John 1:1-5 – Christ is the Word From the Beginning

John 1:1-5 – Christ is the Word from the Beginning

  • In the beginning was the Word, and
    • the Word was with God, and
    • the Word was God.
  • He was in the beginning with God.
  • All things were made through Him, and
    • without Him was not any thing made that was made.
  • In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
    • The light shines in the darkness, and
      • the darkness has not overcome it.
      • [unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is ESV]

CHRIST WAS IN THE BEGINNING

The Gospel of John begins with a parallel to the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible. The Bible begins, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” [Gen 1:1 ESV]. The Gospel of John begins, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
In the Gospel of John, the beginning refers to the beginning of time. God created time when He created the world. Paul wrote Christ was before all things (Col 1:17) and Jesus, himself, said He was with the Father before the creation (Joh 17:5). Before time began; when nothing existed but God alone – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

When John said Christ was with God and was God from the beginning, this does not imply there was a moment when God came into existence. God was always together. He is the I AM (Exo 3:14).

It is hard for man to understand eternity; it is easier to grasp no end going forward but difficult, if not impossible, to grasp no end going backward. It is hard for man to understand time without measuring it. God lives in eternity – past, present and future. The best John could say with human understanding was Christ was with God and Christ was God in the beginning.

The Gospel does not say, “He was FROM the beginning.” The Gospel says He was IN the beginning – He was there, but His life transcends time. Jesus said:

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. [Rev 21:6 ESV].

Christ was in the beginning because He has existed, with the Father and the Spirit, for all eternity. He was and is and is to come (Rev 1:4 & 8).

But He emptied Himself of this glory and came to make salvation known to man. He made a way for man to come to the Father.

Who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. [Php 2:6-8 ESV].

CHRIST IS CALLED THE WORD

John tells us the Word was in the beginning. This is not a written document he is talking about. In verse two John refers to the Word as “He.” This tells us two things: 1) The Word is a person; and 2) God is not a “she.”

According to John’s account, the Word is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The Bible is also called the Word, and rightly so because the Scripture is about Jesus Christ – He is the central theme. In the Old Testament, the theme is the coming Messiah and pictures and prophecies of Christ. The New Testament gives four accounts of Christ’s life, death and resurrection It looks forward to His coming again and tells us how to walk with Him while we wait for His return. Christ is the Word, the physical representation of God and the Bible is the Word, the written account of the Son of God.
There are three persons of the Trinity. Christ is distinct in personality from the Father but inseparable from Him.

And now, Father, glorify Me in Your own presence with the glory that I had with You before the world existed. [Joh 17:5 ESV].

You have heard the saying, “A man is only as good as his word.” Christ, whose word is to God, what man’s word is to himself. Christ is the Word of God because He came to make God -the Father – known. The Apostle John wrote:

No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, [Christ] has made Him known. [Joh 1:18 ESV].

And Jesus said:

I can do nothing on My own. As I hear, I judge, and My judgment is just, because I seek not My own will but the will of Him who sent Me. [Joh 5:30 ESV].

Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me. [Joh 7:16 ESV].

If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him. [Joh 14:7 ESV].

Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own authority, but the Father who dwells in Me does His works. [Joh 14:10 ESV].

Christ came to make the Father known. An Interesting Parallel is that the Bible is known as the Word of God. What is the Bible about? In the fullness of Scripture we see clearly the Son of God and the plan of the Father.

Christ, the Word, came to make the Father known – and He came in physical form, as a man. Christ is no longer with us in the flesh so, now, He has left us the Scriptures to show us the way to the Father.

but in these last days [God] has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world. [Heb 1:2 ESV].

ALL THINGS WERE MADE THROUGH HIM

John wrote, “without Him was not any thing made that was made” (V3). This includes everything we can see and everything we cannot see – everything too small for the microscope and everything to far for the Hubbell telescope.

By the word of the LORD the heavens were made. . . [Psa 33:6 ESV].

For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. [Col 1:16-17 ESV].

He made everything and it is interesting, rather than describe these things as animals, trees, mountains and such Paul defined these as thrones, dominions, rulers and authorities. All these world rulers and every kind of authority among man and principalities are made by and for the glory of Christ – and, though they rage against Him, as the Psalmist wrote in the second chapter of the Psalms, Christ is the highest authority and He will be glorified among them.

This is the problem for the atheist: not that they do not believe in God or His creative work, but that they despise the fact they must submit to His authority. This is why the atheist’s life is consumed with proving God does not exist. This is the nut: if God is the Creator then He is the highest authority and all men have an obligation to give God the honor due to Him. According to the second chapter of Philippians, one day every knee shall bow.

Even professing Christians have a hard time submitting to God’s authority. Christ commanded us to pray for God’s kingdom in His example of daily prayer (Mat 6:9-13) but most prayer time is spent with requests for our own kingdoms. The heart of man has a natural tendency to elevate himself and bring God’s authority down to his level. Yet it remains, God made all and He rules over all – He alone is supreme.

. . . there is ONE GOD, the Father, FROM whom are all things and FOR whom we exist, and ONE LORD, Jesus Christ, THROUGH whom are all things and THROUGH whom we exist. [1Co 8:6 ESV].
All things are FROM the Father and THROUGH the Son and we exist FOR the Father and THROUGH the Son because Christ is the Life.

CHRIST IS THE LIFE – THE LIGHT OF MEN

The Apostle John, was a disciple of Christ. He saw Him, heard Him and touched Him.

The life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us. [1Jo 1:2 ESV].

