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Jesus, the God of the Old Testament

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Key Verse: John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God

Question: What does the key verse mean to you?

LESSON:

Examine the Key Verse carefully. This Word being mentioned was with God and was God. A casual reading of this verse would lead one to think that this Word was beside Himself, somehow existing in some state of duplicated form. How can this be explained? Line upon line, precept upon precept, another Scripture is needed to clarify this concept. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24). At this point, the lesson is going to make a presumptuous assumption: everyone partaking of this lesson had two parents. Read the foregoing verse again. Your parents were one flesh. You know that they remained two separate entities that moved independently of each other, but in spirit, love, and in God’s will moved and thought as one. This was the state of the Word. He was One with God the Father, in Spirit, love, and will, but moved independently as Creator God.

“The same was in the beginning with God.” (John 1:2). Here it is re-emphasized that the Word was with God. He was there. He was in the presence of God and was involved in all that was going on. What did He do? “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:3). Apparently, He was making things. Everything. There was not one single thing that was made, visible or invisible, that was not made by Him. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1). This verse is loaded with information that verifies the foregoing verses from John. The Word that did the creating was called God. He created the heavens, the Earth, and everything in them (Acts 4:24) and we are told when He did it, in the beginning. When was that? It was when Adam and Eve were created: “…he which made them at the beginning made them male and female” (Matthew 19:4). It was when the foundation of all Creation was laid (Hebrews 1:10). In this verse from Hebrews this Creator is called “Lord” and provides a clue as to whom it may be. “And to make all men see what is the fellowship (of God and His Son) of the mystery, (with God and is God) which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 3:9). There it is in plain language: The Word was Jesus Christ. He was the Creator that made all things, the One that led the Israelites in the wilderness (1 Corinthians 10:1-4) and, undeniably, the God of the Old Testament.

Is Jesus divine? Has He always been with the Father or is His beginning sometime later? There is no way to absolutely answer this question, but consider a few things: A thing divine is an object of worship. The object of worship has power and authority; the power to redeem mankind and the authority to render judgment. Angels have power, but they do not have authority. They are powerful messengers that can exert great force but they do not have the authority to determine when, where or why to use that force. They are not divine. If Jesus was created, He would be no more than an angel. He could never have been called the only begotten Son of God. Being created is not being begotten. The begotten child is from the body of the parent. That’s why God the Father and Jesus the Son are one! When Jesus is referred to as the “firstborn” in Colossians 1:15, “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:” verse 18 makes it clear He is being called the firstborn from the dead. This has nothing to do with His state of being before His birth to Mary. When He created all things (verse 16) He was not a “firstborn,” He was the Old Testament God. He was here before anything else (verse 17). The context of verse 18 is a discussion of the church. Christ is declared its Head, its beginning. Thayer’s Lexicon says of this word in Colossians 1:18 that it means “in the beginning, when the church was founded.” Having the preeminence means He is first in rank or influence in the church. None of these references have anything to do with His beginning. There is another reason He could not have had the same kind of beginning as the angels (Hebrews 1:13-14). This Scripture makes it plain enough that Jesus did not start out as an angel and get “promoted” to Son. There is another clue as to the longevity of Jesus. In Proverbs chapter 8 Solomon personifies Wisdom. It’s presented poetically to represent Wisdom as speaking, but what Wisdom is saying applies to Christ. Verses 22 and 23 say, “The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, (eternity, Strong’s # 5769) from the beginning, or ever (before) the earth was.” Before His works of old, in other words, before Creation. How do we know that the personification of Wisdom represents Jesus Christ? In his first epistle to the Corinthians, Paul calls Christ the power and wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24). After three years of one-on-one instruction, face to face with Jesus Himself, Paul should know what he is talking about.

It is not reasonable to expect a created being to have the divine attributes that would enable it to redeem mankind from all his sins once for all. To accomplish such an endeavor, the redeemer must be divine. Created beings are not divine. To be divine, in the sense of God the Father, the one considered divine must have been with the Father for eternity, whether as a separate entity or an intelligent extension of the Father’s body, but one thing cannot be denied; the begotten Son is one with the Father.

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. With whom did Adam and Eve converse in the Garden of Eden? (John 5:37)

  2. Did Jesus ever indicate that He had been around before His birth to Mary? (John 8:58)


FOR FURTHER STUDY:
Proverbs 8 Wisdom personified.
1 Corinthians 1:30 Jesus is wisdom.
Colossians 1:15-18 Jesus, firstborn from the dead.


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