Home Media Sermons by Pastor Nicki Coertze Series 3. The Glory of the Logos . The Logos in relation to time

. The Logos in relation to time

THE LOGOS IN RELATION TO TIME

Introduction

Last week we looked at the meaning of the word Logos and took note that John uses the word Logos to refer to Christ. In this sermon I want to look at the Logos in relation to time, otherwise put, the eternality of the Logos.

Now in our human relationships we are often concerned about having the last word especially in arguments; like the two men who were arguing and when one of the bystanders asked the larger of the two why he does not just stop the argument by beating up the smaller guy he answered: “you don’t understand our culture, he who runs out of words first is stupid”.

Well I present to you today Christ who is the first and the last word in all things and His words will never run out. John says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1, ESV) Now remember John’s unique purpose. He wants us to see the divinity of Jesus. He wants us to see that Jesus is God in flesh; he wants us to believe in Him and have life in Him. Unlike Matthew and unlike Luke, John does not give us a genealogy. He does not begin with the birth of Jesus or the life of Jesus on this earth as the others do. Mark also uses the words “in the beginning”, but he refers to the beginning of the ministry of Christ, but John takes us to the beginning of all things.

John says if you really want to know who Jesus is you have to go back further than His earthly ministry, you must go back further than His incarnation, and you must go back further than the prophecies about Him. You have to go back to the beginning and he talks about the beginning as it is spoken about in Genesis 1:1 (ESV) “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” What John is saying is that before there was anything made that has been made, before the universe was created the Word was. Before the universe was, Jesus was in existence.

We cannot agree with the one philosopher by the name of Arius who is quoted by Socrates as saying: “there was once a time when He was not,” implying that somebody must have made God. When you approach God’s existence with a three dimensional world-view without faith, you will land there, but when you understand that God’s existence is not based on our understanding of it or not, your view changes. We know from the Scriptures that He has always existed. The Scriptures use pre-existence to speak of the eternality of God. Nothing caused God. Don’t try and get your head around that, because you never will. I have read with great interest philosophers arguing and arguing, because they believe that in man’s wisdom we somehow must be able to explain God, but I believe that God’s words to Job settles this matter, when God said to Job “were you there when I made?” Okay you were not there, then don’t try and figure out that which you were not part of.

Let’s turn now to the Logos and His relationship to time and we will look at it from three angles, firstly as declared in the Old Testament, then as declared in the New Testament, then lastly as declared by the apostles.

1. The Logos in relation to time as declared in the Old Testament.

Look at Psalm 90:2 (ESV) 2Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”

Look at Micah 5:2 where he tells us that the Messiah existed prior to creation: “2But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.” Someone is coming from you Bethlehem, who is not new on the scene; no He existed before He ever came. Now remember, Bethlehem is where Christ was born, but before He was born He existed, before Bethlehem existed, He existed, before the earth on which Bethlehem was established existed, He existed.

Look at Isaiah 9:6 (ESV) 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Look at Zechariah 2:10-11, and by the way you might want to underline this if you ever deal with a Jehovah’s Witness: “10 Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the Lord. 11 And many nations shall join themselves to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people. And I will dwell in your midst, and you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you.”

Jehovah’s Witnesses alongside other heretics say that Jesus is not God but a god created by God, but Zechariah is saying to you that Jehovah will send Jehovah, Yahweh sends Yahweh, God sends God. Now there were heretics in John’s day as well and we need to flee from them. Ireneus records a story told by Polycarp of John who encountered such a heretic by the name of Cerinthus. He claimed that Jesus was the biological son of Joseph and Mary and therefore could not be God. According to Ireneus John went to bath at the bath-house in Ephesus and came storming out without bathing shouting: “Let us flee, lest even the bath-house fall down because Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is within”.  Who says that He is coming in Zechariah? It is God who says “I am coming”. And twice He says “I will dwell in your midst”. Now just before your Jehovah’s witness friend wants to make that symbolic, the literal Hebrew meaning for that is: shakan {shaw-kan'} meaning: to settle down, abide, dwell, tabernacle, reside, all of them implying physical abode. But who does the Lord say sent Him? Verse 11 says the Lord of hosts.

Not just the Old Testament taught it, but Jesus Himself declared it.

2. The Logos in relation to time as declared by Christ.

Look at John 8:56-59 (ESV) 56Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.”

By the way, Jesus was even older than His own mother; well here you have it that He was even older than Abraham. By the way, He even made His mother. Look at what Jesus says. He does not say that before Abraham was I was, but “I am”. ( eimi {i-mee'} Meaning: 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present; first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb;) Jesus not only claims eternality here, He claims divinity. The Jews understood it, otherwise why did they want to stone Him?

