Son of God: Eternal, One Essence with the Father, Creator, Incarnate, Redeemer, Sustainer, Ruler

Merry Christmas: The ONE Chapters

[Notice that these four chapters go together, and each is the first chapter in a pertinent book of the Bible regarding the Incarnation. YOU’LL NEED TO MEDITATE ON THIS TABLE to benefit. But notice that the colors of each column go together, and that the whole table is about the Son of God: Green = the Son as creator; orange = deity of the Son; purple = the Son upholding all things by His providential omnipotence; red = redemption. How could four different human authors arrive at the same truth independent of one another 1,500 years apart  unless there was One Source (2 Peter 1:19-21).]

GENESIS ONE

JOHN ONE

COLOSSIANS ONE

HEBREWS ONE

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters (Gen 1:1-2)

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(We have God―no doubt the Father-who created all things. “Heaven and earth” are opposites to indicate all things (merism). Then we have the Holy Spirit who is forming the mass of material that was created. Finally, when we read many times that God spoke things into existence, that was by His Word. Thus, we have Trinitarian creation.)

1 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. (John 1:1-4)

And the Word became flesh and Tabernacled among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

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(The phrase “in the beginning” in Gen. 1 means when all was created, whereas the same expression in John means in eternity. Yet John makes a connection with Gen. 1:1, proclaiming the Word as creator. Creation comes in v. 3. The four times “was” is used indicates eternal existence. The contrast is with the verb “became,” which indicates something new; namely, He added a human nature to His divine person. In other words, He always “was” the Word, always “was” with God, and always “was” God. Being “with God” indicates a distinction between the Word and God the Father. Being God indicates that He was (is) one in essence with the Father. The word “tabernacle” indicates that Jesus was the Old Testament tabernacle incarnate. Indeed, when John says “we beheld His glory,” he is speaking of the Shekinah glory in the tabernacle. Finally, “in Him was life” indicates that the Word had (has) inherent life; all creation has derived life.)

Verse 18, the verb “declared” from Greek means He has “exegeted” Him. The one who has seen Jesus has seen the Father (John 14:9).

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. (Col 1:15-17)

. . . and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross (Col. 1:20)______________

(The word “firstborn” does not mean the one born first, but the one who is preeminent, who has the birthright, as with David who was called firstborn but was the eight of Jesse’s sons. “Heaven” and “earth” are repeated to make the connection with Genesis 1. We can see from the several merisms (opposite to mean totality) that the Son created all things without exception: in heaven, on earth; visible, invisible. Moreover, notice that the Son is the source of creation [“all things were created through Him”], the goal of creation [“for Him”], and He sustains creation [“in Him all things consist,” which means He providentially sustains all creation. See next column under Hebrews.]).

1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us [in] Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His [essence], and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. (Heb 1:1-4)

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(The Son of God is the final revelation “in these last days,” which days are the last days of the old covenant, but now the new covenant has come (see Heb. 9:26). He is “the brightness of His glory” means a distinction between Father and Son. But when he writes “the express image of His essence” [not “person” as the NKJ says, definitely wrong], he means there is oneness of Father and Son in essence. In the midst of upholding all things, using His divine attributes, He “purged our sins,” then took His throne “at the right hand of the majesty on high.” The “sat down” means His work was done, in contrast to the Old Testament high priests who were never allowed to sit, for their sacrifices never ended. There were no places to sit in the tabernacle or temple.)

 

The Gift

(© Very Rev. Dr. Curtis I. Crenshaw, Th.D.)

There was a mother who prayed often for a son, but she had never had children. Once she was with her husband at the annual meeting of all the people of God, and when she prayed with her mouth but not with words, the local minister thought she was drunk. But she told him that she was praying for a son, and that if the Lord gave her one, she would give him back to God to be in His service forever. The minister told her she would have one. She dreamed of a beautiful boy, and the Lord God gave her one. (click here)

From a small boy he was reared to honor God, and his mother taught him the Holy Scriptures. She said to him what the Lord had revealed to her about the covenant LORD, “Those who honor Me I will honor” (1 Samuel 2:30). She taught him about the glory of God in creation, how awesome He is to have created such beauty, reflecting His own glory, and so vast. (click here)

The heavens are telling of the glory of God;

and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. (Psalm 19:1).

She also taught him about His glory and grace revealed in the Bible, how the God of creation loved mankind when he fell into sin, and this creator God was also the redeemer God:

7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul

The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;

8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;

The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;

9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;

The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

10 More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold;

Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. (Psalm 19:7-10)

This mother from long ago gave her son back to the Lord when he was a small boy, and “he ministered before the LORD” (1 Samuel 2:18), “And the child Samuel grew in stature, and in favor both with the LORD and men” (1 Samuel 2:26). Centuries later there was another Mother who had a Son in a miraculous way, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52).

This redeemer God revealed His ultimate gift, a baby boy, His own Son:

But God demonstrates His own love toward us,

in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

This Son was predestined to die for our sins (click here) and to be raised bodily from the dead so that we might have His resurrection life. (click here)

In my Christology course, I’ve been making connections with the Person of Christ in Colossians 1:15ff  with the sacraments, where He is the creator of all that is, and thus is “firstborn” over all creation, but also a few verses later He is “firstborn” over the Church. He is the firstborn over creation by nature and the firstborn over His Church by Incarnation. Thus our participation with God is real, not just external, or nominal.  We participate with the One Christ not only through His humanity but also through His divinity where Christ is the “location” for the union of creator and creation, which in turn leads to His “real” presence in the Holy Communion. (Whatever “real” means.) As one man has well stated: “If there is no sacramental participation of creation in God’s being, created objects have no inherent relationship to each other or to God.” But we are “in Christ,” as Paul loves to say, and that means we are also one in His Church.

Let us give thank to the Father for giving us His Son, and to the Son for coming in love, and for the Holy Spirit who applies the merits of Christ. AMEN. Ω