The Meaning of John 1:16 Explained

John 1:16

KJV: And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

YLT: and out of his fulness did we all receive, and grace over-against grace;

Darby: for of his fulness we all have received, and grace upon grace.

ASV: For of his fulness we all received, and grace for grace.

What does John 1:16 Mean?

Verse Meaning

The glory of God that Jesus manifested was full of grace and truth ( John 1:14). From the fullness of that grace all people have received one expression of grace after another.
There are several possible interpretations of the phrase "grace upon grace" (NASB, Gr. charin anti charitos). The problem is the meaning of the preposition anti here. Some interpreters believe that John was saying grace follows grace as ocean wave follows wave, washing believers with successive blessings. [1] The NIV "one blessing after another" effectively expresses this view, and the NASB "grace upon grace" implies it. Another translation that gives the same sense is "grace to meet every need that arises (see2Cor. xii9)." [2] It is true that God keeps pouring out His inexhaustible grace on the believer through Jesus Christ, but is this what John meant here?
A second view is that the Greek preposition anti means "instead of" here, as it often does elsewhere. [3] According to this interpretation John meant that God"s grace though Jesus Christ replaces the grace that He bestowed through Moses when He gave the law. John 1:17 seems to continue this thought and so supports this interpretation.
I suspect that John may have intended both ideas. He could have been thinking of God"s grace in Jesus Christ superseding His grace through Moses and continuing to supply the Christian day by day. This interpretation recognizes John"s mention of the fullness of God"s grace as well as the contrast in John 1:17.
Another less acceptable view is that anti means "corresponds to." [4] The grace we receive corresponds in some way to the grace Jesus receives from the Father. However, anti rarely has this meaning by itself, though it does occasionally when it combines with other nouns. Furthermore this interpretation offers no connection with John 1:17.
A fourth view, also inadequate from my viewpoint, is that anti means "in return for." [4] Yet the idea of God giving us grace in return for grace that we give to him is foreign to the New Testament. God initiates grace to human beings.

Context Summary

John 1:14-28 - The Voice Of Promise
Note that the Revised Version changes the words was made to became, John 1:14. Evidently Jesus had existed before this becoming; and evidently there was a process of self-limitation. Dwelt, that is, tabernacled. As the Shechinah light was veiled by the curtain of the Tabernacle, so the divine essence in Jesus was veiled by His humanity, though it shone out at the Transfiguration. He was full of grace, the unmerited love of God; full of truth, coming to bear witness to it; full of glory, that of the only begotten Son. There are many sons, but only one Son.
What a beautiful testimony John the Baptist gave! He was not the Christ, not Elijah (except in spirit), not the expected prophet, but just a voice, announcing the Christ and dying away. He was content to decrease before the greater whom he had been taught to expect and was sent to herald. There is a sense in which the preacher of repentance must always precede the Christ. There must be a putting away of known sin, previous to the recognition of the Lamb of God. But how great must Christ be, when so noble a man as the Baptist felt unworthy to unloose His sandals! [source]

Chapter Summary: John 1

1  The divinity, humanity, office, and incarnation of Jesus Christ
15  The testimony of John
39  The calling of Simon and Andrew, Philip and Nathanael

