Tag Archives: New Testament

God’s Word

Studies in Genesis 1

And God said. (Genesis 1:3ESV)

Every word between “In the beginning” (Genesis 1:1 ESV) and “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen” (Revelation 22:20-21 ESV) is the Word of God spoken to those created in His image. God has revealed Himself and what we need to know. Revelation is God telling us information we could not otherwise know, especially about Himself. We call the Holy Scripture, comprising the Hebrew Scripture and the New Testament, God’s Word and revelation to us.

General revelation is God showing Himself through creation to everyone created. Creation is the evidence of the reality and truth of God and the determined efforts of His work. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge” (Psalms 19:1-2 ESV).  Paul is more explicit.

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. (Romans 1:19-20 ESV)

Special revelation is God telling those who are His all they need to know to fulfill His eternal purpose for them. Jesus is the incarnate Word of God. His inherent characteristics (homoima) and outward appearance (schema) is of a man and His form (morphe) is of God (see Philippians 2:6).  He is fully God and fully man and when He spoke His words revealed that which none could otherwise know.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:1-3 ESV)

God has not stopped speaking.

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The Hebrew Scripture

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. [Matthew 5:17 ESV]

Why do we think and believe Christ has done away with the Law, making it of no consequence?  God reveals Himself in Scripture. This includes the Hebrew Scripture we call the Old Testament.

When God spoke creation began. He is the only driving force of all creation. John tells us Jesus is the Word and that all was created by Him. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made” [John 1:1-3 ESV]. This is a clear statement that Jesus is divine. He is God.

He created Man in His image so all people might have an intimate relationship with Him. When Adam and Eve sinned, rebelling against their Creator, God spoke to them about the consequences. Yet, God determined to provide a Redeemer to crush the head of sin and bring those separated back. Jesus fulfilled this promise through His birth, death, resurrection and ascension.

After the fall God did not simply leave Man to his own devices but revealed what would ultimately happen, beginning with Adam and Eve who were separated from God, then their home. Cain murdered Abel separating him from life while Cain was separated from his family. God began separating people from people. Ultimately, God shows some are separated from Him while others are not.

God also separated people from people to show the human lineage of Jesus, who had the appearance of man but the morphe of a servant and the morphe of God. “Though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” [Philippians 2:6-7 ESV]. This Jesus, born of a woman, is the same as He who created all, the eternal Word.

Beginning with Moses God gave written revelation of Himself and His expectations. Jesus inspired the authors of the Scripture to write, in their own style and with their own words, exactly what He wanted said. In their words He revealed Himself, that which we could not know any other way.

God gave Moses the ten statements, we call them commandments, before He gave the rest of the Law and before the Histories and Prophets were written. In the Histories, part of the Hebrew Scripture, we see the continual rebellion of the “chosen people” of God while the Prophets continually speak the truth about their rebellion, and the rebellion of the world, demanding all acknowledge sin and obey God. God created man for intimacy and commands man to obedience. God’s words do not give anyone a disciplined means of accomplishing His will but show the complete inability of all to do so in their own strength of will. If no one can do God’s will on their own then someone has to do God’s will for us. This doesn’t keep us from trying to do God’s will in our own strength. Israel’s Jewish leaders codified the Law, breaking it into various parts, and then interpreted the Law through thousands of rules and regulations. Jesus did not come to fulfill the traditions of men but the eternal will of God.

Jesus does not do away with any of the inspired words of God. He is the inspiration for them. What He does, by living as a man with the morphe of a servant, is to fulfill those inspired words. He uses a word which means to fill, as in to level up something which is hollow, to satisfy or execute perfectly, to accomplish. His words imply God revealed to His creation the reality of their need for Him because of their sin. Sin breaks and bends and makes unusable. It destroys any and all ability of the person to live up to the purpose for which they were made. Christ, in living as a man, perfectly lived the purpose for which man was created. He could do nothing less.

Yet, the law does more than simply set the standard against which all are measured. It does more than point out the negative, the inability, the need for. It reveals, in a manner, the character and personality of God. We would not know God had He not shown Himself in the written and living Word. We could have examined the circumstantial evidence and seen the possibility of certain characteristics of God but would have, as is the motivation of sin, corrupted and abused those characteristics making them say that which is not true.

One of the essential characteristics of God is truth. One of the driving forces of those who want to know God intimately is the desire to know truth. Are we driven to know truth? Are we drive to know Christ? They are the same.