Summary: The Word is a unique Witness within the Godhead; He is God and Man and the one who reveals the invisible God.
We’re in a study on the Godhead and our main verse is First John 5:7—“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” We know from the context that they bear record that we’ve overcome the world and that we have eternal life. We’ve seen over the past several weeks how the Holy Spirit is involved in this and how He gives life and keeps us until the last day. We’ve also seen that the Father is called that because of His part in giving the inheritance to His Son and all His children.
Now we’re going to turn to the third Witness and look at the one called the Word. None of the Witnesses are simple, but the Word is unique. We’re going to see that He exists as both God and Man. He is called the Word, but He is also called the Son. He is God, and yet He is the man Jesus Christ. He is omnipotent and yet He submitted to death at the hands of men. He is omnipresent and yet He confined Himself to a body within the nation of Israel.
He is special and unique.
The first question we want to answer is why is He called the Word?
He’s called that here in First John, but I can think of at least three other places that use the same name. Let’s look at the first two:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The same was in the beginning with God (Jn. 1:1-2).
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God (Rev. 19:11-13).
The Greek word for “Word” is λόγος (logos) and it does mean “word.” In the Liddell and Scott lexicon you’ll find a definition saying this word means “that by which the inward thought is expressed.” Words are the basis of communication and the expression of thoughts. We have an English word that comes from this Greek word. A “logo” is a “symbol representing graphically a product, idea, etc.”
God is a Spirit, so He has no known form other than Jesus Christ, the Word of God, who reveals God to us.
How does the Word reveal God?
First of all, He is the image of God:
[Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: […] 19For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell (Col 1:15; 19).
In Christ “dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9)
[Christ] is the image of God (II Cor. 4:4).
Second, being God’s image He took on the form of a servant:
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Phil. 2:5-8).
The word for “form” is μορφή (morphe) and it means “shape” or outward appearance. He was in the shape of God but instead took on the shape of man. He was the outward appearance of God but instead took on the outward appearance of man.
Go back to John and see the third place where the name Word is used:
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (Jn. 1:14).
The word for “made” is ἐγένετο (egeneto). It means to come into a new state of being. When applied to Christ we understand the Word was not made or created but that He went from being in the form of God to being in the form of a servant. It’s important to understand this because we read that Jesus Christ (who is the image of God) is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8). Jesus Christ was “with” God in the beginning.
So to say He was “made” flesh doesn’t indicate that He was created but rather that He changed form. He went from the form of God to the form of man and dwelt among us.
So, the third Witness is called the Word because He is the visible representation of the invisible God. This is accomplished in His body in which all the fullness of the Godhead dwells.