Last week, I received a bunch of interesting comments on the post called, “Just Say The Word.” Thank you, everyone, for your comments. I really enjoy hearing your feedback.
In my posts, I am just giving you my take, based on my studies and experiences over the years. But, in no way do I think I have some corner on the market or some unique insight. Not at all, that is why I value your feedback. Hopefully, we can learn from each other. If my posts get someone thinking to the point that they dig into God’s Word and come to encounter Christ for themsleves….MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. I can only hope to plant a seed or spur your desire to know God. If in some small way, I have done that…I am thrilled!!!!
So…anyway..I thought it would be a good idea to do sort of a “Part II” on this idea we talked about last week, the fact that the Bible teaches us that Jesus Christ was/is the Word of God that became flesh and dwelt among us. John wrote that the Son was the Word of God from the beginning of time. He was not just a baby, born in a manger two thousand years ago, that grew to be a prophet or a teacher. Rather, He was the Promised One that would challenge the very foundations of the Jewish traditions which had been held dear for centuries and also challenged the power and authority of the Roman Empire, which would eventually cost Him His life.
But, did His death mean that He lost, or was silenced, or that somehow His claims of being the Son of God were proven to be false? Not at all, if anything, it led to His resurrection three days later, which only made His claims more valid than ever before and changed the world and what we all thought about God forever.
The Apostle Paul actually had a lot to say about this Word/Son/Creator/God continuum, as well, in his letter to the Christian Church in Colossae, in the first century following Christ’s death and resurrection. Let’s take a look:
For He rescued us from the domain 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]
So it says, “For He (the Father)…rescued us…and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.” That means we can add “King” to that Word/Son/Creator/God conglomeration. My goodness, this Jesus is building quite a resume, is He not? But, Paul also said we were “rescued from the domain of darkness”…redeemed and forgiven of our sins…all as a result of this divine transfer of power. You see, Jesus is not the only one getting a promotion, in the verses above. We are also receiving a divine promotion, from sinner to saint, as well, if we put our trust and faith in Him. And that is a promotion from which there can never be a demotion. Just sayin’.
One more quick thing about this verse, OK? For those who are still not quite sure if they fully buy into this idea that Jesus was God, wouldn’t the Father be the one most likely to be King of whatever kingdom is to come after this world? Yet, the Father transfers that title and all the power and authority that goes with it to the Son. Do you think God Almighty would be willing to hand over complete control of everything to someone or something who was less than God, to someone less powerful than Himself? I would think not so. Why would He?
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 1:19-20]
And again, Paul writes, “It was the Father’s good pleasure for ALL the fullness to dwell in Him (Christ).” So the Father was pleased to do it, to place it all in the hands of the Son for all eternity. We have all heard stories, I’m sure, of wealthy business owners retiring and turning the business over to their children (son or daughter). How does that usually work out? Many times, not so well. The one who inherits the business does not always have the same love or passion for it, and either runs it into the ground or spends all the money, leaving all that the father worked for to be just a memory. Pretty sad, when that happens. But, this is God we are talking about. He was pleased to hand it over, never worried about it for a second, because his Son was fully God, as well.
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. [Colossians 1:15-17]
Christ is “the image of the invisible God” (check), “firstborn of all creation” (check), “creator of all things” (check), and “He holds all things together” (check). You’d think the Father might have assigned a brother or someone to help Him, no? That is a lot for one man to have to do by Himself, am I wrong? But, then He “was the Word and the Word was God.” No worries, then, “He’s got the whole world in His hands,” as the song says.
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; [Colossians 2:9-10]
“For in Him (Christ),” it says, “all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (checkmate). There it is, just like John said in His Gospel, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” I think it is safe to say that both the Apostle Paul and the Apostle John were pretty emphatic about this amazing mystery. They certainly did not mince words about it. They both clearly believed Jesus Christ was/is fully God, while at the same time, fully man.
All of this is leading me to want to share how I, over the years, have developed my own way (uh-oh…opinion alert) of coming to grips with this concept we have come to know and understand as the “Holy Trinity.” I am not coming up with some new doctrine, here, or offering up some “strange fire.” This is just how I break it down into manageable, bite-size pieces, so I can wrap my head around it. Are you still with me?
Let me remind you (in case you did not know), I was born and raised Catholic, so this concept of three separate persons, all co-equals, making up one God was quite mind-boggling to me, growing up. In fact, in the Catholic Church, it is treated like this great mystery. And for many, that is what it is, still today. A mystery.
It wasn’t until after I accepted Christ (age 25) and started really digging into the Bible that I finally started to connect the dots to the point where it all started to make sense, with the help of the Holy Spirit. So, here is how I brought it all into focus, at least in my mind.
Think of it this way. You are a person, totally unique and different than any other person who has ever lived. When you speak, are your words not a part of you, an extension of who you are, as well? Have you ever tried to disconnect yourself from something you said? Not that easy, is it? My name is Bob, my words are “the words of Bob.” Whether I like it or not, they are just as much part of who I am as my physical body is. And so, yes, I can believe that it was God’s Word that came to Earth and took on the human form we know as Jesus Christ. God in the flesh. The Word was God. It all fits. Makes sense to me.
How about your spirit, your personality or personal energy? Do you not have an influence on those around you, be it good or bad? Is there not something contagious about a person (some more than others, of course) that rubs off on you, if you are around them enough? Maybe it’s the way you talk or the way you rub your head when you are puzzled. I cannot tell you how many times my wife has said to me, “Honey, you are scaring me. You sounded just like your Dad, there.” His personality, mannerisms and, to some degree, his way of speaking has become part of who I am, just by being around him for so long. His personality went forth from his person and effected those he came into contact with. But, it was still a part of him, not some lesser representation of him, that rubbed of on people.
And the same is true of you and I. Does that not sound just like the Holy Spirit? It is God’s personality, emanating from the Father, with the full power and authority of who God is, that is changing those whom He touches, into the image of One it originated from. How cool is that?
We can therefore conclude that the Son of God was/is God’s Word eminating from our Father in Heaven, clothed in humanity on our behalf. And the Holy Spirit is, in essence, the power and influence of His personality, sent forth to draw us back to Himself by exposing and displacing the darkness through the glorious light of His perfect, unchanging love.
So, there you have it. That might have been a long explanation, but I hope it helps you to more fully grasp this biblical truth…Jesus was not an afterthought or God’s “Plan B.” This was the Father’s plan from before the universe was created, as is evidenced by the fact that it was the Son, according to the Scriptures, who created all things.
I would like to wrap up this discussion with one more piece of this divine puzzle, if I may. The Bible also teaches us that “the Word of God does not return void, but accomplishes that which it was sent out to do.”
And what the Word of God was sent from Heaven to do, most of all, was to provide a way of redemption through His blood for those who are His, even those who call upon His name, that their sins may be forgiven so they may rule and reign with Him for all eternity.
And He will do it, you can count on it, because the Word of a God does not return void, but will accomplish all that it was sent forth do to.