Friday, March 13, 2015

The Gospel According to John, 1:1,2: Who is the Lord Jesus Christ?

First, to say something about the word, gospel. Gospel is defined in the Bible as good tidings or good news. Compare the word substitution between the following New Testament and Old Testament verses.

First, from the New Testament with Jesus speaking and quoting Isaiah, chapter 61;

Luke 4:18a  The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor…

Then, from the Old Testament with Isaiah writing;

Isaiah 61:1a ¶  The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek…

This is the gospel or good news about Jesus Christ and the salvation of mankind from the eternal suffering which is his due after physical death as we are genetically, socially, culturally, mentally, and in every other way in rebellion to God from the moment we are born and are held accountable for it when and if we have the capacity to make a choice between God’s way or our own.

Cross referencing like words, phrases, and verses that are either quoted or alluded to or paraphrased between the Old and New Testaments is a fundamental way of getting meaning from the Bible. You cannot trust commentaries necessarily to provide you all of the cross references and all lexicons are notoriously known by lexicographers for being unreliable. Therefore Strong, Danker, Thayer, etc. etc. will probably not give you an accurate idea of what a word passage means. You must learn them yourself by reading and re-reading the Bible from cover to cover and making notes.

1 ¶  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2  The same was in the beginning with God.

In the beginning is a reference to time. The Word preexisted time and was in the beginning of time. The Holy Spirit uses Greek and Hebrew in often unique ways, creating a Biblical language through the writers that rises above every day speech. Here, John, uses the word, Logos, which is translated into Word, uppercase W.

Some philosophies of the Greek world used the word, Logos, to describe the creative force of the universe. John here makes it clear that the Logos is not an impersonal force but a person, an entity. A knowledgeable Greek or Roman, who had heard Sophist preachers speak on this would have understood what John was saying, even if they did not agree.

So, the Word was here in the beginning of time. It was with God, coexisting. In fact, it was that very God, here in the beginning with Him. How could this be you ask? The Bible, rather than traditional theology, which talks of three persons in one that sounds vaguely polytheistic, makes this clear. These three parts acted in unison.

Genesis 1:26  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Genesis 3:22  And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

Genesis 11:7  Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

A self-conscious, aware being is composed of three parts; a spirit, which is how it knows things unseen such as a spiritual world, a soul, which is the seat of its will, emotions, reasoning ability, and identity, and a body, which is how it interacts and knows the physical world around it.

Man is composed of these three parts.

1Thessalonians 5:23  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 20:27  The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.

Job 19:2  How long will ye vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words?

The higher animals, those capable of self-consciousness and recognizing their individual identity apart from others, are composed of these three parts.

Numbers 31:28  And levy a tribute unto the LORD of the men of war which went out to battle: one soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the beeves, and of the asses, and of the sheep:

Job 12:10  In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.

Ecclesiastes 3:21  Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?

God, as well, is composed of these three parts.

Matthew 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

2Corinthians 13:14  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

1John 5:7  For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

God the Father, as He is referred to specifically in verses like Matthew 11:27 and Romans 6:4 and implied in verses like Acts 3:13 and Galatians 4:4, is the soul of God, the seat of will and self-identity.

Psalm 11:5  The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.

God has a Spirit which knows and interacts with His creation.

Genesis 1:2  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

The Bible calls Him the Holy Ghost and the active agency by which He operates inside of each believer and in the world, Spirit, is referred to by the neutral pronoun.

John 14:26  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Romans 8:16  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God..

We are often unable to distinguish the fine difference between the Holy Ghost and the Holy Spirit (used only once in Luke 11:13 with Holy capitalized as well as Spirit) because of the Roman Catholic church’s use of the Latin word, Spiritus, for both words, while English has the subtle variation of language to provide us with two words, ghost and spirit, translated from the same Greek word but with a slightly different meaning based on context and usage.

In another subtle and on the surface difficult-to-understand manner the Bible uses, spirit, with a lowercase s to refer to God’s will and attitude which proceeds from God the Father, not a reference to the separate and distinct Spirit of God, uppercase S.

Job 26:13  By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.

1Samuel 10:10  And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the physical incarnation of God on earth.

John 14:9  Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

Colossians 1:15  Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

Hebrews 1:3  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;

These three parts of God are one individual capable, unlike us or the higher animals as we physically die when one of our component parts separates from the others, of operating independently of each other but with one intent, one will, and one purpose.

Deuteronomy 6:4  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD…

John 10:30  I and my Father are one.

With Jesus Christ as the, “Son of God,” with a capital S, you have God in the flesh coming with the same authority as God the Father.

John 5:18  Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

Philippians 2:5  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Finally, it is Jesus Christ by whom all things were created, as the Bible will say clearly in the next verse.

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