A study in the Gospel of John by John Dugas
Grace Bible Church, Tulsa
Jesus Our Creator
19 October 2014
Full Audio Message
Does it really matter what we believe? Isn’t it enough to just love Jesus and get along with one another? Do we have to be right?
Today’s young people see their parents’ generation wrestling over doctrine. We old people believe that truth matters and yet we sometimes forget why truth matters. We can get so wrapped up in the discussion that all that seems to matter is being right. Our children may conclude that doctrine doesn’t really matter. Doctrine divides. So why not reject all claims to truth?
Our young people may wonder why we make a big deal about the errors of the cults and other religions. They may be content worshiping with any other people as long as everyone is sincere about trying to better their lives and their society. Does it really matter what we believe?
So what if someone attends a church that doesn’t teach the Bible? So what if they attend religious services that teach something contrary to Scripture? So what if their personal spiritual journey takes them not to church, but along some other spiritual path of personal reflection?
Well I deeply believe that being right matters, but not for the sake of being right. I want my doctor to be right when he prescribes me medicine. If a doctor needs to perform surgery on me, I happen to find my lungs and kidneys to be useful and wouldn’t want them removed by mistake! But even if they get something wrong, I know that one day God will make this old body new and perfect and whole. So, knowing the right things gives me great peace in a world where things often go wrong.
Why can I have confidence that God will do something so miraculous? I know things about Him that give me assurance. My Jesus is Almighty God and He loves me! The One who died in my place to save me from my sins is the absolutely sovereign Creator of all things, all powers, and even of time itself. All those things depend on His sovereign power for their continued existence.
I intend this morning to teach you some of these important truths but also why being right about them really matters. Let’s look now at John 1:1-5.
We saw in the first two verses that the apostle John takes our minds back to the Creation account in Gen 1-2 so that he can show us who Messiah is. Messiah is the Word who eternally existed before the Creation, is a Person distinct from God the Father and God the Holy Spirit, but is Himself Almighty God. Next, John will drive this home by declaring that every created thing, came to be through Jesus’ power. Jesus created time and matter, and He is responsible for two other important concepts: light and life. These will help us understand why believing the right truths matters.
John’s message is this: As Almighty God, Jesus is the source of life and light. Life is living forever in deep relationship with God. Light is the right information about that life.
- Jesus created everything (John 1:3).
Philosophy wants to know ‘why’. Science wants to know ‘how’. ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’ ‘How did that something get here?’ It isn’t possible for either of those disciplines to find those answers. Answers to these types of questions must be revealed to us by the only One who has this knowledge. Our Creator must disclose the ‘why’ and the ‘how.’ We’ve seen in Isaiah 43:7 that we have been created for God’s glory. That’s the ‘why’. And we have a number of Scriptures that answer the ‘how.’ Today’s passage is one of the most important of those passages.
John seems to have known there would be controversy over this. He takes the time here to state this truth both positively and negatively to make sure that he is understood. First positively, he announces about Jesus that all things came into being through Him.
Scripture teaches that all members of the Trinity were involved in creation. Their oneness was involved in bringing all matter, energy, and time into existence. John announces that God the Son had a direct role in creating everything. His point here helps us rightly understand Jesus’ deity. Jesus is not some subordinate deity as cults claim, but is equal to God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.
Years ago when I was a pastor in southern Oklahoma, my office was at home and I often received visitors during the day who hoped to lead me away from the faith. I had multiple visits from a very polite lady who belonged to the Jehovah’s Witnesses. JWs believe that while Jesus is a god, He is not Jehovah. He is not THE God. I began a study years earlier to demonstrate that while cults change some verses, they still can’t remove from the Bible the truth that Jesus IS Jehovah. For example, Scripture is emphatic that Jehovah ONLY is Creator. Let me share a few verses with you.
Psalm 96:5 “For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the Lord made the heavens.” [Lord = Jehovah]
Isaiah 43:1 “But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel,”
Isaiah 45:8 “Let the earth open up and salvation bear fruit, And righteousness spring up with it. I, the Lord, have created it.” He creates both concrete things (earth) and abstract qualities (salvation, righteousness)
Isaiah 45:18 “For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it…), ‘I am the Lord, and there is none else’.”
Isaiah 44:24 “Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, ‘I, the Lord, am the maker of all things, stretching out the heavens by Myself, and spreading out the earth all alone’,”
Malachi 2:10 “Do we not all have one father? Has not one God created us?”
Revelation 4:11 “Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created.”
As I finished reading these to the lady at my door, I asked her how then, if Jehovah claims that He alone created everything, that Jesus could have created anything? Not surprisingly, she had to leave.
John announces here that Jesus, the Word, created everything. Paul also taught this in Col 1:16-17..
Also read Heb 1:1-2.
The only way that Yahweh can be the sole Creator and for Jesus to also be the Creator, is that Jesus has to be God and be one with God. Indeed, 1 Cor 8:6 teaches that both the Father and Son were involved in creation, “there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him”. Jesus was the agent “by” or through whom the Father brought all things into existence. This same preposition used to say that all things came into being through Jesus, is used in Rom 11:36 and Heb 2:10 to speak of all things coming to be “through” the power of God the Father. Now negatively, John announces…
And apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In other words, all things without exception were created by Jesus. John excludes the possibility that any creative power besides that of the Word was active in Creation. Jesus created everything.
- Jesus is the personal source of life and light (John 1:4).
John is still calling to mind themes from the Creation account. In Gen 1:3 God said “Let there be light”. And He created the “living creatures” including man. He “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life”, 2:7). Jesus is God Almighty—the Giver of life and light. Our understanding of truth will deepen as John develops this even further to show that Jesus is not only the Creator of light but He Himself will be the primary revelation of God’s truth to men. And John will demonstrate that Jesus not only gave us the breath of life, but is the only source of eternal life—living forever in deep relationship with God. Eternal life and truth about that life are truths we dare not miss.
David taught us to sing in Ps 36:9 “For with Thee is the fountain of life; in Thy light we see light.” John now shows us that life and light in their deepest sense are personified in Jesus. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
III. Jesus sovereignly invades the domain of darkness (John 1:5).
Darkness isn’t really a ‘thing’ but we treat it that way. What happens when you walk into a dark room and flip on the light switch? The darkness disappears, doesn’t it? Light dispels darkness. Darkness doesn’t stand a chance when light is present, does it? Light is sovereign over darkness.
John has already told us that Jesus is the light (John1: 4). This light is a Person. Now John treats darkness as if it were a person or persons too. Darkness behaves like a person in active opposition to Jesus. John will give it another name in v. 10, “the world”.
Your Bible probably says either that the darkness could not comprehend the light or that it could not overcome the light. Which should it be? When he uses this verb again regarding darkness in John 12:35, it has the meaning of overcome, “Walk while you have the light, that darkness may not overtake you.” As Light, Jesus invades the domain of darkness. While there will be resistance from people in the realm of darkness, they will not be able to hinder the power of light. When we turn on the light in a room, darkness cannot remain. When Jesus reveals Himself to a person in darkness, darkness is powerless to stop the truth. Unbelief cannot remain when Jesus reveals Himself to a person.
Why does it matter if we’re right? It’s not so that we can say that our team won the debate. Why do I keep going when I’m hit with life’s hurricane of troubles? Why do I cling to Him when those trials don’t make sense to me? Jesus is the Light—the source of revealed truth. I can leave it to Him to order my life because He knows what is best. Jesus is the Life. I have a forever relationship with Him. That makes everything else OK. Jesus is the Creator of all things. If He created me and every little thing around me, then I can rest in being a creature and leave being God to Him.