Greek Commentary for John 1:16

For [οτι]
Correct text (Aleph B C D L) and not και — kai (and) of the Textus Receptus. Explanatory reason for John 1:14. Of his fulness The only instance of πληρωμα — plērōma in John‘s writings, though five times of Christ in Paul‘s Epistles (Colossians 1:19; Colossians 2:9; Ephesians 1:23; Ephesians 3:19; Ephesians 4:13). See Colossians 1:19 for discussion of these terms of the Gnostics that Paul employs for all the attributes of God summed up in Christ (Colossians 2:9) and so used here by John of the Incarnate Logos. We all John is facing the same Gnostic depreciation of Christ of which Paul writes in Colossians. So here John appeals to all his own contemporaries as participants with him in the fulness of the Logos. Received Second aorist active indicative of λαμβανω — lambanō a wider experience than beholding The point is in αντι — anti a preposition disappearing in the Koiné and here only in John. It is in the locative case of αντα — anta (end), “at the end,” and was used of exchange in sale. See Luke 11:11, αντι ιχτυος οπιν — anti ichthuos ophin “a serpent for a fish,” Hebrews 12:2 where “joy” and “cross” are balanced against each other. Here the picture is “grace” taking the place of “grace” like the manna fresh each morning, new grace for the new day and the new service. [source]
And [καὶ]
But the correct reading is ὅτι , because, thus connecting the following sentence with “full of grace and truth” in John 1:14. We know Him as full of grace and truth, because we have received of His fullness. [source]
Of His fulness [ἐκ τοῦ πληρώματος αὐτοῦ]
These and the succeeding words are the Evangelist's, not the Baptist's. The word fullness ( πλήρωμα ) is found here only in John, but frequently occurs in the writings of Paul, whose use of it in Ephesians and Colossians illustrates the sense in John; these being Asiatic churches which fell, later, within the sphere of John's influence. The word is akin to πλήρης , full (John 1:14), and to πληροῦν , to fill or complete; and means that which is complete in itself, plenitude, entire number or quantity. Thus the crew of a ship is called πλήρωμα , its complement. Aristophanes (“Wasps,” 660), “ τούτων πλήρωμα , the sum-total of these, is nearly two thousand talents.” Herodotus (iii., 22) says that the full term of man's life among the Persians is eighty years; and Aristotle (“Polities,” iv., 4) refers to Socrates as saying that the eight classes, representing different industries in the state, constitute the pleroma of the state (see Plato, “Republic,” 371). In Ephesians 1:23, Paul says that the church is the pleroma of Christ: i.e., the plenitude of the divine graces in Christ is communicated to the Church as His body, making all the body, supplied and knit together through the joints and bands, to increase with the increase of God (Colossians 2:19; compare Ephesians 4:16). Similarly he prays (Ephesians 3:19) that the brethren may be filled unto all the pleroma of God: i.e., that they may be filled with the fullness which God imparts. More closely related to John's use of the term here are Colossians 1:19, “It pleased the Father that in Him (Christ) should all the fullness ( τὸ πλήρωμα , note the article) dwell;” and Colossians 2:9, Colossians 2:10, “In Him dwelleth all the pleroma of the Godhead bodily (i.e., corporally, becoming incarnate ), and in Him ye are fulfilled ( πεπληρωμένοι ).” This declares that the whole aggregate of the divine powers and graces appeared in the incarnate Word, and corresponds with John's statement that “the Word became flesh and tabernacled among men, full of grace and truth;” while “ye are fulfilled ” answers to John's “of His fullness we all received.” Hence John's meaning here is that Christians receive from the divine completeness whatever each requires for the perfection of his character and for the accomplishment of his work (compare John 15:15; John 17:22). [source]
Have - received [ἐλάβομεν]
Rev., we received: rendering the aorist tense more literally. [source]
Grace for grace [χάριν ἀντὶ χάριτος]
The preposition ἀντί originally means over against; opposite; before (in a local sense). Through the idea of placing one thing over against another is developed that of exchange. Thus Herodotus (iii., 59), “They bought the island, ἀντὶ χρημάτων , for money.” So Matthew 5:38, “An eye for ( ἀντὶ ) an eye,” etc. This idea is at the root of the peculiar sense in which the preposition is used here. We received, not New Testament grace instead of Old Testament grace; nor simply, grace added to grace; but new grace imparted as the former measure of grace has been received and improved. “To have realized and used one measure of grace, was to have gained a larger measure (as it were) in exchange for it.” Consequently, continuous, unintermitted grace. The idea of the development of one grace from another is elaborated by Peter (2 Peter 1:5), on which see notes. Winer cites a most interesting parallel from Philo. “Wherefore, having provided and dispensed the first graces ( χάριτας ), before their recipients have waxed wanton through satiety, he subsequently bestows different graces in exchange for ( ἀντὶ ) those, and a third supply for the second, and ever new ones in exchange for the older.” [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for John 1:16

