Summary: A doctrinal study of the Savior.
Series -- "Does It Matter What You Believe?"
Luke 1:1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, KJV
"About the Savior"
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by 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 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. KJV
Introduction: Today I'm preaching the second part of a series that asks the question, "Does it matter what you believe about the Savior?" There are more opinions about Jesus than I have time to share this morning. Last week I mentioned that he is recognized in several different religions as a prophet but not any greater than any other prophet, as human but not divine, as deity but not human, as a teacher and leader of men etc. but these teachings are not in agreement with what the Bible has to say. In our text there are two greats truths established as they relate to Jesus Christ.
I. The Divinity of the Word
First, John says that the Word:
a. Existed in eternity
Have you ever read or heard this first phrase before, "In the beginning...? If you read your Bible you find it is the first phrase in the entire Bible in the book of Genesis. It is the opening declaration of creation. Let's compare two verses:
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word...
In both places it clearly means before creation, before the world was made, when as yet there was nothing. In our text the meaning is: that the "Word" had an existence before the world was created. That is, before anything was formed -- before God began the great work of creation, there was the Word. The Word is therefore an uncreated being who existed in eternity. That brings us to the very first thing that needs to be cleared up this morning as to the identity of the "Word" that is mentioned in our Scripture reading. We know this: this name is given to him who afterward became "flesh," or was incarnate John 1:14 - that is, to the Messiah. Whatever is meant by it, therefore, is applicable to the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus "logos" is the name that is applied to Jesus Christ. He is the living word whose name we find in the pages of the written word. What does John tell us about the Word and how does it establish the divinity of Jesus Christ? Second, John tells us that the Word (Jesus Christ) has:
b. Equality of fellowship with God
"...the Word was with God..." One commentary translates as follows: "having a conscious personal existence distinct from God (as one is from the person he is "with"), but inseparable from Him and associated with Him.
John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
1 John 1:2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
Jamieson, Fausset & Brown
Paul makes it clear when he writes to the church at Philippi that the Word (Jesus Christ) existed in eternity and that He was equal with God.
Philippians 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
So, what do we know so far? We know that the Word who we know to be Jesus Christ existed in eternity as an uncreated being (nothing having been created yet) and that He was "with God" with a separate consciousness but inseparable in fellowship and association.
Next, John states that the Word (Jesus Christ) is the:
c. Essence of divinity
The next thing we learn is that the Word (Jesus Christ), was God, not a subordinate to God but the very essence of God. God is the logos and the logos is God, not the second to God but Jehovah the absolute God! The divinity of Jesus Christ is one of the most well established doctrines in the Bible.
Jesus claimed this designation for himself and it is reinforced and repeated throughout the NT.
"He is not made a God, as he is said here after to be made flesh; nor constituted or appointed a God, or a God by office; but truly and properly God, in the highest sense of the word, as appears from the names by which he is called; as Jehovah, God, our, your, their, and my God, God with us, the mighty God, God over all, the great God, the living God, the true God, and eternal life; and from his perfections, and the whole fullness of the Godhead that dwells in him, as independence, eternity, immutability, omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence; and from his works of creation and providence, his miracles, the work of redemption, his forgiving sins, the resurrection of himself and others from the dead, and the administration of the last judgment; and from the worship given him, as prayer to him, faith in him, and the performance of baptism in his name..." John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible