15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.
16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.
17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
We have already been introduced to John the Baptist. He was Jesus’ earthly cousin and served as His forerunner. Before Jesus came on the scene, John was out there paving the way for Him. In modern terminology, John the Baptist was Jesus’ “advance man.” He was rolling out the red carpet, getting the crowd ready for the entrance of the King. Notice three things that John pointed out to people about Jesus Christ.
1. Behold the superiority of Jesus Christ. John the Baptist said, “He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.” In our modern, progressive way of thinking, we automatically assume that the future generations are going to be better than the current and past generations. Sometimes, we even speak ill of our ancestors — we see them as unenlightened and uneducated. However, in Jesus’ culture, the opposite was true. Those who came before were revered as wiser and better than the current generation. So, in John’s point of view, since Jesus was from the beginning, and is in fact Emmanual — God with us He was far more superior than any of the prophets, kings, or great leaders who had come on stage in all of world history. John the Baptist was telling his people, ‘If you think Isaiah and Jeremiah and Solomon and David and Moses and Abraham were great, just wait till you meet Jesus!’ And if you think I am great, waint until you meet Jesus!
2. Behold the grace of Jesus Christ. John the Baptist said, “Of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” Bible scholars tell us that we live in the “age of grace.” That age began with Jesus’ arrival on earth. Before Jesus came, man lived in an age of judgment — there was sin and punishment, wrongdoing and retribution. But, today, God does not have to see us according to our sins. He can see us through the lens of grace because of Jesus Christ.
What is grace? According to Strong’s Lexicon, the word “grace” refers to “that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, or loveliness.” It is the “good will, loving-kindness, and favour”of God. It is God’s unmerited favor. That is what Jesus Christ came to bring to humanity. Now, God does not extend to us a stingy, close-fisted grace. Rather, he gives us a “fulness” of it. This word, “fulness,” means “a fulfilling, a keeping, an abundance.” In other words, we are filled up with God’s grace. We are overflowing with it. John uses the term, “grace for grace.” Robert Morris said, Clearly John intends to put some emphasis on the thought of grace. God’s grace to His people is continuous and is never exhausted. Grace knows no interruption and no limit.”
3. Behold, the new order brought by Jesus Christ. John the Baptist said, “The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” If we were still living under the law of Moses today, most of us would be dead right now, and would have been dead a long time ago. When Jesus Christ came, He instituted a new order — one of grace and truth. The way to eternal life, the way to a right relationship with God is not through keeping the law (although you should do that). It is through Jesus Christ and Him alone. If you try to make it by keeping the law, I assure you, you will fail, and you will die in your sins. But, if you embrace the grace of God and the truth of Jesus Christ, His grace will save you and the truth will set you free.
Don’t reject the grace of God that is extended to you today. Jesus came so that you can take advantage of it and be saved. Allow me to share with you how you can do that today.
1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.
2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University School of Divinity. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.