Luke 1:30 Favour [χαριν]
Grace. Same root as χαιρω — chairō (rejoice) and χαριτοω — charitoō in Luke 1:28. To find favour is a common O.T. phrase. Χαρις — Charis is a very ancient and common word with a variety of applied meanings. They all come from the notion of sweetness, charm, loveliness, joy, delight, like words of grace, Luke 4:22, growing grace, Ephesians 4:29, with grace, Colossians 4:6. The notion of kindness is in it also, especially of God towards men as here. It is a favourite word for Christianity, the Gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24) in contrast with law or works (John 1:16). Gratitude is expressed also (Luke 6:32), especially to God (Romans 6:17). [source]
John 3:15 Have eternal life []
A characteristic phrase of John for live forever. See John 3:16, John 3:36; John 5:24; John 6:40, John 6:47, John 6:54; 1 John 3:15; 1 John 5:12. The interview with Nicodemus closes with John 3:15; and the succeeding words are John's. This appears from the following facts: 1. The past tenses loved and gave, in John 3:16, better suit the later point of view from which John writes, after the atoning death of Christ was an accomplished historic fact, than the drift of the present discourse of Jesus before the full revelation of that work. 2. It is in John's manner to throw in explanatory comments of his own (John 1:16-18; John 12:37-41), and to do so abruptly. See John 1:15, John 1:16, and on and, John 1:16. 3. John 3:19is in the same line of thought with John 1:9-11in the Prologue; and the tone of that verse is historic, carrying the sense of past rejection, as loved darkness; were evil. 4. The phrase believe on the name is not used elsewhere by our Lord, but by John (John 1:12; John 2:23; 1 John 5:13). 5. The phrase only-begotten son is not elsewhere used by Jesus of himself, but in every case by the Evangelist (John 1:14, John 1:18; 1 John 4:9). 6. The phrase to do truth (John 3:21) occurs elsewhere only in 1 John 1:6. -DIVIDER-
-DIVIDER-
[source]

