Sunday, February 17, 2008

John 1:1 Bible Study Audio Sermon included!

John 1:1 Bible Study
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1

UPDATED, AUDIO SERMON IS NOW ONLINE, CLICK ON LINK OR EMAIL ME FOR A COPY OF SERMON.

God and the Word are together and the same and have existed from the beginning of everything.

John 1:1 - In the beginning of everything, there was the word.

This word, logos in the greek, was a force or knowledge that was intertwined with either nature or God, depending on whom you read about. So, we start in the evident with the fact that there is this logos. Then this logos was with God. This establishes where the logos was in the beginning. Then the logos is God. So it was in the beginning with God and it is God. In the greek theos is before logos, and that gives emphasis to God. Logos is the subject of the sentence and with this construction it takes on the character of theos or God. Also the greek definition of logos is not only a word, but more the intentions of thoughts, and or reasoning. So here something that greeks know is related to and then is shown to be with God, and not only to be with Him, but to be Him. That thing you cannot describe, but know exists, that is God. Let me tell you about Him.

What does the Bible define as "the Word"? Notice the capitalized "Word".

In John 1:14 we see the following:

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

Revelation 19:13 states:

"And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called the Word of God." (referring to Christ on the white horse)

I John 5:7 states:

"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."

While we can also say the Bible talks about the Word of God being the spoken and revealed Word of God (the Bible) in the context of the verses aforementioned, we can conclude that "the Word" is Jesus Christ. And every verse spoke directly about Christ. Jesus was there during Creation (thus proving that He existed before time), He has had an eternal, intimate relationship with the Father, and then He became God in the flesh.

Here are some notes from John MacArthur:

"the Word. John borrowed the use of the term 'Word' not only from the vocabulary of the OT, but also from Gr. philosophy, in which the term was essentially impersonal, signifying the rational principle of 'divine reason', 'mind,' or even 'wisdom.' John, however, imbued the term entirely with OT and Christian meaning (e.g., Gen. 1:3 where God's Word brought the world into being; Pss. 33:6; 107:20; Prov. 8:27 where God's Word is His powerful self-expression in creation, wisdom, revelation, and salvation) and made it refer to a person, i.e., Jesus Christ. Greek philosophical usage, therefore, is not the exclusive background of John's thought. Strategically, the term "Word" serves as a bridge-word to reach not only the Jews but also the unsaved Greeks. John chose this concept because both Jews and Greeks were familiar with it."

[WORD]

wurd: The commonest term in the Old Testament for "word" is dabhar (also "matter" "thing"); in the New Testament logos ("reason," "discourse," "speech"); but also frequently rhema. Rhema is a "word" in itself considered; logos is a spoken word, with reference generally to that which is in the speaker's mind. Some of the chief applications of the terms may thus be exhibited: (1) We have the word of Yahweh (or God; see below) (a) as the revelation to the patriarch, prophet, or inspired person (Ge 15:1; Ex 20:1; Nu 22:38, etc.); (b) as spoken forth by the prophet (Ex 4:30; 34:1; 2Ki 7:1; Isa 1:10, etc.). (2) The word is often a commandment, sometimes equivalent to "the Law" (Ex 32:28; Nu 20:24; De 6:6; Ps 105:8; 119:11,17; Isa 66:2, etc.). (3) As a promise and ground of hope (Ps 119:25,28,38, etc.; 130:5, etc.). (4) As creative, upholding, and preserving (Ps 33:6; compare Ge 1:3; Ps 147:15,18; Heb 1:3; 11:3; 2Pe 3:5,7). (5) As personified (in Apocrypha, The Wisdom of Solomon 18:15; Ecclesiasticus 1:5, the Revised Version margin "omitted by the best authorities"). (6) As personal (Joh 1:1). Logos in Philo and Greek-Jewish philosophy meant both reason or thought and its utterance, "the whole contents of the divine world of thought resting in the Nous of God, synonymous with the inner life of God Himself and corresponding to the logos endiathetos of the human soul; on the other hand, it is the externalizing of this as revelation corresponding to the logos prophorikos in which man's thought finds expression (Schultz). Compare also the references to Creation by "the word of God" and its personifications; see LOGOS; incarnated in Jesus Christ (Joh 1:14; 1 Joh 1:1,2; Re 19:13, "His name is called, The Word of God," Ho Logos tou Theou). See PERSON OF CHRIST. (7) Cannot be broken, endureth forever (2Ki 10:10; Ps 119:89; Isa 40:8, etc.). (8) A designation of the gospel of Christ: sometimes simply "the word"; with Jesus "the word of the Kingdom" (Mt 13:19; Mr 2:2; Ac 4:4,29,31, etc.). In John's Gospel Jesus frequently speaks of His "word" and "works" as containing the divine revelation and requirements made through Him, which men are asked to believe in, cherish and obey (Joh 5:24; 6:63,68, etc.); "the words of God" (Joh 3:34; 8:47; 14:10; 17:8,14, etc.); His "word" (logos and rhema) is to be distinguished from lalia, speech (compare Mt 26:73; Mr 14:70), translated "saying," Joh 4:42 (4:41, "Many more believed because of his own word" (logos); 4:42, "not because of thy saying" (lalia), the Revised Version (British and American) "speaking"); in the only other occurrence of lalia in this Gospel (Joh 8:43) Jesus uses it to distinguish the outward expression from the inner meaning, "Why do ye not understand my speech?" (lalia), "Even because ye cannot hear my word" (logos). (9) "Words" are distinguished from "power" (1Co 4:20; 1Th 1:5); are contrasted with "deed" (Mal 2:17; 1Co 4:20; 1 Joh 3:18). (10) Paul refers to "unspeakable words" (arrheta rhemata) which he heard in Paradise (2Co 12:4), and to "words (logoi) .... which the Spirit teacheth" (1Co 2:13). For "word" the Revised Version (British and American) has "commandment" (Nu 4:45, etc.); for "words," "things" (Joh 7:9; 8:30; 9:22,40; 17:1), "sayings" (Joh 10:21; 12:47,48); for "enticing words," "persuasiveness of speech" (Col 2:4); conversely, "word" for "commandment" (Nu 24:13; 27:14; Jos 8:8, etc.), with numerous other changes. W. L. Walker