He did not just pre-exist but He is eternal. Look at the amazing high-priestly prayer in John 17:4-5 (ESV) 4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

Look at John 17:24 (ESV) 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”

Praise the Lord that this prayer is answered and one day all of us who belong to the Lord Jesus will be with Him where He is and will see the glory He had with the Father before the world was ever made and we will see the one whom the Father loved before the world was ever made.

Look at Revelation 22:12-13 (ESV) 12 “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” What comes before Alpha in the Greek alphabet, what comes before first, what comes before beginning? What is after Omega, last and end? These are remarkable claims.

Nobody ever preceded the Lord Jesus and nobody will outlive Him as He is eternal. A Jehovah’s Witness one day said to me that this is God Jehovah speaking about himself, but he simply failed to read verse 16 and 20. Look at Revelation 22:16 (ESV)16I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

What an explanation for David, basically saying I am the reason for David but also the descendant of David. As God I was before David was, as Christ I became man in the lineage of David. Man these verses excite me. Look at verse 20: 20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”

There is no mistake. Revelation 22 is about Christ. So it is not just unique to John. It is revealed throughout Scripture, claimed by Christ and you and I today have this full revelation.

3. The Logos in relation to time as declared by the Apostles.

The Apostles also declared this truth. Look at Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:1-4 (ESV) “For I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.”

So even in regard to Moses and the forefathers Jesus was in existence as God eternal. Jesus was born after the life of Moses; therefore He could only have existed as God.

Look at 2 Corinthians 8:9 (ESV) 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” Christ was never rich as a son of Joseph. What is Paul referring to here, well, very much the same words as he uses in Philippians 2:5-8 (ESV) 5Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

He did not lay aside His deity but only the visible expression of His glory. Look at Colossians 1:16-17 (ESV) 16For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

He is not just the creator of all things, but He is the sustainer of all the things, the One for whom all things are created. How can you refer to anyone but God in that way?

Closing summary:

In the beginning was the word, the one who exegetes the Father who explains God to us, the visible expression of the invisible God who existed before all that was made and He was there because He is none other than the second person of the triune God who is God.

This is an astounding claim isn’t it? If John’s claim is true, if the claims of the Old Testament prophets are true, if the claims of Christ are true, if the claims of the apostles are true then Jesus of Nazareth who was born in Bethlehem 2000 years ago actually existed prior to His coming to earth, indeed He always existed. When there was nothing but God, Christ was. He is the everlasting God.

If it is true, you must bow before Him and acknowledge Him as Lord. If it is not true He was a deceiver, a false prophet and lunatic and needs to be treated with contempt. You cannot make Him a good man, a prophet or a teacher, either He is God to be worshipped as God and submitted to as God or He is to be rejected and John writes this book to let you know that Jesus is the Christ. He is the Son of God and that by believing in His name you may have life.

If it is true, then we must realise we are small and He is big. I will say much more about this as time goes on, I have spoken about this in our series “who are you to judge”. We must be so careful that we do not see ourselves as big and God as small. I am astounded how more and more I do not see the attitude that we just read about a few moments ago in Philippians 2 where the eternal Logos made himself nothing and humbled Himself and took on the form of man. Just this last week again I saw a situation where Christians cannot forgive any offence committed against them. An attitude that prevails more and more in Christianity is that you are welcome to offend God or sin against God; you are welcome to offend or sin against your fellow man, just do not offend or sin against me. In such a case I am not a peacemaker, I am not poor in spirit, I am not humble, because though I am in the form of man, and I have emptied myself of manhood and taken on the form of God. No, I am actually bigger than God, because God forgives, I don’t. That throne room called pride is maybe the biggest obstacle in the path to Christian freedom.

Oh how I pray that we will all become more and more like the eternal Logos and leave our personal throne rooms, and empty ourselves, because we are not eternal.

Church family, I shared the story with you before of the ‘two deaf and mute’ people who were in counselling with the pastor when through a signer the man declared that the biggest problem in their marriage is that she always has the last word. The pastor enquired why he did not have the last words upon which the man responded: “she always waits till night time to argue, says her final say and then turns out the light” so that he cannot sign back at her.

I present to you today the living ‘Word’ which was from the beginning and will ever be and nobody will turn out the light on Him because He is the light of all men, that came into the world. John 1:9 (ESV) 9The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.” And He came, because the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and today you and I have seen the light of the Glory of Christ in His relation to time to the praise of God our Father.

 

Amen!

3 June 2012