John 3:15 That whosoever believeth may in him have eternal life [ινα πας ο πιστευων εν αυτωι εχηι ζωην αιωνιον]
Final use of ινα — hina with present active subjunctive of εχω — echō that he may keep on having eternal life (a frequent phrase in John, always in John αιωνιος — aiōnios occurs with ζωη — zōē 16 times in the Gospel, 6 in 1John, ageless or endless life, beginning now and lasting forever). It is more than endless, for it is sharing in the life of God in Christ (John 5:26; John 17:3; 1 John 5:12). So here εν αυτωι — en autōi (in him) is taken with εχηι — echēi rather than with πιστευων — pisteuōn The interview with Nicodemus apparently closes with John 3:15. In John 3:16-21 we have past tenses constantly as is natural for the reflection of John, but unnatural for Jesus speaking. There are phrases like the Prologue (John 3:19; John 1:9-11). “Only begotten” does not occur elsewhere in the words of Jesus, but is in John 1:14, John 1:18; 1 John 4:9. John often puts in explanatory comments (John 1:16-18; John 12:37-41). [source]
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh [και ο λογος σαρχ εγενετο]
See John 1:3 for this verb and note its use for the historic event of the Incarnation rather than ην — ēn of John 1:1. Note also the absence of the article with the predicate substantive σαρχ — sarx so that it cannot mean “the flesh became the Word.” The Pre-existence of the Logos has already been plainly stated and argued. John does not here say that the Logos entered into a man or dwelt in a man or filled a man. One is at liberty to see an allusion to the birth narratives in Matthew 1:16-25; Luke 1:28-38, if he wishes, since John clearly had the Synoptics before him and chiefly supplemented them in his narrative. In fact, one is also at liberty to ask what intelligent meaning can one give to John‘s language here apart from the Virgin Birth? What ordinary mother or father ever speaks of a child “becoming flesh”? For the Incarnation see also 2 Corinthians 8:9; Galatians 4:4; Romans 1:3; Romans 8:3; Philemon 2:7.; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 2:14. “To explain the exact significance of εγενετο — egeneto in this sentence is beyond the powers of any interpreter” (Bernard). Unless, indeed, as seems plain, John is referring to the Virgin Birth as recorded in Matthew and Luke. “The Logos of philosophy is, John declares, the Jesus of history” (Bernard). Thus John asserts the deity and the real humanity of Christ. He answers the Docetic Gnostics who denied his humanity. Dwelt among us First aorist ingressive aorist active indicative of σκηνοω — skēnoō old verb, to pitch one‘s tent or tabernacle First aorist middle indicative of τεαομαι — theaomai (from τεα — thea spectacle). The personal experience of John and of others who did recognize Jesus as the Shekinah glory John employs τεαομαι — theaomai again in John 1:32 (the Baptist beholding the Spirit coming down as a dove) and John 1:38 of the Baptist gazing in rapture at Jesus. So also John 4:35; John 11:45; 1 John 1:1.; 1 John 4:12, 1 John 4:14. By this word John insists that in the human Jesus he beheld the Shekinah glory of God who was and is the Logos who existed before with God. By this plural John speaks for himself and all those who saw in Jesus what he did. As of the only begotten from the Father Strictly, “as of an only born from a father,” since there is no article with μονογενους — monogenous or with πατρος — patros In John 3:16; 1 John 4:9 we have τον μονογενη — ton monogenē referring to Christ. This is the first use in the Gospel of πατηρ — patēr of God in relation to the Logos. Μονογενης — Monogenēs (only born rather than only begotten) here