Discover the Word – Session 16

We were happy to see again some of our brethren who were recently hospitalized due to sickness. May they all recover fully and we continue to pray for God’s intervention for their complete healing.

For this session, we continued to follow the outline given for the 40 Days of Discipleship, a discipleship material provided by Grace Communion International. More particularly, we devoted this session to discussing the article, We Were Always On His Mindwritten by Dr. Joseph Tkach.

Discussions focused on the Trinity doctrine and some of the questions that were generated were on salvation, human freedom and other inter-related topics. I shared to the group that the Trinity doctrine shows that God is love and that God is a God of relationships.

I can sense that we as a group are growing in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s been wonderful thus far. We were happy to see those we missed these past few weeks.

For those who are following us on the internet, here’s the video of that session. We had a lively discussion:

And the Word was God

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The divinity of Jesus Christ has always been questioned by some throughout the centuries. Some say he is merely human and they deny that Jesus is God. They deny that the Word who became flesh is both human and divine. There are actually many passages in the Bible that will prove that Jesus is God but in this blog, let me just focus on John 1:1-2, 14.

In John 1:1 of the New International Version (NIV) it says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

In this passage above, the verb form “was” can be found three times and in Greek it is what is called as an imperfect tense. It is a “continuous tense” denoting an event or state that is continuing. In other words we can say that: “in the beginning the Word ‘was continuously’ there.” Before there was time, the Word was already, continuously there. And the Word was continuously with God. And the Word was continuously God. This means that the Word had no beginning.

Now, let’s focus on the second clause of Verse 1: “and the Word was with God.”  Please take note of the word, “with” (Greek, pros).  This indicates a distinction is being made between two Persons — the Word and God.

Here is what a BibleGateway commentary has to say: “The first verse is very carefully constructed to refer to the personal distinctness yet the essential oneness of the Word with God. To be with God means the Word is distinct from him. The word with (pros) in a context like this is used to indicate personal relationship, not mere proximity (cf. Mk 6:3). But he also was God; that is, there is an identity of being between them.”

The distinction becomes even clearer when we realize that in Greek there is a definite article, “the” before the word “God.” In other words, what it is actually saying is: “and the Word was with THE God.” There is clearly a distinction being made between the Word and THE God. This means that before there was time, the Word was continuously with THE God — the Father of course.

It is also good to note that in Verse 2 which says: “He was with God in the beginning,” actually has the definite article “the” ALSO before the word, “God.” In other words, The Word was continuously with THE God in the beginning. We now know THE God as the Father and he was with the Word (the Son) continuously before there was time.

Now let’s study the last clause of Verse 1: “and the Word was God.” Please take note here that in Greek the definite article “THE” is not found! This is significant. It does not say that “the Word was THE God.” As we have noted, there is a distinction between the Word (the Son) and THE God who is the Father.

It is very clear in Greek and most English Bible translations and Bible versions agree and render this last clause of Verse 1 as: “and the Word was God.” That’s what it means! It means that the Word was divine in the same way that the Father was divine. It means that the Word was God in the same way that the Father was God. The word, “God” (theos) here is a predicate noun. It describes who the subject (the Word ) is. The Word was divine. The Word was God (theos)!

Now let’s end with John 1:14 which says: “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.”

Please take note that this verse does not say that the Word ceased to be God. Rather, it means that the Word (Logos) took on human flesh. Without ceasing to be God, the Son took on human flesh – – created human nature. Christ had two natures, human and divine, fully God and fully human in his one Person.

There are many passages in Scripture that prove Jesus is fully God and fully human. This blog focused on John 1:1-2, 14. This is how God has led me to understand him at this time. Hope this helps you too.

Discover the Word – Session 15

After a one week break, we resumed our Discover the Word, our discipleship class for our local church at the ReThink Community. It’s amazing how we have gone this far — Session 15! May the Lord continue to bless this group as we seek to know him and love him more and more.

Sad to say, two of our regular attendees got sick recently and were hospitalized thus they are not able to attend regularly. We pray they will get well soon and be able to join us back again soon.

For this week’s session we discussed Part 2 of the article The God Revealed in Jesus Christ I highly recommend this booklet/article for everyone who are interested to know what incarnational, Trinitarian theology is all about. As I have said to the group, I consider this article as our basic textbook where we can always refer to — to give us the basics of this theology.

For those who are following our sessions on the internet, here’s the video last Friday, June 16, 2017:

Photo credit: Google