 12:15); turn it into lasciviousness (Jude 1:4); sin in spite of it (Rom. 6:1); continue or discontinue in it (Acts 13:43); minister it to others (1Pet. 4:10); grow or not grow in it (2Pet. 3:18); receive or reject it (John 3:16; Heb. 12:15; Jas. 4:6; Rev. 22:17).

‘Searching’ [Greek: ereunao] to search for; examine (1:11; John 5:39; 7:52; Rom. 8:27; 1Cor. 2:10; Rev. 2:23). They did not know the time of the sufferings of Christ or by whom, neither the glory to follow the sufferings.

‘Gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven’ it was the new covenant – that is the New Testament that was established with Christ’s crucifixion, (Heb. 9:15-18) and its full blessings that the prophets foretold. The fullness of grace (John 1:16-17), the fullness of the Holy Spirit anointing upon believers (Luke 24:49; John 7:37-39; Acts 1:4-8), the full gifts and fruit of the Spirit (1Cor. 12:4-11; Gal. 5:22-23), and the complete redemptive acts and processes of which the law was a shadow (Heb. 10:1) were all predicted by the prophets in the Old Testament. The way into the holiest by the blood of Christ (Heb. 10:19), power and authority of every believer to do the works of Christ (John 14:12), and many other truths and experiences were unknown to the prophets. ‘Desire to look into’ angels are no doubt amazed at the wonderful plan of redemption and of the eternal exaltation of the redeemed. Even now they are being taught by the body of Christ the manifold wisdom of God (Eph. 3:9-11). They observe saints constantly (1Cor. 4:9) and desire to look into the wonderful truths of the gospel.

Grace Be With You

2John 1:1-3 The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; For the truth’s sake, which dwells in us, and shall be with us for ever. Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. 

‘Elder’ John was an elder in three ways: By title, being an apostle and a preaching elder; by seniority, both as a Christian and as an apostle. He is thought to have been the oldest of the apostles, to have had the most years of Christian experience and to have been the only one to die a natural death; by age, being about 90 years old at this writing.

In the early days of the congregations, elders were the ministers and deacons, or teaching elders; those who served God for a period of time and had a good report from outside (1Tim 3:6-7) and were experienced in the Word (Acts 11:30; 14:23; 16:4; 20:17, 28; 21:18; 1Tim. 5:17; Tit.1:5; Jas. 5:14).

‘Elect’ from the Greek word eklektos meaning chosen, excellent, preeminent. All men are called to become God’s elect or chosen ones and can be if they will choose God (Matt. 11:28-30; 20:16; John 1:12; 3:16-20; 6:37; Eph. 1:4; 2Thess. 2:13; 1Tim. 2:4 Jas. 2:5;; 2Pet. 3:9; Rev. 17:14; 22:17).

‘Lady’ the Greek word kuria, the feminine of kurios; meaning Lord. It may signify some honourable woman to whom John addressed the epistle. She probably had a congregation in her home, just as the leaders, Euodias and Syntyche, two women of the congregation of Philippi had (Php. 4:2-3).

‘Her children’ this reference will be the same as Paul writing unto Timothy as his “own son” (1Tim. 1:2) which means a son in the gospel (Acts 16:1-3; 1Tim. 1:18; 2Tim. 1:2; 2:1).

‘I love in the truth’ this love is Christian love and so do all who love the truth. ‘In the truth’ refers to Christ who is the truth, for no greater love do we have than He who laid down His life (John 15:13). ‘Shall be with us for ever’ the doctrines of Christianity are eternal.

‘Grace be with you, mercy, and peace’ three things children of God receive of Him at the new birth. Even though grace cannot be withheld from a man because of demerit, lessened by demerit, or be mixed with the law of works; it does not prove that there are no conditions men must meet in order to get the benefits of grace. Not one scripture teaches unconditional grace, or that God gives grace to men who disobey the gospel. If so, then God is under obligation to save all, even sinners who disobey if He saves even one (Rom. 2:11). God is under obligation to saints only when they walk in the light and remain true to the gospel (1 John 1:7). He is not under obligation to sinners until they come to full obedience of the gospel (Rom. 6:1; 2Cor. 6:1; Gal. 1:6-8; 5:4; Heb. 12:15).