refers to the eternal relationship of the Logos (as in John 1:18) rather than to the Incarnation. It distinguishes thus between the Logos and the believers as children John clearly means to say that “the manifested glory of the Word was as it were the glory of the Eternal Father shared with His only Son” (Bernard). Cf. John 8:54; John 14:9; John 17:5. Full Probably indeclinable accusative adjective agreeing with δοχαν — doxan (or genitive with μονογενους — monogenous) of which we have papyri examples (Robertson, Grammar, p. 275). As nominative πληρης — plērēs can agree with the subject of εσκηνωσεν — eskēnōsen Of grace and truth Curiously this great word χαρις — charis (grace), so common with Paul, does not occur in John‘s Gospel save in John 1:14, John 1:16, John 1:17, though αλητεια — alētheia (truth) is one of the keywords in the Fourth Gospel and in 1John, occurring 25 times in the Gospel and 20 in the Johannine Epistles, 7 times in the Synoptics and not at all in Revelation (Bernard). In John 1:17 these two words picture the Gospel in Christ in contrast with the law of Moses. See Epistles of Paul for origin and use of both words. [source]
Romans 11:12 Fullness [πλήρωμα]
See on John 1:16. The word may mean that with which anything is filled (1 Corinthians 10:26, 1 Corinthians 10:28; Matthew 9:16; Mark 6:43); that which is filled (Ephesians 1:23); possibly the act of filling (Romans 13:10), though this is doubtful. Here in the first sense: the fullness of their number contrasted with the diminution. They will belong as an integral whole to the people of God. [source]
1 Corinthians 11:15 For a covering [αντι περιβολαιου]
Old word from περιβαλλω — periballō to fling around, as a mantle (Hebrews 1:12) or a covering or veil as here. It is not in the place of a veil, but answering to (αντι — anti in the sense of αντι — anti in John 1:16), as a permanent endowment (δεδοται — dedotai perfect passive indicative). [source]
Galatians 4:4 Fullness of the time [τὸ πλήρωμα τοῦ χρόνου]
The moment by which the whole pre-messianic period was completed. Comp. Ephesians 1:10. It answers to the time appointed of the Father (Galatians 4:2). For πλήρωμα see on John 1:16. The meaning of the word is habitually passive - that which is completed, full complement. There are frequent instances of its use with the genitive, as “fullness of the earth, blessing, time, the sea, Christ,” in all which it denotes the plenitude or completeness which characterizes the nouns. [source]
Ephesians 4:13 Fullness of Christ []
Which belongs to Christ and is imparted by Him. See John 1:16, and compare Ephesians 3:19. [source]
Ephesians 1:23 The fullness []
See on John 1:16; see on Romans 11:12; see on Colossians 1:19. That which is filled. The Church, viewed as a receptacle. Compare Ephesians 3:10. [source]
Ephesians 1:10 Of the fullness of times [τοῦ πληρώματος τῶν καιρῶν]
For fullness, see on Romans 11:12; see on John 1:16; see on Colossians 1:19. For times, compare Galatians 4:4, “fullness of the time ( τοῦ χρόνου ), where the time before Christ is conceived as a unit. Here the conception is of a series of epochs. The fullness of the times is the moment when the successive ages of the gospel dispensation are completed. The meaning of the whole phrase, then, is: a dispensation characterized: by the fullness of the times: set forth when the times are full. [source]
Colossians 2:10 Ye are complete in Him [ἐστε ἐν αὐτῷ πεπληρωμένοι]
Rev., made full. Compare John 1:16; Ephesians 1:23; Ephesians 3:19; Ephesians 4:13. Not, ye are made full in Him, but ye are in Him, made full. In Him dwells the fullness; being in Him, ye are filled. Compare John 17:21; Acts 17:28. [source]
