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God doesn’t just ‘like” you— there’s more

identity lifelift video Dec 04, 2023

One of my favorite verses which describes thea dynamic of Christ living in us— again, a favorite— is John 1:16 (NKJV): 

And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.

The English translations are all a bit odd. The NKJV suggests we have exchanged one kind of grace for another. That’s what they all say, in fact: "We've received grace for grace.”

If you go back to the original Greek language, though, you discover two different words used for grace in this passage. The two words are charin and charitos (the root word for each is grace / charis).

Here's what John writes, inserting the two Greek words into our text: 

And of His fullness we have all received, and grace (charin) for grace (charitos).

That’s a snapshot of a Greek interlinear Bible, one which provides the Greek words and the literal English translations. Notice that the Greek word anti has been translated as "for," meaning that one thing has come in place of another. Instead is the best English replacement here. 

“We’ve received charin instead of charitos,” is what the text literally reads.

Or, to say it another way— “You had charitos. Now you have charin.”

Here's what the words mean. Notice the difference.

  • Charitos, the third word above (what you had, what you have “traded off”) = “favor.” John tells us that we were liked by God, He had a pleasant disposition towards us.
  • Charin, the first word in the phrase (what we have now received) = “divine, animating, life-giving presence.” It is the very life of God in us!

Again, the Bible tells us we have received charin instead of charitos. In other words, “You had favor with God” (this is a great message, this is the very proclamation of grace). 

But, the Bible goes farther: “Now, you have the divine, animating, life-giving presence of God living in you!”

Or, to say it another way, In the same way Jesus was sent to reveal the Father, so also you are sent to reveal the Father.

The reality is now this: when people encounter you they actually encounter everything of the Kingdom.

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