Devotion from John 1:1-18 “Jesus Is the Creator-God”

Posted on August 22, 2011. Filed under: Devotions- The Mark 12 Life |

Series I: The Basic Gospel

Week 1: Crucial Question- Is There A God?

Memorize John 1:1-5 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Day 6: Reading John 1:1-18 “Jesus Is the Creator-God and We Have Life in Him Alone”

             We have been studying passages that clearly teach that there is a God and that this one true God, the God of the Bible, created all that is. In our text today we find that this Creator God is personal, real, and actually dwelled among us as Jesus Christ. Knowing our creator is so much more than an academic fact; knowing God in Jesus Christ is the first step in salvation and is intended to give us new life in Christ. The main idea of John’s Gospel is found in20:31“but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” The prologue to John’s Gospel introduces us to Jesus as The Word. Let’s study this important text and discover that Jesus is the Creator God and that we can have life in Him Alone.

            This passage teaches that Jesus is the Divine Word. The Greek for Word is Logos and this word was important for the Greek philosophers as well as for the Jews. For the Greeks the Logos is the impersonal principle of reason and logic that rules the universe and gives order and purpose to everything. This power was not personal for the Greeks, but abstract. It had some kind of creative force and was the source of wisdom. Logos for the Greeks did mean word or talking as is shown in our word geology which means talking about the earth, the study of the earth. But John is here telling the Greeks that the Logos is actually Jesus, and that he became a man and took on human flesh. This idea would have been abhorrent to the Greeks who largely thought of the flesh as being weak and corrupt and extremely remote from their concept of the Logos.

            To the Jews the spoken Word was powerful, it had creative energy, and it could accomplish things with an almost independent existence. We see this powerfully in Genesis 1 which we have already studied as God speaks things into existence. In the first 5 verses of our passage John very deliberately links what he is writing with Genesis 1 thus joining some of the Greek ideas with the Hebrew ideas of Logos forming a new Christian meaning and proclaiming Jesus as the Creator. In the few centuries between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New, the Jews began to equate Wisdom and the Word. Barclay writes, (p.34) “-wisdom was God’s eternal, creative, illuminating power; wisdom and the word were one and the same. It was wisdom and the word who were God’s instruments and agents in creation and who ever bring the will of God to the mind and heart of man.” Thus, in Jesus, John sees the creative Word of God, the wisdom of God, and the reason and logic of the Greek world, all in the divine Son of God who created everything and even took on human flesh. Radical!

            John tells us that “In the beginning was the Word…” He is clearly referring to Genesis 1:1 and is saying that Jesus existed before the creation of the universe; he was already there at the beginning. This implies that Jesus is co-eternal with the Father and he is uncreated. The Greek word eimi, was, is in the imperfect tense indicating continuous action in the past. Thus, in the beginning, Jesus-The Word, was already continuously in existence. This points to a principle in the study of origins, cosmology, that says there could never have been a time when there was absolutely nothing in existence. If there was ever a time when there was nothing, there would be nothing today and forever. Either the universe is eternal and self existent, or the Creator God is eternal and self existent. John claims in this text that Jesus, the Word, is eternal and self existent.

           The Gnostic religion that came about in the later 1st century believed that there were many “emanations’ from God before you got to Christ and that he was a created being. Likewise, the LDS teaches today that Jesus is a created being as does the Watchtower Society. Liberals from within Christianity also believe that Jesus was created and conceived like any other man. Islam views Jesus as a prophet, but just a man and certainly not co-eternal with the Father. Islam considers this doctrine of Christianity to be the reason why they consider Christians to be polytheists. The doctrine of the incarnation and the two-natures of Christ-that Jesus is both divine and human- is a great dividing line between Christianity and the cults, world religions, and heresies, and is an essential teaching of the faith.

Vs.2 “He was in the beginning with God.” In this verse John distinguishes between the Word- Jesus, and God, while in the previous verse he said, “the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” This is an important aspect of the Trinity; they share the essence of the Godhead while remaining distinct and separate persons. Therefore we can say without a formal contradiction according to the laws of philosophy, that Jesus is God and Jesus was with God in the beginning.

“All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.” This verse could not be clearer about the nature of Jesus and the universe. Jesus created all that was made, he himself was not made. This again points to the law of cause and effect. Every effect must have a sufficient cause, however, there must be something that is not an effect and is the first cause, the prime mover, which is uncreated, and therefore necessarily eternal. Any atheistic scientists must be able to answer the question of origins. Something must be eternal and outside the physical universe, for if the universe itself is eternal and uncaused, we would have an infinite regression and could never have reached this particular moment in time. Paul, in Col.1:15-16 says, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities- all things were created through him and for him.”

            In our text John emphasizes that the Word took on human flesh. In v.10 “He was in the world” and in v.11 “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.” But most directly in v.14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us….” Again, the concept of God becoming flesh would be very strange to both the Greeks and Jews although in Greek mythology and some other pagan myths and religions the concept was there. This bold doctrine of the incarnation is essential for our faith. The Council of Chalcedon, AD 451, wrote, “…we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the God-bearer; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation…” (Henry Bettenson, 1963, p.51).

            This Creator, the divine Word, who took on human flesh and is the unique God-Man, is Jesus Christ. John writes in vv.16-17 “And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace…grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” Here we arrive at the Why of Jesus’ incarnation. It is fitting that I am writing this devotion the week of Christmas, 2010, because in Christmas we celebrate this same incarnation that brings us grace and truth. As sinners who are in a state of rebellion against our Creator, we are incapable of repenting on our own and accepting Christ as our Creator and Lord “his own people did not receive him”. We need grace, powerful, life-changing grace, that can only come from One powerful enough to create the galaxies. We need new life that can only come from One is life itself “In him was life”. We need the supernatural light of the gospel that can illumine our dark hearts and draw us to our Creator, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” We need the truth who is the person of Jesus Christ, who will strip away the lies we believe and give us a relationship with Himself.

            Jesus is the Word, our Creator and he has come to redeem his lost and fallen people. The Creator of the universe is seeking you. Have you responded?

Notes:

Main ideas of the text include- 1. Jesus is the Word or the Logos, the principle of logic and reason, yet also2. a person who is God, yet 3. also became flesh. 4. The concept of the Trinity is touched on as the Word was with God but also the Word is God. 5. All things were made through the Word. 6. He is life. 7. He is the true light. 8. He was rejected, yet, 9. those who do believe, who are born spiritually, become children of God by his grace. 10. The main point of John’s Gospel is that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that we might have life in His name (20:30f)

Previous Devotion:

mark12ministries.wordpress.com/2010/10/10/devotion-from-psalm-141-the-foolishness-of-atheism/

Bibliography:

Barclay, William. The Daily Study Bible Series: The Gospel of John, vol.1, RevisedEdition. TheWestminster Press:Philadelphia,PA 1975 (pp.1-75).

Bettenson, Henry. Documents of the Christian Church, second edition.OxfordUniversity Press:New York, 1963.

MacArthur, John Jr. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: John 1-11. Moody Press:Chicago,IL. 2006 (pp.1-46).

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