‘From God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ’ from both the Father and the Son of the Father, proving two distinct persons of the Trinity.

‘The Son of the Father’ the only time this expression is used. It emphasizes that Jesus is not the Father, but the Son of the Father (John 1:14, 18; 3:16). The incarnation is the very foundation of Christianity.

Grace for Grace

John 1:15-18  John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spoke, He that come after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. 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. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. 

Christ was in existence before John, but after John in public earthly ministry (Matt. 3:11; Lk. 3:17; John 1:31-33) “whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” Micah 5:2 (See also Isa. 9:6-7; Heb. 1:8; Rev. 1:8.)

The Greek word for fullness is pleroma which means abundance, completeness. All needs and lawful wants are promised by the gospel (2Cor. 1:20; Mat. 7:7-11; 17:20; 21:22; Mark 9:23; 11:22-24; John 14:12-17; 15:7, 16; 16:23-26).

Grace upon grace means full grace, according to our needs and wants (Heb. 4:14-16; 10:19-38; Jas. 1:5-8).

The law that condemns in the moral life, and only typifies in the religious life is the law of Moses. First of 13 times Moses is mentioned in John (John 1:17, 45; 3:14; 5:45-46; 6:32; 7:19-23; 8:5; 9:28-29). Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ – this does not mean that there was no law before Moses, or no grace and truth before Jesus Christ. The law itself is truth, and the New Testament is law. There are 1,050 commands in the New Testament. The idea here is that the fullness of grace came by Jesus Christ. One can get today in fullness what men received only in part in Old Testament times.

The Greek word for seen is horao which means to see with the eyes and also see with the mind. That it means here to comprehend fully or understand is clear from the fact that many men have seen God with the eyes (Gen. 18:2, 33; 32:24-30; Exo. 24:10; 33:11; Jos. 5:13; Isa. 6:1-13; Ezek. 1:26-28; Dan. 7:9-14; 10:5-6; Acts 7:56-59; Rev. 4:2-5; 5:1-7). The verse could read, “No man has ever comprehended or experienced God at any time in all His fulness, save the only begotten Son . . . . He hath declared Him.” That Christ is the first to experience God in the fullness of the Holy Spirit is clear from John 3:34; Acts 10:38; Isaiah 11:1-2; 61:1-2 and Luke 4:16-18.

The Greek word for declared is exegeomai which means revealed, expounded; where we get our word exegesis.

Believe on His Name

John 1:12-14  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 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. 

The gospel benefits only the individual (Mar. 16:16; John 3:16; 6:37) – as many as received him – and to them did He delegated power; the liberty and right to use power. It is the liberty and right for every man to be saved if he wills (1Tim. 2:4; 2Pet. 3:9; Rev. 22:17) for they that believe on His name (Acts 2:21; 3:16; 4:12).

The Greek word for born is gennao which means a bringing forth. A word used of people who are adopted into the family of God (John 3:3; 1Jn. 2:29; 3:9; 5:1, 5:18). It does not mean in either of these uses that a new body, soul, and spirit have come into existence, as when used of Christ who is the only begotten Son of God and the first begotten of Mary (John 1:14, 18; 3:16). Not of blood, that is, not by right of natural descent from man. Not by right of the flesh merely to escape punishment. Not by right of man’s theories and religions, but of God who took man’s place to save him (John 3:16; Rom. 3:20-30; 2Cor. 5:14-21).

Christ was made flesh, not spirit; but man, not God; and earthly, not heavenly. This made Him God’s Son, for sonship in connection with Jesus Christ always refers to humanity, never to deity (Lk. 1:35; Acts 13:33).

Jesus is and was and always will be the only begotten Son of God (John 1:14,18; 3:16, 18; 1Jn. 4:9). Men never will be begotten or born in the same sense as Jesus was (Matt. 1:18-25; Lk. 1:34-35), for their sonship is on a different basis – that of adoption, not an actual begetting and coming into existence (Rom. 8:15; 9:4; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5).

Full of the grace by which we are saved and not an excuse to continue in sin (Rom. 6:1-3; Heb. 10:26-31) and the truth which is the Gospel – the life of Jesus Christ that was set as an example for us to live accordingly (1Pet. 2:21-23).