Christ NOT Law
Category : General
John 1: 17 (KJV)
17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
The law threatened, not helped; commanded, not healed; showed, not took away, our feebleness. But it made ready for the Physician, who was to come with grace and truth. (Augustine.)
The words “was given” imply the external and positive institution of the Law; “came” denotes grace and truth appearing historically in the very person of Him who is their essential source (John 1:4), and becoming realized in His life and communicated through Him. Moses received the law from God, and through him it was given to the Jews, Acts 7:38. The law of Moses, however excellent in itself, was little in comparison of the Gospel: as it proceeded from the justice and holiness of God, and was intended to convict men of sin, that the way of the Gospel might be the better prepared, it was a law of rigor, condemnation, and death: Romans 4:15; 2 Corinthians 3:7-8. It was a law of shadows, types, and figures: Hebrews 10:1, and incapable of expiating sin by its sacrifices: Romans 8:3; Hebrews 7:18-19; 10:1, 11. But Christ has brought that grace which is opposed to condemnation: Romans 5:15, Romans 5:20, Romans 5:21; 8:1; Galatians 3:10; and he is himself the spirit and substance of all those shadows: Colossians 2:19; Hebrews 10:1.
It is at this point that the Apostle for the first-time announces the great name so long expected. In proportion as the history of the mercies of the Word towards humanity unfolds before his view, the spectacle inspires him with terms even more concrete and more human. The Loges of John 1:1 appeared as Light in John 1:5; as Son, 1:14; and in John 1:17 He is at length called Jesus Christ
The former refers to temporal deliverance and to carnal things; the latter commemorate spiritual deliverance, and refer to the heavenly and the Divine. The Passover, e.g., sets forth the emancipation from Egypt; the Lord’s Supper of redemption from sin. We MUST realize and remember that Moses was the servant, Christ the master; Moses was a subject, dependent, Christ was King of kings; Moses was only a man, but Christ was the God-man; Moses was the agent smiting the rock, Christ was the rock smitten. Moses was but the channel of communication between God and His people; Christ is the source of all our mercy. Moses was only the student; in Christ dwelt all the fullness of wisdom. Moreover, Moses was delegated; Christ spoke in His own name and on His own authority.
Therefore, we are to gladly receive them. Not grace without truth or truth without grace. The gospel is truth, and therefore to be received with the firmness of conviction and assent; grace, therefore to be received with cordiality, gratitude, and joy. Moses may disappear, the Law remains nevertheless; it is only given by him. But take Jesus Christ away, and grace and truth are gone; for these gifts have come by Him, and are closely united to His Person. It is in Christ that we find forgiveness, mercy, grace, salvation and life. Let us think on these things!
Have a great and God filled day!