In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not [a]comprehend it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. (Jn1:1-8NKJV)
Profound and mysterious as the opening of John’s gospel may appear there are some essential truths that can be drawn from it, perhaps the most important being its irrefutable witness to the full divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The reference to John the Baptist’s witness to the Light (vv6-7) confirms that the “Word” (Greek: Logos) is that very Person who “became incarnate of the virgin Mary and was made man”. I emphasize “full divinity” for whether we realize it or not every true Christian “partakes of the divine nature” (2Pet1:4), yet none (I hope) would claim to be “in the beginning with God”, of His very essence and the One through Whom all things were created as John declares “the Word” to be.
This is important for other Scriptures are less clear concerning Jesu’s divinity. God’s people in the Old Testament did not generally expect their future messiah to be divine, even though arguably such is indicated by the titles the prophet Isaiah ascribed to Him – “God with us” (7:14), “Mighty God” (9:6), etc. As for Jesus Himself, He goes out of His way to emphasize that He is subject to His Father (Jn14:28) and that is the case even after His resurrection and ascension to Glory (Acts1:7). Likewise, the apostle Paul: “For I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (1Cor11:3). And concerning Christ’s Kingdom: “Now when all things are made subject to (Christ), then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all” (1Cor15:28).
Such passages emphasize the Monarchical status of God the Father, they are not saying the Son is not equally divine. But there is clearly an order, not to mention a great deal of mystery concerning the economy of the Godhead. An awareness of such is necessary to appreciate aspects of what Paul is teaching concerning “the fellowship of the secret (plan) hidden in God” (Eph3:9) that my book* focusses on. Yet this must be done without ever losing sight of the absolute and uniquely divine heritage possessed by the One who condescends to regard His all-too-human followers as His own kith and kin: “for both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren (Heb2:11). What a mind-blowing privilege it is to be numbered within such a family.
- A free PDF of the e-book is available HERE