17For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.
17For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
The Bible clearly shows that grace and truth came strictly through Jesus Christ. Unlike the old law, which did not need Moses, the revelation of grace and truth are fully dependent upon Jesus. A good question to ask, then, is why does grace and truth have to come in this particular way? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones answers this question in this sermon on John 1:17 titled “Veiled in Flesh” by showing that truth must be brought through Jesus because humanity is unable to see and understand God on their own. Furthermore, grace must also come through Jesus because He alone is able to represent and fulfill the law. He explains that in order for the law to be satisfied, Jesus had to become human. At the same time in order for Him to bear the weight of sin, He must be God. Therefore, the only way for grace to come was the incarnation of Jesus Christ and the Savior must be a God-man. This truth also brings hope to Christians in realizing that as a God-man, Jesus is able to sympathize with people in their temptations and struggles. Because of what Jesus has done to bring grace and truth, the Christian now can have hope and become new creations in Him.
- The law points to grace and truth and demands grace and truth for salvation. The law demands grace and truth come through a person - Jesus Christ.
- There is a contrast between Moses and Jesus Christ. Moses was not essential to the law but Jesus Christ is essential to grace and truth.
- The law reveals our state, condition, and needs and shows that only the incarnation and work of Jesus Christ would suffice. The law demands the God-man, Jesus Christ.
- Jesus Christ alone, as the only begotten Son in the bosom of the Father, could reveal the Father to us. No one has seen God but Jesus reveals Him.
- We cannot see God directly and live but we must see God to know the truth. The incarnation - Jesus Christ as God in flesh - allows us to see God in a veiled way and live.
- The law demands grace come through Jesus Christ in a particular way. Jesus had to be human to represent humans and honor the law's demands on humans.
- Jesus had to be made of a woman and under the law to represent us and redeem us from the law. He had to be human to satisfy the law and the devil's demands on humans.
- A mere declaration of forgiveness from God would not solve the problem or satisfy the law or the devil. Jesus had to succeed as a man where the first man, Adam, failed.
- Jesus had to be made like us in every way to represent us - flesh and blood, tempted in every way as we are yet without sin. He became our high priest, able to sympathize with our weaknesses.
- Jesus had to be God as well as man to bear the weight of our sins and guilt, to conquer death, and to give us new life. As man alone, death would have destroyed Him. As God, He defeated death.
- We receive salvation through union with Jesus Christ, the God-man. We receive a new nature through new birth in Him. We receive life through our membership in His body. The Spirit in Him is the Spirit in us.
- Jesus Christ as the God-man is our great high priest, able to sympathize with us in our weaknesses and represent us to God. He was tempted in every way as we are yet without sin.
The Book of John
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.