And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.
This fulness is shown —
I. IN THE DOCTRINES OF SCRIPTURE CONCERNING CHRIST.
1. His perfect humanity.
2. His supreme divinity.
II. IN THE POETRY AND METAPHORS WHICH DESCRIBE HIM. "Ancient of Days, Alpha and Omega, Lion of Judah," "Sure Foundation Stone," "Sun," "Desire of all Nations."
III. THE CHARACTERISTICS WHICH HIS FIRST FOLLOWERS MOST APPRECIATED WERE TRUTH AND GRACE, AND THESE WERE MANIFESTED IN FULNESS.
1. Truth represents —
(1) Intelligence. In Christ there is a fountain of knowledge inexhaustible. The keen Sadducee, the exact Pharisee, the learned scribe, the eager Mary, all wonder at the gracious words which proceed out of His mouth. The words of Jesus are a study for one's life, and those who have studied them most are as far as ever from exhausting their meaning.
(2) Reality. This was complete in Christ. He was the shadow of no substance, the image only of the invisible God.
2. The grace of Christ was love in fulness.
IV. THE EXPERIENCE OF ALL HIS DISCIPLES CONFIRMS THE OBSERVATION OF HIS FIRST FOLLOWERS. They could say, "We beheld"; we "Whom having not seen we love." What is this grace but grace superseding grace, grace supplanting grace — as the blossom supplants the bud, and as the fruit supplants the blossom — as the noon supersedes the morning, and as summer supplants spring — grace superseding and surpassing grace. What have you received? Is Christ to you a cistern which you have emptied? A vine stripped of fruit? Bread eaten and gone? Or is Jesus Christ living bread? A fountain of living water? A tree of life bearing all manner of fruit? In plain language, does grace supersede and supplant grace? Are you rising higher and yet higher through the uplifting of the hand of this Saviour? Is sanctification supplanting conversion, and is glorying in tribulation being built upon patience in sorrow? If so, beware of pride, and of vanity, and of vain-glorying, and of boasting. God forbid that we should glory save in the fulness of this Jesus Christ. At the same time quiet your fears and call forth your hopes. All that you have received is from fulness. Come again. Come every hour — for everything. Friends may depart, but friendship in fulness abides in Jesus. Helpers may become helpless, but might exists in fulness in Jesus. Riches may leave you, but in Christ there are riches unsearchable. Health may sink, but strength undecaying is in Jesus.
Parallel VersesKJV: And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.