Colossians 2:10 Ye are made full [εστε πεπληρωμενοι]
Periphrastic perfect passive indicative of πληροω — plēroō but only one predicate, not two. Christ is our fulness of which we all partake (John 1:16; Ephesians 1:23) and our goal is to be made full of God in Christ (Ephesians 3:19). “In Christ they find the satisfaction of every spiritual want” (Peake). [source]
Colossians 1:19 It pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell [ἐν αὐτῷ εὐδόκησεν πᾶν τὸ πλήρωμα κατοικῆσαι]
Εὐδοκέω tothink it good, to be well pleased is used in the New Testament, both of divine and of human good-pleasure; but, in the former case, always of God the Father. So Matthew 3:17; Luke 12:32; 1 Corinthians 1:21. The subject of was well pleased, God, is omitted as in James 1:12, and must be supplied; so that, literally, the passage would read, God was well pleased that in Him, etc. Rev., it was the good pleasure of the Father. Fullness, Rev, correctly, the fullness. See on Romans 11:12; see on John 1:16. The word must be taken in its passive sense - that with which a thing is filled, not that which fills. The fullness denotes the sum-total of the divine powers and attributes. In Christ dwelt all the fullness of God as deity. The relation of essential deity to creation and redemption alike, is exhibited by John in the very beginning of his gospel, with which this passage should be compared. In John the order is: 1. The essential nature of Christ; 2. Creation; 3. Redemption. Here it is: 1. Redemption (Colossians 1:13); 2. Essential being of the Son (Colossians 1:15); 3. The Son as Creator (Colossians 1:16); 4. The Church, with Christ as its head (Colossians 1:18). Compare 2 Corinthians 5:19; Ephesians 1:19, Ephesians 1:20, Ephesians 1:23. Paul does not add of the Godhead to the fullness, as in Colossians 2:9since the word occurs in direct connection with those which describe Christ's essential nature, and it would seem not to have occurred to the apostle that it could be understood in any other sense than as an expression of the plenitude of the divine attributes and powers. Thus the phrase in Him should all the fullness dwell gathers into a grand climax the previous statements - image of God, first-born of all creation, Creator, the eternally preexistent, the Head of the Church, the victor over death, first in all things. On this summit we pause, looking, like John, from Christ in His fullness of deity to the exhibition of that divine fullness in redemption consummated in heaven (Colossians 1:20-22). -DIVIDER-
-DIVIDER-
There must also be taken into the account the selection of this word fullness with reference to the false teaching in the Colossian church, the errors which afterward were developed more distinctly in the Gnostic schools. Pleroma fullness was used by the Gnostic teachers in a technical sense, to express the sum-total of the divine powers and attributes. “From the pleroma they supposed that all those agencies issued through which God has at any time exerted His power in creation, or manifested His will through revelation. These mediatorial beings would retain more or less of its influence, according as they claimed direct parentage from it, or traced their descent through successive evolutions. But in all cases this pleroma was distributed, diluted, transformed, and darkened by foreign admixture. They were only partial and blurred images, often deceptive caricatures, of their original, broken lights of the great Central Light” (Lightfoot). Christ may have been ranked with these inferior images of the divine by the Colossian teachers. Hence the significance of the assertion that the totality of the divine dwells in Him. [source]

