November 19, 2012
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
The Indispensable Christ
“All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made.”
One of John’s many sub-themes in His record is the fact that Christ is indispensable. To a generation which has been reared in a society where everything from dishes and plastic silverware to relationships are dispensable, we have trouble conceiving of anything as being totally impossible to live without. Yet John will begin his Gospel with a startling fact staring us in the face and from which we cannot escape: here is a Man Who is indispensable to true life.
In chapter 1 He is seen as indispensable to Creation – there was nothing made that was not made by Him. Most all are agreed that the creation of Genesis 1, whether you believe in a gap or not, included time, space, and matter. That means He created time and thus must Himself be outside of time and be timeless or eternal. He created matter and space as well. As creatures of time, we are locked into thinking in terms of minutes, hours, days, and years. But there is another dimension altogether in which deity resides and has resided eternally. The literal rendering of our verse is even more impressive:
“Without Him came into being not even one thing”
As the mighty Creator, He built the “scaffold” on which His own creatures would carry out His execution. What grace!
But He is also seen in these first few verses as indispensable to Revelation. We would be still groping like blind heathen for the knowledge of God had He not come. “No man hath seen God at any time.” Human faculty and human wisdom are to no avail in the search for God. “The only begotten Son Who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath told Him out” (Newberry). What mercy that He came! Had He never come … what would your life be like?
Further in chapter 1, we learn that He is indispensable to Salvation. “Behold the Lamb of God, the sin-bearer for the world (1:29, Newberry). In previous generations, men had brought their lambs to God as burnt offerings and sin offerings. But now God was bringing His Lamb to men. Here was the exclusive Savior-Lamb.
He is indispensable to Creation, Revelation, and Salvation.
1. In the Old Testament, God frequently challenges the idols of the heathen and those which His own people began to worship with the fact that He alone is Creator. How does this fit with John’s Claim of Christ as Creator?
2. John 1, Colossians, 1, and Hebrews 1 all ascribe creation to Christ; yet the context and purpose of this fact is different in each of these accounts. Think about the differences.
3. The Creator is always greater than His creation. All the energy in the universe came from Him as its source. All the complexity of life, from the structure of the cell, to the order of the cosmos, is a display of His wisdom. How great He must be!