“In the Beginning with God”
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” (John 1:1-5)
John is describing our blessed Savior’s eternal relationship to the triune Godhead. He was from the beginning with God, because he is God, one with the Father and the Spirit. We rejoice to know that Christ our Savior is God. But, I want you to see the significance of the fact that John here declares that he is the Word, the eternal Logos of the Triune God.
God the Word
Christ “was in the beginning with God” as the unuttered speech and thought of the triune God. It is only in Christ that God is fully told out. He so fully and so perfectly reveals God that he declares, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9). To know him is to know God (John 17:3). The “light of the knowledge of the glory of God” is seen only “in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).
It is Christ the Word, our crucified Substitute, the Lamb of God, who opens the sealed book of God’s eternal purpose, reveals it to us and fulfils it in the accomplishment of redemption (Revelation 5:1-10). It is Christ the Word, crucified as our Substitute and risen as our Savior, who interprets and fulfils all the types, all the prophecies and all the promises of the Old Testament Scriptures (Luke 24:25-27, 45-47). And it is Christ, the Word, whom we preach to men, by whom the veil of spiritual darkness is taken away and the glory of God is revealed (2 Corinthians 3:14-18). In Christ mercy and truth meet, righteousness and peace kiss each other, and justice and grace are revealed. In Christ we see the glorious Lord God as “a just God and a Savior!” Only in Christ is it possible for iniquity to be purged by mercy and by truth.
God the Creator
John also shows us, with sublime simplicity, the relationship of our Lord Jesus Christ to creation. — “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (v. 3). He who created all things is God our Redeemer; and in the Scriptures creation is almost always associated with redemption.
Liberals, Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses, and countless other heretics tell us that Christ is but a creature of God. The Book of God declares that he is God our Creator! Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Word, by whom the worlds and all that they contain were made (Psalm 148:5; Ephesians 3:8-9; Colossians 1:15-19). — “By the word of God the heavens were of old” (2 Peter 3:5).
“All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” — He who is before all things is eternal. He who made all things is omnipotent. And he who is eternal and omnipotent is God. And this great God, our Creator, who made all things, is he who has made peace for us by the blood of his cross (Colossians 1:20). In the new creation of grace, as in the creation of the world itself, Christ is the Creator. It is Christ who declares, “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5). — “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature!” And of the new creation, the Book of God everywhere declares, — “Without him was not anything made that was made!” Without him there can be no new covenant, no new name, no new and living way, no new heart, no new spirit, no new garment, new song, new heaven or new earth! — “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11).
If all things were created for his pleasure, it cannot be doubted that “he shall see of the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied!”
Christ the Life
In verses 4 and 5 the Holy Spirit speaks of Christ’s relationship to me. — “In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”
Christ is Life. It is written, “In him was life.” Natural life, spiritual life, resurrection life, eternal life, all life is in Christ. Apart from him there is no life. He who created all things must be the Fountain of life and Giver of life. The word “life” is used here in its widest sense. All creature life comes from him, for “in him we live and move and have our being.” All spiritual life or eternal life comes from and is found in him. He has given us eternal life (1 John 5:11). Christ is the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25-26).
And Christ who is Life is also Light. — “And the life was the light of men.” Christ is the only moral, spiritual Light there is. He is that “true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (v. 9). Every rational man is morally enlightened (Romans 2:15; Romans 1:18-21). That means all are responsible and accountable to Christ whose light they despise. Though all men are by nature dead in trespasses and sins, all responsible before God and shall give an account (Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 20:12) for the “Light” they have despised and refused.
Look at verse 5 again. John tells us that Christ, the Light, blazes forth in the darkness of man’s depraved heart and sin-darkened soul. That is clearly the meaning of the first part of verse 5. — “The light shineth in darkness!” But the last clause of verse 5, “the darkness comprehended it not,” meaning the darkness perceived no light, though the Light shines ever so brightly. So dark is the heart of man that he cannot even perceive the fact that the Light is shining!
However, the word translated “comprehended” is sometimes translated “overtake” (1 Thessalonians 5:4). Blessed be his name forever, when Christ comes to shine in the hearts of his own, he does not just give light, he causes his own to see the Light. He shines with such irresistible Light in the hearts of his redeemed that we simply cannot overtake the Light. Rather, the Light completely overtakes us! As it was in the old creation, so it is in the new. God says, “Let there be light,” and there is light (Genesis 1:1-3).
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