The Christian faith rest upon the truth that Jesus Christ was indeed Immanuel (God with us). Because of this truth, there can be no religious figure that is greater than Jesus. But this truth also leads to the understanding of God as Triune (One God in three Persons). With this comes the accusation, “Three gods! You’ve got three gods!” That misunderstanding of Christian faith is common in the world today. And yet Christians claim, “No. We have one God, the God of the Old Testament, who is shown in the New Testament to exist in three Persons.” It’s nonsense to many, of course. Some false concepts of Jesus include: Jesus is the first son of God, but He is not God; some say that among the spirit children of God Jesus is the first born, He is not God; others say Jesus was sinless, but was not God; while others say Jesus had to be born the son of God, He is not God.
And yet as we read John’s first verses, we see that this is just what the Bible teaches. The Word mentioned in John 1:1 is a few verses later is identified as the Son incarnate. There are four affirmations of the Christian Faith made here in John. First, Jesus Christ was eternally preexistent, “In the beginning was the Word.” There never was a time when Christ did not exist because the word “was” is in the Greek imperfect tense indicating a continuous existence in the past. The same thought can be found in Colossians 1:17, “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”
Second, Jesus Christ was eternally in relationship with God, “and the Word was with God.” (John 1:1) Literally, “the Word was continually toward God.” The Father and the Son were continually face to face. In the original language, the preposition “with” bears the idea of nearness, along with a sense of movement toward God. That is to say, there has always existed the deepest equality and intimacy in the Holy Trinity.
Third, Jesus Christ is eternally God as the final phrase of verse 1 states, “and the Word was God.” The exact meaning is that the Word was God in essence and character. He was God in every way, though he was a separate person from God the Father. It can be said that the simple sentence of John 1:1 is the most compact and pulsating theological statement in all of Scripture.
Fourth, Jesus Christ is eternally the Creator, “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” (John 1:3) The fact of Christ’s Creatorship is the consistent witness of the New Testament. Colossians 1:16–17 says: “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: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Hebrews 1:2–3 adds: “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; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” Revelation 4:11 states: “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.” Also, 1 Corinthians 8:6 says: “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.”
We can trust such a God with everything. Because he is Creator, he knows just what his creation, his people, need. It was said of Charles Steinmetz, the mechanical genius and friend of
Henry Ford, that he could build a motor in his mind, and if it broke down he could fix it in his mind. So when he designed it and actually built it, it ran with precision. One day the assembly line in the Ford plant broke down. None of Ford’s men could fix it, so they called in Steinmetz. He tinkered for a few minutes, threw the switch, and it started running again. A few days later Ford received a bill from Steinmetz for $10,000. Ford wrote back, “Charlie, don’t you think your bill is a little high for just a little tinkering!” Steinmetz sent back a revised bill: “Tinkering—$10. Knowing where to tinker—$9,990.” Only Jesus knows where the tinkering should be done in our lives to keep us in perfect running order. He is our Creator. Are you resting in him? Have you entrusted your life to him? Considering the greatness of Christ, nothing else makes any sense at all.
Before Napoleon Bonaparte met his death at the battle of Waterloo he made this observation, “Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I founded empires; but on what foundation did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded an empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him.” Can you say there is none greater than Jesus Christ? Will you acknowledge that Jesus was Eternally Preexistent? Will you acknowledge that Jesus is Eternally in Relationship with God? Will you acknowledge that Jesus is Eternally God? Will you acknowledge that Jesus is Eternally the Creator? Will you come to Jesus by faith accepting Him as your Eternal Savior? Jesus is able to save lost souls, “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25)
Dr. Bill Helton is a professor at Clear Creek Baptist Bible College in Pineville.