(Truth Series #7)
Grace & Truth
“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
“The law” God gave through Moses was that body of instruction for the Jewish people before Christ; to govern their nation and lead them to Christ. That body of instruction (contained in the Old Testament) was the truth from God those people were to live by.
While that law was true and came from a gracious God, John is announcing that the fullness of grace and truth “came through Jesus Christ.” GRACE because no human being deserved such consideration. TRUTH because all revelation from God is true for the time and people addressed. God, after all, “never lies,” (Titus 1:2).
The verse, therefore, should lead us to thank and praise God for His gracious work in Christ. The person and work of Jesus Christ finds its’ origin in the grace of God. We respond by obeying the truth.
Gratitude to God for this takes into account that what the law “could not do,” God did “by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin.” (Rom. 8:3).
We live under the law of Christ. “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). “There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and destroy …” (James 4:12). James refers to Christ’s law as “the perfect law of liberty” (James 1:25). “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). In speaking of his efforts to convert the Jews, Paul said, “To them that are without law (being not without law to God, but under the law of Christ), that I might gain them that are without law” (1 Corinthians 9:21).
 Britnell, E. (1986). Living Under the Law of Christ. (E. Harrell, Ed.)Christianity Magazine, 3(8), 19.