I have seen it happen many, many times. Ah, but that is not all, and it cannot be all. We will find that to be his ministry particularly in these letters. In the Navy we used to say it was two fellows on the same ship, and there is a sense in which that is true. These are tremendously important verses. The Gospel of John weds theology to poetry. When we discover that God is actually using us, it is the most exciting and joy-producing experience possible to men. John 1:1 – Was the Word = “the news spread” (eén ho lógos) 3. Any such erroneous redefinition here, right at the beginning of John’s Gospel, has the potential to affect our understanding of the claims of Christ made consistently throughout this Gospel. This ‘with’ or ‘towards’ protects us from three errors. There is a distinction. It is only God who is eternal. As this passage patently declares, the Word is Jesus Christ.He is God and is the Creator God of Genesis. The Persic version reads in the plural number, "lives". He made things. He not only lays the foundation, but he builds upon it. We need to notice here that John does not say ‘and the Word was divine’ or ‘the Word was like God’. It must be from the beginning. Later in his Gospel John will make powerful reference to this eternality of Christ. Now he goes on to say, in Verse 2, that this life was made manifest, made visible. Why? His written ministry comes in after the church has been in existence for several decades, and at a time when apostasy had begun to creep in. John is really referring to the continuous experience of the Christian life, which is contemporary all the time, new and fresh and vital, a continuous beginning which is eternal. In Jewish Targums there is such a sense of awe of God that they avoided using his name, and often substituted ‘the Word’ for his name. In this remarkable letter, John tells us the truth about relationships – and shows us how to have relationships that are real, for both now and eternity. I told him, "I know you do. of all mankind. Therefore this letter can be properly described as introducing us to life with the Father, the intimacy of the family circle of God. This site affirms that God has provided in and through Jesus Christ his eternal Son, a way of forgiveness in which we can live in his presence guilt free, acquitted and at peace. When Paul was called he was a tentmaker. John 1:18 – The only begotten God = “The Only Begotten Magistrate” (Monogeneés Theós) John 1:1 “At first … En archeé . It relates to him who is from the beginning. What do all of these facts about Jesus mean? In … Again he says, "I write this to you about those who would deceive you." It is, however, important, for John warns all through this letter that we must cling only to that which is "from the beginning." When I do I discover something most remarkable. There was need of a voice to call people back to the original foundations and that is the ministry of the Apostle John. In John 1:1–4, John clearly identifies Jesus as the Word: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. This is who I am. He calls himself "a wise master-builder" and to this man, this mighty apostle, was committed the task of building the great doctrinal foundation upon which the Christian faith rests. Here we come to the most remarkable thing about Christian life, communion, or fellowship with Christ. How far back it goes no one knows. But it will be as you are able to bear these secrets. That Word was a Person, and he was with God, and he was God. Both agree that this Logos is the starting-point of all things.’ [Quoted by Morris (p.123) from Temple. The combined attributes of the living God were reflected in the human person of the only begotten of the Father.. the God-Man - Jesus Christ the righteous. Note a few places where he uses it and you will see how he uses it: In Chapter 2, Verse 7, he says "Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning." They do have something in common -- the same ship. What does he mean by it? Without this verse the rest of the story has no meaning. Twice he says it. The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures is published by Jehovah’s Witnesses. That is what this letter is written for, that we might be free from deception. While the spiritual, eternal dimension of life is not absent from this verse, John is here writing primarily of physical life. There was life in the word with respect to himself; a divine life, the same with the life of the Father and of the Spirit; and is in him, not by gift, nor by derivation or communication; but originally, and independently, and from all eternity: indeed he lived before his incarnation as Mediator, and Redeemer. We must test spiritual experiences and spiritual phenomenon to see if they are in fact from God.i. John will mention this further here in his introduction, and he will mention it repeatedly, in various ways, later in his Gospel. Throughout his Gospel John presents Jesus Christ as the one in whom spiritual, eternal life is to be found. That verse encompasses the very dawn of creation and it is impossible for us to tell how far back it is. Message transcript and recording © 1966 by Ray Stedman Ministries, owner of sole copyright by assignment from the author. That is the beginning of the material creation, of matter. To the mind steeped in the Old Testament John’s statement here is just as confrontational and disturbing as his previous statements affirming the eternal existence of the Word. True, these are gifts of God, but they are put at my disposal to do with as I please. How do you find your way through life successfully? But it is not only partnership, there is also friendship. I want to close on that note for that is where John closes his introduction, but I want to use a different term than joy. Make us to understand what these words are describing. Oh yes, with many pressures! It means having things in common. That is the farthest point backward that we can go. This makes them one and that is the basis for the appeal of Scripture to live together in tenderness and love toward one another. We looked at him, we heard him, we touched him, he actually appeared in history. Then, when you have fellowship, you have the third thing that John mentions. B. Believe in me.’. It is difficult to locate this beginning, is it not? Science suggest it was millions of years ago, and Scripture is quite ready to accommodate that. There is not only the horizontal relationship but that, in turn, depends upon a vertical one. The Old Testament teaches clearly that God is the creator of all things, yet here is John stating boldly, and in such a way that he cannot be misunderstood, that the Word, whom he will soon identify as Jesus Christ, gave existence to everything single thing that exists. This is one of the hardest things to learn because it is a wholly different way of life than the way we were brought up. How do you do this?" 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. Is that not marvelous? Website © 2021 by Ray Stedman Ministries. When you are confident in yourself all that you accomplish is what you can see. The revelation of Jesus Christ is spiritually manifested. That work of fishing for men is characteristic of the Apostle Peter. It is what we might call the contemporary beginning, or, to use a very popular phrase these days that few really understand, the existential beginning. 767f. 3. So John writes, "I write this that your joy may be full," answering the fear and problem of loneliness. In other words he is writing to protect us, in order that we might be free from deception. 3 e All things were made through him , and without him was not any thing made that was made . ‘In the beginning …’ immediately brings to the reader’s mind the ‘in the beginning’ of Genesis 1:1, where God is assumed to exist in unique, independent, absolute, unconditional, eternal self-existence. That is the basis of fellowship for essentially this word means "to have all things in common." They all have a very important task, but God commits something original to each of these men to be passed along to us. This means that he makes available to me that which I desperately lack, wisdom and power, the ability to do. This is the point to which all objections to Christianity are ultimately directed, an attempt to destroy this basis of fact. This verse contains the truth behind the story of the angels and shepherds and the Wise Men and the journey to Bethlehem that first Christmas morning. John 10:10: “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:28: “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish.” So I think it is clear that when John says in John 1:4, “In him was life,” he means spiritual life, eternal life, life that saves from judgment. It was Peter's task to talk about the kingdom of God, Paul about the church of God, but John is concerned with the family of God. 1That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. Because we share life together. John The Word Became Flesh 1 a In the beginning was b the Word , and c the Word was with God , and d the Word was God . 4 fIn him was life,1 and gthe life was the light of men. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father." If you have nothing in common, you have no fellowship. Here we find the ultimate answer to the question ‘Where does life come from?’ – it comes from Jesus Christ, the Word. The Word was, and is, nothing less than God. All rights reserved. There are things I know I want to do, things I would like to do because it is his will, what he wants. You tell them intimate things, secrets. This is the great secret of fellowship. IN JOHN'S GOSPEL. That is the unbeginning beginning, the beginning that is eternal. 2 He was in the beginning with God. Because this is what results when we really experience the fellowship that John is talking about. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. Our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. The Son, the Logos, is distinct from the Father. Jesus Christ is God saying ‘Here I am. 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