The Divine Word (John 1:1-5)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (1:1-5)

The opening section of John's gospel expresses the most profound truth in the universe in the clearest terms. Though easily understood by a child, John's Spirit-inspired words convey a truth beyond the ability of the greatest minds in human history to fathom: the eternal, infinite God became a man in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. The glorious, incontrovertible truth that in Jesus the divine "Word became flesh" (1:14) is the theme of John's gospel.

The deity of the Lord Jesus Christ is an essential, nonnegotiable tenet of the Christian faith. Several lines of biblical evidence flow together to prove conclusively that He is God.

First, the direct statements of Scripture affirm that Jesus is God. In keeping with his emphasis on Christ's deity, John records several of those statements. The opening verse of his gospel declares, "the Word [Jesus] was God" (see the discussion of this verse later in this chapter). In John's gospel Jesus repeatedly assumed for Himself the divine name "I am" (cf. 4:26; 8:24, 28, 58; 13:19:18:5, 6, 8). In 10:30, He claimed to be one in nature and essence with the Father (that the unbelieving Jews recognized this as a claim to deity is clear from their reaction in v. 33; cf. 5:18). Nor did Jesus correct Thomas when he addressed Him as "My Lord and my God!" (20:28); in fact, He praised him for his faith (v. 29). Jesus' reaction is inexplicable if He were not God.

To the Philippians Paul wrote," [Jesus] existed in the form of God," possessing absolute "equality with God" (Phil. 2:6). In Colossians 2:9 he declared, "For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form." Romans 9:5 refers to Christ as "God blessed forever"; Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1 call Him "our God and Savior." God the Father addressed the Son as God in Hebrews 1:8: "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom." In his first epistle John referred to Jesus Christ as "the true God" (1 John 5:20).