Lesson --

Contemporary Christianity has lost the meaning of worship. You don't have to listen very long to hear worship described as singing, for example, and while singing can be a part of worship, there is nothing intrinsically worshipful in singing, for a person can sing lyrics which are full of error.

The Apostle John, in the first verse of his gospel, returns us to the heart of worship, for worship involves the realization of who God is. Contemporary Christianity does not accomplish this, because it has surrendered theology, and theology will be at the center of true worship. We see this in the Gospels.

Matt 9:18 "While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshiped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live."

Matt 15:25 "Then came she and worshiped him, saying, Lord, help me."

Matt 18:26 "The servant therefore fell down, and worshiped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all."

Matt 28:17 "And when they saw him, they worshiped him: but some doubted."

Jesus was approached by those who worshiped Him -- were they singing? No! The gospels tells us that they recited Truths about Christ -- who He is and what He has done.

So true worship involves theology -- more precisely, it involves truthful theology, for false theology is, by definition, idolatry.

So John starts his Gospel with worship -- a recounting of who Christ is, in truth, as God has revealed Himself to be. So we begin with John's description of Christ as the Word. He begins by saying the Word was -- the verb points to His eternal preexistence, for in the Beginning (a parallel of Genesis 1:1). He already was . Before time and space were created by Him, He already exists. In fact, He spoke them into existence.

This in itself runs contrary to modern thinking. People will use scientific Law in an effort to deny this. For example, the Second Law of Thermodynamics states that everything wears down. It's called entropy. And it basically means that nothing lasts -- things go down hill and wear out. This means that matter cannot be eternal, but must have had a point of creation. For the Christian, this is no problem at all, for we realize that matter is not eternal, but was created. It was created by God, who is the maker of all things, who Himself is eternal, spirit (John 4). And God who is spirit, seeks those who will worship Him in spirit and truth.

So, God is the eternal God who made all things out of nothing. Who is this God? John says he is "the Word." A "word" is the expression of something. In this case, the Word is God (was = eternal state), and was "with" God. The phrase "with God" is "pros theos" and has been translated as "face to face with God," which implies equality with God as was expressed by John when He says, "the Word was God."

We see references to "the Word" throughout Scripture. For example, take a look at Isaiah 55:11, "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it." The whole chapter revolves around a call to know God. We know Him by His Word, in fact, it is His Word that calls people. Isaiah 55 begins with a call in verse one. In verse two, there is a call to listen carefully. In verse eleven, we are told His Word will accomplish everything God desires. So, God's Word is powerful and effectual, able to accomplish it's purpose.