1 Thessalonians 1:1 Grace to you and peace [χαρις υμιν και ειρηνη]
These words, common in Paul‘s Epistles, bear “the stamp of Paul‘s experience” (Milligan). They are not commonplace salutations, but the old words “deepened and spiritualised” (Frame). The infinitive (χαιρειν — chairein) so common in the papyri letters and seen in the New Testament also (Acts 15:23; Acts 23:26; James 1:1) here gives place to χαρις — charis one of the great words of the New Testament (cf. John 1:16.) and particularly of the Pauline Epistles. Perhaps no one word carries more meaning for Paul‘s messages than this word χαρις — charis (from χαιρω — chairō rejoice) from which χαριζομαι — charizomai comes. [source]
1 Thessalonians 1:1 God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ []
. No article in the Greek, for both τεωι πατρι — theōi patri and κυριωι ησου Χριστωι — kuriōi Jēsou Christōi are treated as proper names. In the very beginning of this first Epistle of Paul we meet his Christology. He at once uses the full title, “Lord Jesus Christ,” with all the theological content of each word. The name “Jesus” (Saviour, Matthew 1:21) he knew, as the “Jesus of history,” the personal name of the Man of Galilee, whom he had once persecuted (Acts 9:5), but whom he at once, after his conversion, proclaimed to be “the Messiah,” This position Paul never changed. In the great sermon at Antioch in Pisidia which Luke has preserved (Acts 13:23) Paul proved that God fulfilled his promise to Israel by raising up “Jesus as Saviour” Now Paul follows the Christian custom by adding Χριστος — Christos (verbal from χριω — chriō to anoint) as a proper name to Jesus (Jesus Christ) as later he will often say “Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:1). And he dares also to apply κυριος — kurios (Lord) to “Jesus Christ,” the word appropriated by Claudius (Dominus, Κυριος — Kurios) and other emperors in the emperor-worship, and also common in the Septuagint for God as in Psalm 32:1. (quoted by Paul in Romans 4:8). Paul uses Κυριος — Kurios of God (1 Corinthians 3:5) or of Jesus Christ as here. In fact, he more frequently applies it to Christ when not quoting the Old Testament as in Romans 4:8. And here he places “the Lord Jesus Christ” in the same category and on the same plane with “God the father.” There will be growth in Paul‘s Christology and he will never attain all the knowledge of Christ for which he longs (Philemon 3:10-12), but it is patent that here in his first Epistle there is no “reduced Christ” for Paul. He took Jesus as “Lord” when he surrendered to Jesus on the Damascus Road: “And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said to me” (Acts 22:10). It is impossible to understand Paul without seeing clearly this first and final stand for the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul did not get this view of Jesus from current views of Mithra or of Isis or any other alien faith. The Risen Christ became at once for Paul the Lord of his life. Grace to you and peace (χαρις υμιν και ειρηνη — charis humin kai eirēnē). These words, common in Paul‘s Epistles, bear “the stamp of Paul‘s experience” (Milligan). They are not commonplace salutations, but the old words “deepened and spiritualised” (Frame). The infinitive (χαιρειν — chairein) so common in the papyri letters and seen in the New Testament also (Acts 15:23; Acts 23:26; James 1:1) here gives place to χαρις — charis one of the great words of the New Testament (cf. John 1:16.) and particularly of the Pauline Epistles. Perhaps no one word carries more meaning for Paul‘s messages than this word χαρις — charis (from χαιρω — chairō rejoice) from which χαριζομαι — charizomai comes. Peace This introduction is brief, but rich and gracious and pitches the letter at once on a high plane. [source]
1 Thessalonians 1:1 Unto the church of the Thessalonians [τηι εκκλησιαι Τεσσαλονικεων]
The dative case in address. Note absence of the article with Τεσσαλονικεων — Thessalonikeōn because a proper name and so definite without it. This is the common use of εκκλησια — ekklēsia for a local body (church). The word originally meant “assembly” as in Acts 19:39, but it came to mean an organization for worship whether assembled or unassembled (cf. Acts 8:3). The only superscription in the oldest Greek manuscripts (Aleph B A) is Προς Τεσσαλονικεις Α — Pros Thessalonikeis A (To the Thessalonians First). But probably Paul wrote no superscription and certainly he would not write A to it before he had written II Thessalonians (B). His signature at the close was the proof of genuineness (2 Thessalonians 3:17) against all spurious claimants (2 Thessalonians 2:2). Unfortunately the brittle papyrus on which he wrote easily perished outside of the sand heaps and tombs of Egypt or the lava covered ruins of Herculaneum. What a treasure that autograph would be! In God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (εν τεωι πατρι και κυριωι ησου Χριστωι — en theōi patri kai kuriōi Jēsou Christōi). This church is grounded in (εν — en with the locative case) and exists in the sphere and power of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. No article in the Greek, for both τεωι πατρι — theōi patri and κυριωι ησου Χριστωι — kuriōi Jēsou Christōi are treated as proper names. In the very beginning of this first Epistle of Paul we meet his Christology. He at once uses the full title, “Lord Jesus Christ,” with all the theological content of each word. The name “Jesus” (Saviour, Matthew 1:21) he knew, as the “Jesus of history,” the personal name of