In the Beginning – Our Father Spoke!
The LORD merely spoke, and the heavens were created.
He breathed the word, and all the stars were born.
For when he spoke, the world began! It appeared at his command.
– Psalm 33:6, 9 NLT
The Father created by his own mighty word – his own command. He speaks and even the elements respond:
And God said, “Let there be light!” and there was light (Gen. 1:3).
He alone created us. That is why we call him, “Our Father.”
Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you from
the womb: “I am the LORD, who made all things; I alone
stretched forth the heavens. I spread out the earth by myself” (Isa. 44:24).
He did not create the heavens and earth by an agent, another person who helped him. He describes the actual work of creating – “stretching forth the heavens” and “spreading out the earth” – and says that he did that work alone and by himself. Again the Scriptures tell us:
Have we not all one Father? Did not one God create us all? (Mal. 2:10).
It is the Father’s spoken word which so wonderfully was “with” him – and really “was” the Father himself – not another. It is his personal word. God’s word originates with him – it is in his mind – his heart. It is spoken by his mouth and accomplishes his purposes:
So will my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: It will not return to me empty,
but it will accomplish what I desire, and succeed in the purpose for which I sent it (Isa. 55:11).
John, the author of the fourth gospel, captures the unfathomable glory of all of this in his prologue. It is the mightiness of God himself, who by the speaking of his word has brought forth all creation.
God’s prophets and people of old never speak of an actual “Person” called “the Word.” Rather, they speak and write consistently about God’s own personal word. John did not write in order to bring people a different understanding of God’s word. Rather, he wrote to declare what God has now so extraordinarily accomplished with his word. He has vested, embodied, his word in his human son – the man Christ Jesus. John’s message is clear, the power of God’s word is now found in this man – and by that word in Jesus – comes light and grace to all men.
And the word was made flesh and dwelt among us – and we
beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the
Father – full of grace and truth (John 1:14}.
In the centuries after the Bible was written, Gentile Christians began creating a new meaning for “word” in John. Post-biblical Christians who had by then lost touch with the Hebrew roots of Jesus, John and of the other early disciples began to propose that God’s word was a “Person” in itself – another in addition to the Father.
But Jesus never says that before he was born he was a “Person” called the “Word.” Neither did Jesus say that a “Person” called “the Word” was in him. Rather, he said that it was the Father himself who was in him:
The words that I speak to you I speak not of myself – but the
Father that dwells in me, he does the works (John 14:10).
Likewise, Jesus tells people that rather than being a Person called the Word, that his Father actually taught him the words that he spoke. (John 7:17; 12:48-50).
There has always been, and continues to be, faithful Christians who believe that God’s word is not a Person in addition to the Father, but rather the Father’s own spoken word by which he created all things in the beginning. We are among those people. So was the apostle Peter who wrote:
God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the
earth out from the water and surrounded it with water (2 Peter 3:5 – NLT).
By J. Dan Gill
The Messiah’s words, his teachings and commands, are the terms of God’s new covenant. Jesus did not come to give the people the Law of Moses. They already had that. Jesus’ mission was to bring God’s new covenant. He did expect that his fellow Jews of the day would observe Moses’ law (e.g. Matt. 23:2, 3). He himself was a Jew who was born during the term of the law. Paul writes that Christ was “born under the law in order to redeem those who were under the law” (Gal. 4:4, 5).
Both Moses and Jesus received words from God. However, what Moses received at Sinai was a law that was for a limited number of people, for a limited time and with limited benefits. What Jesus received was God’s eternal and final arrangement with humanity which was for all people, for all time, and with the benefit of eternal life!
Jesus brought a “new commandment” ( John 13:34). In this commandment, he raised the principle of “love for one another” to a new and higher level. Now the standard became the love with which Jesus loved his people ( John 15:12, 17). Moses never spoke of this commandment.
That commandment is the foundation upon which God’s new covenant is built. It begins with God’s own love in which he “so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son” ( John 3:16). It continues in that son who loved his fellow human beings so much that he gave his life for them (Matt. 20:28). The love of that son is then joined with the love that his people are to share (1 John 3:16). It is this ultimate love of God, the Messiah, and his people, that forms the basis for God’s new and final covenant with humankind. [Read More]
EDITOR’S CHOICE – ARTICLE
In another passage (I Cor. 5:7, 8) Paul applies the same “spiritualizing” principle to the annual Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread. “Christ our Passover has been sacrificed.” Our Christian Passover is no longer a lamb slain annually but a Savior slain once and for all, with the power to deliver us daily, not once a year. “Let us therefore keep festival, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (I Cor. 5:8).
We note that the “unleavened bread” which has replaced the literal unleavened bread is the “unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” [Read More]
EDITOR’S CHOICE – ARTICLE
To Sabbath or Not to Sabbath?
Anthony Buzzard & J. Dan Gill