Saturday, August 5, 2017

The Word

John 1:1-17 HCSB In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) He was with God in the beginning. (3) All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created. (4) Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men. (5) That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it. (6) There was a man named John who was sent from God. (7) He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that all might believe through him. (8) He was not the light, but he came to testify about the light. (9) The true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. (10) He was in the world, and the world was created through Him, yet the world did not recognize Him. (11) He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. (12) But to all who did receive Him, He gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in His name, (13) who were born, not of blood, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.

(14) The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (15) (John testified concerning Him and exclaimed, "This was the One of whom I said, 'The One coming after me has surpassed me, because He existed before me.'") (16) Indeed, we have all received grace after grace from His fullness, (17) for the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Every time I hear someone speak about the word, realizing that they mean the bible, I cringe. It hits me deeply in my Spirit, and not in a good way. Moreover, when one refers to the bible as the word, it gives it a status that puts it on par with God himself. First of all, it is necessary to understand the use and meaning of language from the first century. It was a time where Jewish Religion and Greek Philosophy had reached its zenith. Paul Tillich, the Lutheran Theologian stated that Christ came on the scene at the ripe time in history. It was the time when the gospel message could properly be understood. In Greek, the word is the logos. Greek philosophy had defined the logos as the divine seed. The logos was much more than the spoken or written word. It was the creative force in the universe.

In essence, the New Testament teaches that the word, logos was Jesus Christ. It is absurd to put Jesus on the same plain as a book. I know that theologians have meant well. They wanted to elevate the bible over other books. The fact is though, and I have proven it over and over again in the posts of this blog, that Jesus and his first century followers defined the word of God as the gospel. It is the good news of Jesus Christ the word made flesh. If you look at verse 14 of the above passage, it can readily be seen that the creative force became human flesh and made his dwelling among humanity. It was for a purpose however. The purpose was to bring for the gospel (good news) of God. Jesus was the gospel of God. He was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. He was before the world was, before creation. Paul, in Ephesians explains that God chose BEFORE the foundation of the world, BEFORE anything was created, to bless humanity with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

So you see, that not only is the bible not on par with Jesus, it is not on par with the gospel. In fact, Jesus stated in John 5:39-40 that the purpose of the scripture was to point to, prophesy about, and proclaim the gospel. When I say gospel, I do not mean the books written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I mean the fact of the good news. That is, God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. And, in Ephesians, Paul explains that it was God's plan from before creation. There is so much misunderstanding in evangelical Christianity about this. It is time to awake and see what God has done in Christ. I mean what really God has done in Christ. He has completely restored the creation. That's why John writes in verse 17 of the above passage that the Law was given through Moses, but that GRACE and TRUTH was brought about and through Jesus.

Had the law not been given, there would never be an understanding of grace. It was necessary to give the Law to establish the wondrous aspect of grace. And furthermore, Grace is the TRUTH. Grace is the very nature of God. Yes, Jesus was God manifested in human flesh and verse 14 of the above passage says that he was full of GRACE and TRUTH. He was the exact image of God the father so that means that God is grace and truth.

This is precisely the reason that so many of the Jews rejected Jesus. It too was part of God's gracious plan. Romans 11:5-6 HCSB In the same way, then, there is also at the present time a remnant chosen by grace. (6) Now if by grace, then it is not by works; otherwise grace ceases to be grace. God had given the Jews the Law to underscore the meaning of grace. They mistakenly thought that they had received it for righteousness. So then, Jesus came on the scene, full of grace and truth to introduce the heart of the Father concerning His creation. The Law was never meant for righteousness. In fact, that is why Paul said in Romans ten that Christ was the end of the Law for righteousness. The purpose of the Law was to show us how truly great grace was! It was to show us how to be at peace with God by grace, and just how fortunate we are that God is full of grace and truth.

Back to the word... I love the scripture. I know that it is God breathed. It is not a legal constitutional document however. It is a love story. It is God's love story of redemption that he had planned, purposed, and put into effect before creation. This is truly good news. My prayer is that the church will wake up to the real gospel..




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