Out of all the New Testament writers John stands out in his understanding of God’s grace. The phrase “grace in place of grace” is the idea of ever flowing grace. That is, grace that never ends. John puts it another way in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” In the original language the word “confess” is in the past tense. Hence, when we confessed our sins in need of God’s forgiveness – an act that every believer did when making a commitment to the Lord. The rest of the verse carries a tense not found in the English language. It isn’t past, present, or future. Rather, it encompasses all three. In other words, it is an ever flowing tense, like a river that continues to move. When we receive the grace of God it doesn’t remain stagnant. By His love we are receiving the river of life! This is a river that flows in the fountain of life, and not just life here, but life eternal in heaven.
Jesus came in all His fullness, being completely God and completely man. Out of this fullness we come to know God. God who is loving. God who is not willing that any should perish. God who lived and lives among us guiding us into all righteousness. God who became the Lamb, sacrificed in order to cover our sins. Jesus died to set us free. He was raised to demonstrate God’s power over death. Through His death, burial, and resurrection “we have all received grace in place of grace already given.” Just as we vow to love and cherish our spouse through sickness and in health, forsaking all others, even through death, Jesus vows to do the same for every believer. We receive God’s mercy, even though we don’t deserve it. For, as the Apostle Paul writes, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) We can only share in that glory through Jesus and His everflowing grace.