“In the beginning was the Word.”
John calls our Lord Jesus Christ “the Word.” This is a term used in the New Testament almost exclusively by John, identifying Christ as one who is God, and yet a distinct Person from the Father. I can think of only two places in which other inspired writers used this term in the New Testament with reference to our Savior. In Hebrews 4:12-13 we read: — “For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” In 2nd Peter 3:5 we read, “that by the Word of God the heavens were of old.”
Deity Expressing Itself
A word is an expression, a means of manifestation, communication and revelation. Christ manifests the invisible God, communicates the love, mercy and grace of God, and reveals the attributes and perfections of God. The Word of God, then, is Deity expressing itself. Therefore Christ is called the Word of God.
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” (Hebrews 1:1-4)
In Revelation 1:8 our Savior declares himself to be God’s alphabet. — “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” Christ is the Word in and by whom the triune God makes himself known to men, the personal enunciation of Jehovah. — “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:18).
Record in Heaven
Christ, the Word, is one of the Holy Three-in-One that bear record in heaven. — “There are three that bear record in heaven” (1 John 5:7). Bear record of what? That Jesus is the Son of God? No. Heaven needs no evidence of that! These three bear record in heaven that God has given us eternal life, in strict accordance with his just and righteous law, by the merits of Christ’s obedience and death as our Substitute. The three Persons of the Holy Trinity bear record in heaven that Christ has accomplished redemption for God’s elect by his blood
atonement. — “There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”
God the Father bears record that redemption is accomplished by his acceptance of Christ as our Representative and Surety (Hebrews 1:1-9; 6:19-20; 10:11-14). When the Father raised Christ from the dead and received him back into heaven as our Mediator, he accepted all his elect in Christ and bare record that redemption’s work was done (Ephesians 1:6; John 17:1-5).
God the Son, the living, eternal Word, the second person of the blessed Trinity, bears record of his people’s right to eternal life by his perpetual advocacy and intercession at the Father’s right hand (Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2; Hebrews 6:20; 7:24-25). The record he bears, which secures the eternal salvation of God’s elect, by which we merit heaven and eternal life, is twofold: — His righteousness as our Representative and his satisfaction as our Substitute.
God the Holy Spirit, the third person of the holy Trinity, bears record of the accomplishment of redemption, by effectually applying the blood of Christ to the hearts of God’s elect in effectual calling (John 16:14; Hebrews 9:13-14). The Spirit of God takes the merit of Christ’s blood and righteousness and reveals our acceptance with God to us by the gospel. In effectual calling chosen, redeemed sinners hear the gospel. But they hear more than the bare word of the gospel. They hear the Spirit of God speak in their hearts! Each one hears God speak pardon to his own soul by the gospel of his salvation (Ephesians 1:13; 2 Corinthians 5:16). — This is the record of heaven. The Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit point to the blood and righteousness of Christ and say, “It is finished! Redemption is accomplished!”
“And these three are one.” — The three Divine Persons are one God. But more, the record of the Father, the record of the Word, and the record of the Spirit are one. What is that record? — Redemption is accomplished by Christ alone! Every chosen sinner has the right to enter into heaven by the blood gate, through the merits of Christ. — “God hath given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”
Look at this name and title John gives to the Lord Jesus again, — “The Word.” — “In the beginning was the Word.” That is a statement so full of meaning that I have no hope of expounding it. Christ is called the Word because he is the Wisdom of God. He is called the Word because he is the Person spoken of in all the Old Testament prophecies and the sum of all the promises. Our Redeemer is called the Word because he is the Speaker, the Revealer and the Interpreter of the Father’s will. And he is called the Word because he is the Image of the invisible God, the Offspring of the Father’s mind, the Express Image of his Person, just as our words (if honestly spoken) are the express image of our minds.
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