Psalm 119:105 tells us His Word is an instructive Word. You recall verse 105 says, "Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." So, the Word is an instructive Word. In all these things, the Word is effectual and instructive -- or perhaps it is better to say "instructive and effectual," for one must hear the Word before they can respond to its effectual calling. Romans 10:14-15 says, "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" The Word must be heard, which means it must be expressed.

And so, we return to John 1, and we see that God and the Word are inseparable.

But do we worship the Scriptures? No, while we cannot separate God from His Word, we worship Christ, not the Scriptures. The Pharisees did that -- Jesus rebuked them and told them "you search the Scriptures, thinking that in them you have life, but they are that which speak of me..." John 5:39

It is Christ whom we worship as the Word (the expression) of God. For as you can see in verse 14, "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us."

Philippians 2:6-8 says, "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."

So, like the Scriptures, Christ, the Word Incarnate, is instructive and effectual. Just like Isaiah 55, there the written Word calls us, so Christ calls men to himself, and His Word is effectual, for all who He calls will come to Him, and He will raise them up on the last day.

So, we don't gather in church to sing praise choruses about how we are there to worship -- that is self worship. We are there to proclaim the truth about Christ -- his nature, character and attributes.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1

UPDATE!

The quote of 1John 5:7. If you look to most, if not all commentaries, such as Barnes, Gill and Calvin, you will see that the Greek ends at the bear record or witness or testify part. The rest is just not there. Yes, this is in the KJV. It is not warranted, nor needed to defend the doctrine of the Trinity. Nor is it needed to defend that the Word in John is indeed the Lord Jesus Christ, all that is needed for that is context. (thank you for pointing this out Joseph, I will expand on it a little bit more here)

1 John 5:7-8
"in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit...
three that bear witness on earth."
These words are a direct reference to the Trinity and what they say is accurate. External manuscript
evidence, however, is against them being in the original epistle. They do not appear in any Greek
manuscripts dated before circa tenth century A.D. Only eight very late Greek manuscripts contain
the reading, and these contain the passage in what appears to be a translation from a late recension of the
Latin Vulgate. Furthermore, four of the eight manuscripts contain the passage as a variant reading written
in the margin as a later addition to the manuscript. No Greek or Latin Father, even those involved in
Trinitarian controversies, quotes them; no ancient version except the Latin records them (not the old Latin
in its early form or the Vulgate). Internal evidence also militates against their presence, since they
disrupt the sense of the writer's thoughts. Most likely, the words were added much later to the text. There
is no verse in Scripture which so explicitly states the obvious reality of the Trinity, although many
passages imply it strongly, such as 2 Corinthians 13:14 which says, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.)

(next week we will be on John 1:2. Please email me your study by Friday, Feb 22 if you would like your comments included in the study. thanks to all the contributors who helped out!)


7 comments:

Brian said...

Nice blog mind if I link your blogs to mine?

pastorbrianculver said...

thanks! sure, go ahead! I will add yours to mine too.

Brian said...

I hope you do not mind but I already linked your blogs to mine if you want me to remove them just let me know. I just want to have a bunch of material for people to look at.

In Jesus
Brian

Brian said...

So do I just email you if I want to join?

pastorbrianculver said...

Yes, just send me an email and I will include you!

Jfranklin6 said...

Have one problem. The quote of 1John 5:7. If you look to most, if not all commentaries, such as Barnes, Gill and Calvin, you will see that the Greek ends at the bear record or witness or testify part. The rest is just not there. Yes, this is in the KJV. It is not warranted, nor needed to defend the doctrine of the Trinity. Nor is it needed to defend that the Word in John is indeed the Lord Jesus Christ, all that is needed for that is context.

pastorbrianculver said...

Hi Joseph,
thank you for your input here, I appreciate it. If I ever put something on here that is not right, or complete, please call me on it. We are here to be edified and lifted up! We do that by getting into God's Word! Thanks to all who have been sending in your study notes!!

Open The Bible

The best place to start when doing a Bible Study is to open the Bible. This site will promote the Bible and take teaching from the Bible, cross-referencing Scripture to ensure accuracy, commentaries and study notes. We will share God's Word without inference to feelings. We will be taking it one verse at a time. It might seem drawn out to some, but after you see how much information can be found in each verse, you will appreciate the study. Never again, will you be content to do a bible study on a whole book like Romans in one sitting again!

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