Encountering the Word of God

John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word…” Compare with Genesis 1:1-2: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth….” John links his chapter to the first chapter of Genesis. Highlights from Genesis 1. We don’t have time to go into the whole story; but keep in mind these points: God’s Word establishes creation; Creation is good; Creation is made for love between God and man; unfortunately man’s selfishness wrecks this beautiful plan. Highlights from John 1. John also shares “creation story.” In this story he reveals God doing a new thing in the midst of his created world and once again it involves the Word of God. John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Two ways to understand “Word of God” Greek – (logos) From Greek philosophy indicating a “logical principle behind the world. Hebrew – (dabar) Used throughout the Old Testament meaning God’s power over and above his creation, and God’s presence personified to the prophets. (Genesis 1; Psalm 33:6; Psalm 19; Psalm 119; Psalm 105; Psalm 130; Isaiah 40:6-8; Isaiah 55:10-11) (Proverbs 8 also speaks of Wisdom as person, and this connects to John’s reference to the Word of God.) Isaiah 40:6-8 "All flesh is grass, And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. 7 The grass withers, the flower fades, Because the breath of the LORD blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. 8 The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever." NKJV Isaiah 55:10-11 10 "For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, 11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void,

Encountering the Word of God, Doug Floyd, Page 1

2/9/2008

But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. NKJV Let’s read John’s creation story. John 1:1-18 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. 6 There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'" 16 From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known. NIV Once again the creation story climaxes with a person. Only this time, John suggests that the Word of God and the person are one and the same. John reveals that Word of God is a person, that it (he) is divine, that he is in relation with God (the Father); that all things were created through Him; that the person who is the Word of God became a human (whom we call Jesus); that Jesus has come to make the Father known. What does this tell us about the Word of God? Reading the word of God is not an intellectual exercise. It is not simply learning timeless truths or principles for living; or learning how to be good. Reading the Word of God is about meeting a person. This person is God and he is human and can speak to us in a way that touches the very core of who we are. This Word of God whom we call Jesus Christ is holding all things together: John 1:3 He is restoring all things to proper harmony. When we read this book we call the Bible, or the word of God, we are looking through it to a person, Jesus Christ, and seeking him to speak to us and restore us to proper harmony with himself, other people and all creation.

Encountering the Word of God, Doug Floyd, Page 2

2/9/2008