the Man of Galilee, whom he had once persecuted (Acts 9:5), but whom he at once, after his conversion, proclaimed to be “the Messiah,” This position Paul never changed. In the great sermon at Antioch in Pisidia which Luke has preserved (Acts 13:23) Paul proved that God fulfilled his promise to Israel by raising up “Jesus as Saviour” Now Paul follows the Christian custom by adding Χριστος — Christos (verbal from χριω — chriō to anoint) as a proper name to Jesus (Jesus Christ) as later he will often say “Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:1). And he dares also to apply κυριος — kurios (Lord) to “Jesus Christ,” the word appropriated by Claudius (Dominus, Κυριος — Kurios) and other emperors in the emperor-worship, and also common in the Septuagint for God as in Psalm 32:1. (quoted by Paul in Romans 4:8). Paul uses Κυριος — Kurios of God (1 Corinthians 3:5) or of Jesus Christ as here. In fact, he more frequently applies it to Christ when not quoting the Old Testament as in Romans 4:8. And here he places “the Lord Jesus Christ” in the same category and on the same plane with “God the father.” There will be growth in Paul‘s Christology and he will never attain all the knowledge of Christ for which he longs (Philemon 3:10-12), but it is patent that here in his first Epistle there is no “reduced Christ” for Paul. He took Jesus as “Lord” when he surrendered to Jesus on the Damascus Road: “And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said to me” (Acts 22:10). It is impossible to understand Paul without seeing clearly this first and final stand for the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul did not get this view of Jesus from current views of Mithra or of Isis or any other alien faith. The Risen Christ became at once for Paul the Lord of his life. Grace to you and peace (χαρις υμιν και ειρηνη — charis humin kai eirēnē). These words, common in Paul‘s Epistles, bear “the stamp of Paul‘s experience” (Milligan). They are not commonplace salutations, but the old words “deepened and spiritualised” (Frame). The infinitive (χαιρειν — chairein) so common in the papyri letters and seen in the New Testament also (Acts 15:23; Acts 23:26; James 1:1) here gives place to χαρις — charis one of the great words of the New Testament (cf. John 1:16.) and particularly of the Pauline Epistles. Perhaps no one word carries more meaning for Paul‘s messages than this word χαρις — charis (from χαιρω — chairō rejoice) from which χαριζομαι — charizomai comes. Peace This introduction is brief, but rich and gracious and pitches the letter at once on a high plane. [source]
2 John 1:3 Grace be with you, mercy and peace [ἔσται μεθ ἡμῶν χάρις ἔλεος εἰρήνη]
The verb is in the future tense: shall be. In the Pauline Epistles the salutations contain no verb. In 1 and 2Peter and Jude, πληθυνθείη bemultiplied, is used. Grace ( χάρις ) is of rare occurrence in John's writings (John 1:14, John 1:16, John 1:17; Revelation 1:4; Revelation 22:21); and the kindred χαρίζομαι tofavor, be kind, forgive, and χάρισμα giftare not found at all. See on Luke 1:30. Mercy ( ἔλεος ), only here in John. See on Luke 1:50. The pre-Christian definitions of the word include the element of grief experienced on account of the unworthy suffering of another. So Aristotle. The Latin misericordia (miser “wretched,” cor “the heart”) carries the same idea. So Cicero defines it, the sorrow arising from the wretchedness of another suffering wrongfully. Strictly speaking, the word as applied to God, cannot include either of these elements, since grief cannot be ascribed to Him, and suffering is the legitimate result of sin. The sentiment in God assumes the character of pitying love. Mercy is kindness and goodwill toward the miserable and afflicted, joined with a desire to relieve them. Trench observes: “In the Divine mind, and in the order of our salvation as conceived therein, the mercy precedes the grace. God so loved the world with a pitying love (herein was the mercy ), that He gave His only-begotten Son (herein the grace ), that the world through Him might be saved. But in the order of the manifestation of God's purposes of salvation, the grace must go before the mercy and make way for it. It is true that the same persons are the subjects of both, being at once the guilty and the miserable; yet the righteousness of God, which it is quite as necessary should be maintained as His love, demands that the guilt should be done away before the misery can be assuaged; only the forgiven may be blessed. He must pardon before He can heal … . From this it follows that in each of the apostolic salutations where these words occur, grace precedes mercy” (“Synonyms of the New Testament”). [source]

What do the individual words in John 1:16 mean?

For from the fullness of Him we all have received then grace for grace
Ὅτι ἐκ τοῦ πληρώματος αὐτοῦ ἡμεῖς πάντες ἐλάβομεν καὶ χάριν ἀντὶ χάριτος

πληρώματος  fullness 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Neuter Singular
Root: πλήρωμα  
Sense: that which is (has been) filled.
αὐτοῦ  of  Him 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Genitive Masculine 3rd Person Singular
Root: αὐτός  
Sense: himself, herself, themselves, itself.
ἐλάβομεν  have  received 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 1st Person Plural
Root: λαμβάνω  
Sense: to take.
χάριν  grace 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: χάρις  
Sense: grace.
χάριτος  grace 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Feminine Singular
Root: χάρις  
Sense: grace.