Summary: Jesus is the eternal God made flesh.
We are now approaching the Christmas season. Folks are beginning to decorate for the holiday, and are busy planning their celebrations. We all are thinking in terms of what we might give to that special someone, and if we will be honest, we are also thinking of what that special someone might be giving us.
The Christmas season is indeed a special time of year. But is this all there is to Christmas? Is Christmas all about us, or it about someone else? Actually, it is about a certain someone else and His relationship to us. The certain someone is Jesus Christ.
Christmas is all about how He came to this earth in order to make it possible for you and me to have a relationship with him, the “one and only” Son.
This is the term that the apostle John coined to describe Jesus Christ, the One whose birth we celebrate at Christmas time.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” - John 1:14 (NIV)
In the first chapter of John’s Gospel, he refers to Jesus as the “Word,” that is, He is the wisdom by which the universe is made to make sense.
He also refers to Jesus as the “light,” the One who illumines our hearts and delivers us from darkness.
“In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” - John 1:4 (NIV)
Illumination can occur from a great distance, as the light of the sun shines on us from afar. But John tells us an astounding fact: the “Word” became flesh and lived among men. This is something absolutely unique to human history.
In the pagan religions, the “gods” supposedly came down to the earth in some form, but never was there an incarnation like that of our Lord.
So too, in some false religions, men are promised that they will become gods, but never that God would take on humanity as John describes here.
This means that Jesus Christ is the unique person of the universe.
When He walked upon this earth He was completely human. But at the same time, He was completely divine. In fact, Paul tells us in our text that our Savior was before we ever were.
The celebration of Christmas should be, for the Christian, a time in which we bow our knee and confess that the babe born in Bethlehem is worthy to be exalted, praised, and worshipped. Today and the next couple of Sundays, I want us consider why this is so.
In verse 6, of our text, Paul speaks to us about the deity of Christ.
Notice again what he says: “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped.”
At this point it might be helpful to look at this verse in a few different translations.
“He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what.” (The Message)
“Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God.” (NLT)
“Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped.” (NASB)
1. Jesus Christ is the eternal God of the universe.
The Bible is very clear concerning the fact that Jesus Christ is the eternal God of the universe.
“We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels - everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment.” - Colossians 1:15-17 (The Message)
Despite the clear teaching of Scripture, some deny the deity of Christ. Many of whom claim they have discovered a fresh slant on the “truth.” But make no mistake about it, it is impossible to declare the truth if you do not believe the truth about the One who said, “I am the truth!”
Some get hung up on the phrase “firstborn over all creation” in Colossians 1:15. That phrase is found in the NIV, and the KJV.
They contend Jesus Christ was created before everything else that God made. But they demonstrate a misunderstanding of what Paul is saying.
While the term “only begotten” or “one and only” refers to the uniqueness of Christ (God in the flesh), the term “first born” refers to the victory of Christ over sin and death. “Only begotten” refers to His incarnation, while “first begotten” refers to His resurrection. This is made clear by simply comparing Scripture with Scripture.