WEDNESDAY January 2
Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth
John 1:1-3, 14
1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Hebrews 1:1, 2.
How do the New Testament writers identify the Creator? What are the implications of the answer?
John refers to Jesus as the Word (&8220;Logos”) and equates Him with God. More specifically, Jesus is the One through whom all things were created. In John’s day, the term logos was commonly used to represent the creative principle. John’s readers would be familiar with the concept of logos as a creative principle or even as a creator. John applied this familiar concept to Jesus, identifying Him as the true Creator. Jesus, the Logos, the Incarnate One who lived among us, was not only present in the beginning, He was the One by whom the universe was created. This means that we could read Genesis 1:1 as “In the beginning, Jesus created the heavens and the earth.”
Paul’s words in Colossians 1 resonate with those of John in the identification of the Creator as Jesus Christ. By Him, all things were created. Paul adds two other attributes of Jesus. First, He is the image of the invisible God. In our sinful state, we cannot see God the Father, but we can see Jesus. If we want to know what God is like, we can study the life of Jesus. "Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?" John 14:9. Second, Paul calls Jesus the “firstborn” of creation. Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature." Col. 1:15. In this context, “firstborn” does not refer to origin but to status. The firstborn was the head of the family and the heir of the property. Jesus was the “firstborn” in the sense that, as Creator and through the Incarnation (His taking upon Himself our humanity), He is the rightful head of the human family. Jesus was not a created being; rather, from eternity He was one with the Father.
Jesus did not cease being God when He took upon Himself our humanity. He was and remains both human and divine. He possesses a dual nature, but unlike us, He was without sin. He is the only "sinless" One. Through Christ, we too, may possess a dual nature. When we are fully surrendered to Jesus, we become partakers of His divine nature. "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." 2 Peter 1:4.
Hebrews 1:1, 2 repeats the same points as in the Colossians passage. "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds." Hebrews 1:1,2. Jesus is appointed heir of all things and is the One by whom the world was created. In addition, He is the exact representation of the Father’s nature, another way of stating that He is the image of God.
How would you respond if someone were to ask you, “What is your God like?” What justification could you give for your answer?
Sadly when this questions is asked, we shall receive many answers that vary considerably. Little children will relate God to their earthly fathers. Some who have been taught that God is going to burn sinners in Hell for eternity will view God in this manner, harsh and beyond just. The picture we have of God comes from what we have been told of God. The justification for our response ought to be a "thus saith the Lord." In addition to Scripture, there are two other revelations of God that will form our understanding of Him. Both are important, so important that we need to pay particular attention to them.
Our lesson has already pointed out that nature testifies God. The Bible teaches this. Monday's lesson speaks of the heavens declaring the glory of God. And in the book of Romans we see that all are without excuse for knowing of God because the things seen in nature testify of His power, His creative power. Nature is God's second Book.
More important, is what we read in 2 Corinthians 3:18. "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." This is not a popular truth, for it is in direct contradiction to what is being preached in many professing Christian churches. Many do not believe they can be like Jesus. Few understand what conversion is. Even the pastors that baptized them are often ignorant of the power of grace to transform the life at conversion. Many have been buried alive and when they came up out of the water, they were not new creatures in Christ Jesus.
Tuesday's lesson concentrated on the power of His Word. That power is not restricted to creating worlds. No, it is the power the re-creates a sinner into a saint. God has made a promise to change us. In the Garden of Eden, there was no hope for Adam and Eve until Christ spoke within their hearing these words: "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." Genesis 3:15. Enmity is hatred. God has promised to give us something we do not possess in our fallen nature. He has promised to write His law upon our hearts and to give us a hatred of sin and Satan. It is a conditional promise. It is conditioned upon us accepting Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. We must give our hearts fully to Him. Then, He will, through the Holy Spirit dwell in our hearts. This promise is repeated throughout the Bible. It is the New Covenant promise repeated by Paul.
Our whole Christian experience is based on our understanding of God's character. Whether it be gotten from nature, Scripture, or from beholding converted Christians, it is by beholding His character that we learn of Him who created both the heavens and the Earth. And, by beholding we will be transformed in character to reflect His glory, His character. Such a precious promise!!