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Christ in the Old Testament 

               Genesis 1:1 In the Beginning God . . .


 

In the Beginning . . .

What comes to your mind when you think about God? That is the most important thing about us, suggests A. W. Tozer. What you believe about Him determines your eternal destiny.

"In the beginning . . . " Those are the most sublime words in the Bible. Imagine with me for a few moments Moses telling the story of creation to the Israelites. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." He knew it because of the self-revelation of God to him. "The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, 'Let there be light'; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness" (vv. 2-4).

Those opening words in the book of Genesis tells us about Moses' view of creation and the sovereignty of the Creator over all of His creation. The God who created Israel also created the entire world and everything in it. Since God is before all things and created all things, there can be no idols or false gods. They don't exist. The LORD God of Israel is the only God. There is none other. Not only is He the Creator of all life, but He is also the God who redeems fallen man and enters into covenants with him.  

Moses tells us God's personal name is Yahweh or Jehovah.  Some of our English translations use LORD in all four capital letters when referring to this name of God.

The apostle John contemplated creation and wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, "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. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it" (John 1:1-5).

Substitute the name "Christ" in the place of "Word" in the above paragraph and you get to the very heart of John's believe about God. In the beginning was the second person of the God-head, Christ, and the Christ, was with God, and the Christ, was God. Christ 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. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

John takes us back to a time before the time of "in the beginning" of Moses. He is speaking of eternity before time was created. John takes us into the mind of the eternal Triune God. He begins by telling us that Jesus is God manifest in the flesh. God came to us in the incarnation. The words and works of Jesus, the Logos, are those of the God-Man. Christ, the Logos did not at some point in the past come into being. God the Father and the Son have always been in existence and were not created. God the Father and God the Son have existed eternally in fellowship with one another.

The term logos is applied to Christ exclusively in John 1:1, 14; Revelation 19:13 and I John 1:1. There is a possible personification of "the Word of God" in Hebrews 4:12.

The Apostle Paul expressed his convictions about Jesus Christ when he wrote to the philosophers at Colossae. "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities "all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven" (Colossians 1:15-20). Not only did Jesus create all things, but also He is the super-glue that holds all things together. The personal pre-existence of Christ is taught by the apostle Paul (2 Cor. 8:9; Phil. 2:6f; Col. 1:17). These words of Paul are parallel to the logos passage in John 1:1, 18 and to Hebrews 1:1-4 as well as Philippians 2:5-11.

Jesus said, "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father" (John 14:9). A. T. Robertson observed, "Jesus is the very stamp of God the Father as He was before the Incarnation (John 17:5) and is now (Phil. 2:5-11; Heb. 1:3) . . . the one who sees Jesus has seen God (John 14:9)."

Paul tells us something else about his thoughts on God incarnate. "See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority . . ." (Col. 2:8-10). Lightfoot said, "In Christ dwells the whole pleroma (fullness, plenitude), the entire fullness of the Godhead . . ." In Jesus Christ there is continuously and permanently at home all the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form."  

At the incarnation, the second Person of the Godhead assumed humanity, and is forever the God-man. The fullness of the Godhead dwells in Christ alone. All the fullness of absolute deity continuously and permanently lives in His humanity.

Again John would say, "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth . . . No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him" (John 1:14, 18).

It is marvelous to see in the Scriptures the three Persons of the Godhead working harmoniously together throughout eternity to accomplish His eternal purpose. There is no disunity or disharmony in the blessed Trinity.

The work of creation is the handiwork of God the Father (Gen. 1:1), the Son (Col. 1:16), and the Holy Spirit (Job 33:4; 26:13; Psa. 104:30).

The incarnation was accomplished by the power of the Most High when the Holy Spirit "overshadowed" a virgin named Mary and the "holy offspring shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35).

The three persons are present at the baptism of Jesus when He came up out of the water, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him and the Father's voice was heard from heaven (Matt. 3:16, 17).

In Hebrews 9:14 the work of atonement is presented as the blood of Christ, through the eternal Spirit offering Himself without blemish to God the Father.

The resurrection of Christ is attributed to the Father (Acts 2:24, 32), the Son (John 10:17, 18), and the Holy Spirit (Rom. 1:4).

We are saved by work of all three Persons of the Godhead for God the Father foreknew us, by the Holy Spirit sanctified us, and we have obeyed Jesus Christ and have been sprinkled with His blood (1 Pet. 1:2).

Jesus tells us in John 14:15-23 we as believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit (v. 17), the Son (v. 18, 20), the Father (v. 23).

God did all of this in perfect unity and harmony so you could receive eternal life. Jesus said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life" (John 5:24, NASB 1995).

What do you believe about Him? Where will you spend eternity?

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Title: Genesis 1:1 In the Beginning . . .

Series:  Christ in the Old Testament

  


Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

A FREE GIFT FOR YOU      
    CHRIST IN OLD TESTAMENT 

 
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Unless otherwise noted "Scripture quotations taken from the NASB." "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)

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.

Wil is a graduate of William Carey University, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries from 1972-2005. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Ecuador.

 

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