Abide in Key Word Studies on Bible Doctrines
Biblical teachings for personal Bible study, daily devotions and sermon preparation with abiding principles and practical applications. Here is a dictionary of the rich terms used in the Christian vocabulary.
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What infinite grace that God would condescend to dwell among men.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. . . . The Word became flesh" (John 1:1-3, 14, NASB 1995).
JESUS IS THE ETERNAL WORD
Substitute the name Jesus Christ for the word “Word” in these verses and the eternal truth blazes forth with the beauty of the LORD God Immanuel.
John says, “The Word was made flesh” (Jn. 1:14). Literally, He “became” flesh. The verb and tense form tells us He became flesh by His own action. It was His volitional choice.
The Word is the sole and responsible actor. The writer of Hebrews says He of His own accord partook of “flesh and blood” in order that “through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14).
He took on Himself human nature. He did not assume the nature of angels, but the “seed” or nature of Abraham (Heb. 2:16).
God the Word became incarnate by His own will and creative act. It is the most profound act in the entire world. “The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us . . .” (John 1:14). He was in absolute control. No human being was involved. He did not have a human father (Luke 1:34-35).
Since God becoming flesh was entirely an act of God, and there could have been no human father, He was of necessity virgin-born. The Bible is explicitly clear He was born of a virgin (Matthew 1:18-25).
The messenger of God said to a Jewish maiden named Mary, “You will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end” (Luke 1:31-33). And besides you will name Him after His Father. “You shall name Him Jesus” (Lk. 1:31). Matthew records, “You shall give Him the name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). You will name Him Yeshua, Jehoshua, i.e., Jehovah saves. Yahweh saves!
The name Joshua is the oldest name containing the divine name Yahweh, and means “Yahweh is salvation.”
The English name Jesus is a transliteration of the Hebrew “Joshua,” meaning “Jehovah is salvation,” i.e., “is the Savior.” Jesus Christ actually consists of a proper name, Jesus, and a title, Christ, meaning “the Anointed One,” or Messiah. It expresses faith of the earliest Christians in Jesus of Nazareth as their Master and Lord, Savior-King and Redeemer.
He was the eternal Word of God, who personally, actively and responsibly assumed for Himself a human nature of flesh and blood. He was fully man, and He was fully God. He was the God-man. He is the eternal God incarnate. The incarnation was absolutely His own creative act.
The eternal Word became flesh and blood and “dwelt among us.” He literally tabernacled, or pitched His tent, among us. The human nature He created and assumed was His Tabernacle, His dwelling place among men. He is Immanuel, “God with us” (Isa. 7:14; 8:8, 10).
GOD DWELLED AMONG MEN
Why did the LORD God do this? “We beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14b). He came to show us what God is really like. The Word of God is the Son of God.
"Now the Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We saw his glory – the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father" (John 1:14, NET). Jesus Christ is unique. In fact, He is so unique that He is the only one of its kind. He is one-of-a-kind and there is no other One like Him.
Whatever God is essentially today, that is what He has always eternally been in His being, and He always will be for all eternity. "No one has ever seen God. The only one, himself God, who is in closest fellowship with the Father, has made God known" (John 1:18, NET).
Most of our translations read “only begotten” in John 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18. He is God today and is the same He always has been and will be. He changes not. Since He has always been the Father, He has always had a Son, and that Son in the nature of the case has eternally been the Son. Therefore, since the Father never had a beginning as the Father, the Son never had a beginning. And the same we can say for the Holy Spirit. He is coequal with the Father. “The same was in the beginning with the Father.” The Son was eternally begotten of the Father.
This eternal only begotten Son of the Father was Jesus Christ. He is the only one of a kind. There never will be another like Him. The Son of God came to do the will of His Father.
He created for Himself a sinless, perfect human nature, took it into union with His infinite person and personally dwelled among men.
The apostle Paul wrote, “For in Him all the fullness of the Godhead dwells in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9). “He is the image of the invisible God the firstborn of all creation” (Col. 1:15). “For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him” (Col. 1:19). He is the absolute and perfect God.
In Jesus Christ dwells that which alone constitutes the fullness of the Godhead. The apostle Paul declared Christ “is the image of the invisible God . . . . God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in the son” (Colossians 1:15, 19). Jesus could say truthfully, “He that has seen Me has seen the Father . . . the Father dwells in Me” (John 14:9-10).
Jesus also was indwelt by the Holy Spirit without measure. He experienced the fullness of the Spirit continually, uninterrupted. There was never a time when He was not absolutely under the influence of the Spirit of God.
“No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him” (John 1:18). No one has seen God the Father at any time and will never ever see Him apart from the Son who is in the bosom of the Father. All there is of the one essential being of the Godhead is in Jesus Christ and apart from Him there is no God. We worship the one Triune God in three persons. He is God “revealed in the flesh” (1 Tim. 3:16), “the image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:16), “our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
JESUS IS THE PERFECT SACRIFICE FOR SIN
When Jesus became man, it was an act of extreme humiliation. The apostle Paul wrote eloquently of Him "who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross" (Philippians 2:6-8, NASB 1995).
He in whom the fullness of God dwells offered that perfect, sinless humanity as an atoning sacrifice for our sins on the cross. He was crucified as a sacrifice for sin. He gave Himself up as our substitute, dying in our place. “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly . . . But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:6, 8).
God “reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18-20). “He [God] made Him [Christ] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21).
The apostle Paul wrote, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His glory” (Ephesians 1:7). Every aspect of the salvation God has provided for sinners is bound up in the person and work of Jesus.
“For He [the Father] delivered us from the dominion of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14). He died on our behalf and rose from the dead. “When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3b).
No wonder the apostle Peter preached, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
The only proper attitude toward Jesus is that which the New Testament calls faith which is simple trust in Him.
There is no other name like the name of Jesus. "For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:9-11, NASB 1995).
John 1:1-14, 18; Philippians 2:6-11; Colossians 1:15-16, 19; 2:9; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21; Ephesians 1:7; Romans 5:6-8; Hebrews 1:1-3; Acts 4:12; Luke 1:12-33
Abiding Principles and Practical Applications
1. Jesus is fully God and fully man. He is God incarnate, Immanuel, “God with us.”
2. When you look into the face of Jesus Christ you see God and you can never remain the same.
3. Jesus gave Himself as the perfect atoning sacrifice for sin, and rose from the dead.
4. When you put your faith in Jesus He will save you from your sins.
5. Because the name of Jesus is the name above every name we must bow in humble submission to Him.
6. Because Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever our salvation is eternally secure. Because He changes not, our salvation never changes.
For Further Study
Jesus I AM Sayings Deity in Gospel of John
Message by Wil Pounds and all content on this page (c) 2005 by Wil Pounds. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent. Scripture quotations from the New American Standard Bible (c) 1973, and 1995 Update by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
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"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)