Thursday, January 19, 2017

John’s good news begins with,

the-wordIn the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1 (KJV).

As one reads the chapter, he sees that Jesus is the Word that became flesh and dwelt among mankind in the first century.  Jesus was immersed by his cousin John and as he was coming out of the water, Matthew writes, “the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleasedMatthew 3:13-17.

In John’s gospel, Jesus tells the apostles, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. . . . But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”  John 16:7, 13.

Jesus is the Word.  Yet God speaks words from heaven at Jesus ’ baptism.  Jesus  the Word informs the apostles that the Holy Spirit will “speak” and “tell” them words.  But, He will speak only what He hears.

Are there three Words: (1) Jesus, (2) the Father, and (3) the Holy Spirit?  There is but one God.  There is but one Lord.  There is but one Spirit.  Yet, the Bible speaks of the Holy Spirit, that God is Spirit, and also about the Spirit of Christ (Ephesians 4;4-6; John 4:23-24; Romans 8:9).  Are there three Spirits?  If there are three Lords and three Spirits, then there must be three gods!?  We say that Jesus is not the Father, the Father is not the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is not Jesus.   Yet, the Father is the 1 God.  The Son is the 1 God.  The Holy Spirit is the 1 God.  Mathematically that would be 1 + 1 + 1 = 3!  Or, would it be 1 x 1 x 1 = 1?

Some solve this riddle by believing Jesus is the Father and the Holy Spirit.  In their thinking he is the only person of the Godhead.  1 person = 1 God!  Yet, God speaks from heaven about His beloved Son in Matthew 3:17.  Did Jesus throw his voice so bystanders would think it came from heaven rather than originating from himself?  Was the descending like dove also Jesus lighting on himself?  When Jesus said he did not come to do his will but the will of his Father, who sent him?  Did he send himself?  Was Mary actually the mother of God in the flesh?  Debate charts to explain this have been incomplete because they are finite.

How do you describe an infinite God in finite terms?  Although Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit, he looked up and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing on the right hand of God (Acts 7:55).  God the Spirit filled Stephen.  Yet, Stephen saw God’s glory in heaven.  Jesus was to the right of God.  Yet Stephen addresses Jesus, who is to the right, rather than God who is on the left of Jesus!  One God in three different locations at the same time?

When Sapphira and husband lied about their giving, Peter informed them that they were lying to God the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:1-11).  Peter refers to “the Holy Spirit” in v.3, saying He is “God” in v.4, and refers to him as “the Spirit of the Lord” in v.9.  Jesus refers to the Father as “God is Spirit” in John 4:23-24 while speaking to the Samaritan woman.  Is Father Spirit the Holy Spirit, or is He “Spirit” but not “Holy”?  Is God one but with multiple personalities?  What would we call someone who had multiple personalities?

When Philip asked Jesus to show them the Father in John 14:8, Jesus told him, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (v.9).  Was Jesus saying God looks like a human being, or was he talking about the attributes of God?  John tells us “God is love” (1 John 4:8).  One may see love expressed, but how do you visualize love with skin?   Isn’t Jesus love with skin?  Is God a gigantic man in heaven with skin who looks like Jesus?  It’s even more difficult when you attempt to visualize love without skin!  Human words are not capable of painting a complete picture of God.  If it was possible, we would worship the picture rather than God Himself.  You can see a picture.  No man has seen God.  To see Him would be to reduce Him to the limits of our vision.  History is filled with those who have carved their imaginations into stone, wood, or metal.

Every created image that man has worshiped has not and is not Yahweh.  Paul nailed it when he told the Athenians he was going to declare unto them “the unknown God” which they ignorantly worshiped (Acts 17:22-29).  Our God is greater than our imagination.  He is beyond our comprehension.   He is outside our insight.  Our dreams aren’t large enough to contain Him.  He is absent from our creative powers.   He is greater than our explanations. His revelation of Himself can only travel to the limits of our understanding.   He is God.  He is One.  We are His creation and He loves and wants to have fellowship with us (John 3:16)!  Rather than size God up, why not allow Him to make us into new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17)?

John tells us, “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”  1 John 3:2

What a wonderful and marvelous experience that will be!