Christ As Creator
We have often been reminded that the four Gospel accounts, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John present four different aspects of the character and ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. In Matthew, which was written with special emphasis for the Jew, He is seen as the King of Israel. The genealogy of the first Gospel takes us to David and Abraham to prove His right to the throne. In Mark’s Gospel there is no genealogy as there Christ is set forth as the Servant of Jehovah. A servant would have no genealogy! “Straightway, immediately, forthwith” and “anon” are the words that tell of His perfect and glad obedience to the will of God. Mark might well have been written particularly for the Romans. Luke, the beloved physician, speaks especially of The Perfect Man. Written with the Greeks in mind, it gives the greatest detail concerning His birth. The genealogy of the Son of Man goes back to Adam. When we come to the fourth Gospel, written later than the three synoptics to the church, which had been well established, Christ is seen as the Son of God. Can we call it a genealogy that goes back to eternity? “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” The deity of Jesus Christ is emphasized in the fourth Gospel. The reason for writing it is seen in John 20:31. “These are written that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, and that, believing, ye may have life through his name.”
Living in a day when the deity of Christ is denied, it behooves us to emphasize this most important truth. The Holy Spirit, through the apostle, states definitely, “The Word (Christ) was God.” He is clearly set forth in the New Testament as “Immanuel” which by interpretation is “God with us.” Christ attested His deity in two ways, by His words and by His works. Men were obliged to say of the former, “Never man spake like this man!” Yes, it was more than man who could speak and demons were cast out: the stormy sea became calm; the dead arose; the sick were healed; the tree with nothing but leaves was withered. The great “I Am’s” of Christ were either the words of God or the ravings of a most distorted intellect. “I am the door; I am the good shepherd; I am the light of the world; I am the way, the truth and the life; I am the resurrection and the life; I am the bread of life, the water of life.” Men were obliged to confess, concerning his works that such miracles as he performed had never been known in all of the world’s history.
We recall what God said to Moses, when he was about to deliver the people of Israel from the land of Egypt. “Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel and shall say unto them, the God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say unto me, What is his name? What shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you” (Exodus 3:13–14). This brings to our attention the words of Jesus to the woman at the well in the fourth chapter of John’s Gospel. She had referred to “Messias, who when he shall come, shall tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I that speak unto thee am.” Immediately a miracle is performed. The woman left her water pot, went to the city and told the men that she had met one who told her all that she had ever done! Her conversion occurred at the word which revealed his deity! In another scene, when they came to him in the garden of Gethsemane with swords and staves, as they were led by Judas Iscariot, Jesus said, “Whom seek ye?” They answered “Jesus of Nazareth,” Christ replied, “I that speak unto thee am.” (note that the “he” in the text is again in italics). They fell to the ground as though they were dead.
John 8 is the great “I am” chapter of the Gospel. In verse 12 we read, “Then spake Jesus again unto them saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” He was the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world (chapter 1:9). In what sense did He “light every man?” He said, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” and the expression “lighteth every man” can be understood to cover His earthly ministry.
Romans 1:20, however, tells us that the physical creation bears witness to two great facts, God’s eternal power and Godhead. “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead.” Read this Scripture together with John 1:3, “All things were made by him (Christ); and without him was not anything made that was made” and you will realize that our Lord Jesus Christ, in the very act of creation, put into the creature that which speaks of the Creator. In other words, he put a light into each thing created which would “light every man that cometh into the world.” When we read, in Genesis 1:3, “And God said, Let there be light and there was light” we may understand that the Father spoke and the Son put into operation that which the Father said. This explains the meaning of Ephesians 3:9 where we are told that “God (the Father) created all things by Jesus Christ.” The Holy Spirit, who “moved upon the face of the waters,” according to Genesis 1:2, was also active in the work of creation as He cooperates now with the other members of the blessed Godhead in the work of regeneration or the new creation in Christ.
As we continue our perusal of the eighth chapter of John’s Gospel, we come to the second “I am” in verse 16. “I am not alone but I and the Father that sent me.” Here Christ emphasizes His unity with the Father. The same truth is stated even more emphatically in John 10:30, “I and my Father are one.”
In John 8:18 we read, “I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.” Two “Ws” tell the story of Christ’s witness to Himself (1) His Words. They had to confess, “No man ever spake like this man.” Do we not see a suggestion concerning His deity in this? His were more than the words of a man—they were the words of God! (2) His Works attested to His deity. Jesus said in John 5:36, “The works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.” His were the works of a Creator. He could multiply the loaves and fishes. He could raise the dead. He could calm the tempestuous sea instantly with but a word. He demonstrated His power over the entire physical creation because that creation recognized His hand as that of the one responsible for its existence!
Two “I ams” appear in John 8:23. “I am from above.” He remembered well His pre-incarnate glory which He had enjoyed with the Father and the Holy Spirit. “I am not of this world.” He was in it as a sojourner. He knew that “he came from God and that he went to God.” However, though in the world, He was not of it.
An enlightening Gospel truth appears in verse 28. “When ye have lifted up the Son of man, (upon the cross) then shall ye know that I am.” His true deity is revealed to those who behold Him as the Lamb of God, raised upon the cross of shame, to bear away our sins in His own body on the tree. We doubt that the true deity of Christ will be recognized by any except those who receive Him as Sin-bearer, Saviour and Lord.
The eighth “I am” of John 8 is found in verse 58. “Before Abraham was, I am.” What a declaration of deity is here! The Jews to whom He spoke recognized it as the next verse testifies, “Then took they up stones to cast at him.” This was done because of what they stated in their accusation later, that “he being man, made himself God.” The real truth of the matter was the very opposite of their statement. He, being God, made himself man. He was God manifest in the flesh (Immanuel). Those who really know Him can say, with Thomas of old, “My Lord, and my God!”
Colossians 1:16 is very plain in its declaration concerning Christ as Creator. It is Christ who is referred to in verse 14. “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” It is still the Son of God who is before us in verse 15, “who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.” It is still Christ of whom the Holy Spirit speaks, through the apostle, in verse 16, “for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.”
Christ, the Son of God was just as truly CREATOR as was the Father and the Holy Spirit. The best way to know this, dear reader, is to receive Him as your personal Saviour—then He will demonstrate his power of creation by making you “a new creature in Christ”—a part of the new creation of which He, Himself, is the blessed Head. For “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away and, behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).