Christ claimed to have life in Himself. This means life came through Him. Jesus said:

For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son also to have life in Himself. – Jesus [Joh 5:26 ESV].

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die.” [Joh 11:25 ESV].

We know that every man will die once. Hebrews 9:27 tells us it is appointed unto man to die but Christ has promised after our physical death, we shall never die again. We will have life eternal if we believe in Jesus Christ for our salvation. For those who do not believe, there is eternal death.
Just as Christ came to make the Father known, He came to be the Way to God.

I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. [Joh 14:6 ESV].

There is no other way! In Him was life and this life was the light of men. Are you in the light?

THE LIGHT SHINES IN THE DARKNESS

Before the creation began, the earth was full of darkness. The way Moses describes it in the first of Genesis, there was no light. This must have been an incredible darkness – no light, no moon or stars. But we know God is greater than the deepest darkness. Job said, “He uncovers the deeps out of darkness and brings deep darkness to light.” [Job 12:22 ESV].

John said the world was in darkness when Jesus came to man. In John chapter three, Jesus told Nicodemus men love darkness because their deeds are evil. John describes Christ as the light of men and he said the Light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot grasp it (Joh 1:4-5). That is, the most evilness of man – the cumulative evil of men – cannot overcome, cannot comprehend the light of Christ. John said it was so when Christ came and it is written in the Word in the present tense. For two thousand years man has tried to suppress the truth of Jesus Christ but where ever His truth is brought forth, it chases the darkness away and the darkness is unable to overcome it.

Paul wrote to the Colossian church, God has delivered us from the domain of darkness and placed us in the kingdom of His Son, Jesus Christ (Col 1:13). Paul wrote to the Ephesian church,

For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light. [ Ephesians 5:8 ESV].

The darkness has not overcome it. Jesus said:

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. [Joh 8:12 ESV].

As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. [Joh 9:5 ESV].

Though Christ has come and given light to the world, the world has rejected this light. They rejected Christ back then and they crucified Him. Now He calls all men to repentance but few there are who listen.

And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. [Joh 3:19 ESV].

While man is a slave to sin, he is engulfed in darkness and people in darkness cannot comprehend the light. As the Apostle Paul wrote God uses the foolish – or common – to shame the wise – or intellectual.

For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. [1Co 1:21 ESV].

But the darkness cannot overcome the light. Christ has promised to deliver us out of this darkness, if we will believe in Him.

Jesus said:

I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in Me may not remain in darkness. [Joh 12:46 ESV].

The Apostle John wrote:

For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? [1Jo 5:4 ESV].

This is opposite of the psychology preached by the modern church where everyone is placed into victim groups in need of recovery. When a professing Christian appears to be trapped in a life of addiction, or other such sin, people want to apologize for them and put them in counseling and self-help groups. But the problem is their faith has not taken root. Read the parable of the Seed and the Sower in Luke chapter eight. If the seed does not take root, the person is not saved. If the person is saved, Paul said, John said and Christ said, this person is delivered from darkness – they are NOT on the road to recovery – they are delivered.

In his first epistle, the Apostle John said we cannot have fellowship with Christ while walking in darkness. If we say we are following Christ while living in sin, we lie (1Jo 1:6-7). John was talking to professing Christians – some professing Christians are walking in darkness and they are not saved.

Some sins are obvious: thieving, adultery and such – and especially those who claim their identity by sin, such as a “homosexual Christian.” But some sin is less obvious. When I was a young man, I left the faith as I had become indoctrinated by positive mental attitude books. The books spoke some truth and seemed to be uplifting but they are darkness because they lead the reader away from Christ and center man’s thoughts around himself. John Owens said, “He who has small thoughts of sin, never has had great thoughts of God.”

Any time we look for truth outside of God’s Word, we are looking for truth via darkness, or, as John said, we are walking in darkness. Jesus told us,

The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness. [Mat 6:22-23 ESV].

The healthy eye is consumed with the Word of God – the source of light. The bad eye follows the world’s wisdom which appears to be true but the darkness is very great. In the first two chapters of 1Corinthians, Paul wrote the wisdom of the Word of God is foolishness to the world but we who believe have the mind of Christ.

JESUS AS LIGHT IN THE BOOK OF JOHN

  1. 1:4-5 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
  2. 1:9-10 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world did not know Him.
  3. 3:19-21 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.
  4. 8:12 I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
  5. 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
  6. 11:9-10 Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.
  7. 12:35-36 The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.
  8. 12:46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in Me may not remain in darkness.

IN CLOSING

Christ was in the beginning, with God the Father and in the person of God the Son. But He emptied Himself of this glory and came to make salvation known to man. He made a way for man to come to the Father.

Who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. [Php 2:6-8 ESV].

If we believe, we have been chosen in Him and we are rescued from the darkness that condemns us so that we can live forever with Him.

Even as [the Father] chose us in [Christ] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us for adoption to Himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace. [Eph 1:4-7 ESV].

Since Christ has brought this light to us, we should strive to live in the fear of God and bring this light to others. The Apostle Paul wrote we shine as lights to the world as we hold fast to the Word of life. Here’s what he wrote in Philippians chapter 2.

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life. . . [Php 2:12-16 ESV].

Though we live in this world of darkness, we can be confident that Christ is our light and our life. He has promised us eternal life if we continue to believe and to walk in obedience to Him.

And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. [1Jo 5:11-12 ESV].

Have you received the light of the Son of God? If not, receive Him today!

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