Made "BY" Him
©Copyright 1998 Randall D. Hughes
When studying the Bible one will on occasions come across a verse that seems to give the impression that the Son existed prior to his birth. This is a theory several groups have adopted. We will take a look at the verses and determine if it is indeed true.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The same was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." John 1:1-3
"He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not." John 1:10
"But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him." 1 Cor. 8:6
"And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:" Eph. 3:9
"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: 17And he is before all things, and by him all things consist." Col. 1:16-17
"Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;" Heb. 1:2
There are many other verses that seem to indicate the Son pre-existed his birth. But first we will look at these.
It seems only logical that if you were to make something then you would have to be present. You would have to exist. But a deeper look into these passages will prove this is not the case.
First in John 1:1, we will examine the word "Word." In the Greek this is "Logos." Meaning "a word, divine expression, a concept, idea, thought, reasoning, calculating, regarding, or considering." In fact, the first one to use the term "Logos" was a Greek philosopher named Heraclitus around 600 B.C. He used it to "designate the divine reason or plan which coordinates a changing universe." Thus from the beginning God had the divine plan to one day become flesh. This being fulfilled in John 1:14. In light of the fact that God knows the end from the beginning, this is very feasible. Acts 15:18 confirms his foreknowledge. So in the beginning there was a plan. This was a plan of God, and it would be (or related to or dealt with) God Himself!
Another passage that shows God's planning and designing that seems to correlate to John 1:1, 14 is found in Isa. 46:8-11.
"Keep this in mind, and stand firm! Take this to heart, you sinners! Bear in mind what happened of old; For I am God, and there is none else, I am divine, and there is none like Me. I foretell the end from the beginning, and from the start, things that had not occurred. I say: My plan shall be fulfilled; I will do all I have purposed. I summoned that swooping bird from the East; From a distant land, the man for My purpose. I have spoken it, so I will bring it to pass; I have designed it, so I will complete it."
John 1:1, 14 are in red. What follows from Isaiah 46:8-11.
"In the beginning… is referred to as: "what happened of old." "from the beginning, from the start,"
"…was the Word…"(see definition above) "I foretell' "I say" "My plan" "I have purposed." "I summoned" "I have spoken it" "I have designed it" "My purpose."
"And the Word was made flesh…""plan …fulfilled" "will do" "I will bring it to pass" "I will complete it."
But what about the verses that say Jesus made all things? A plan cannot create anything!
This also requires a better understanding of the Greek used there. The key word is "by." Notice "by him" in John 1:3, 10. "By" Jesus Christ, in Eph. 3:9. And then "by him" in Col. 1:16-17. In the Greek this word is Strong's #1223, Dia - "A primary preposition denoting the channel of an act: Through- the ground or reason by which something is or is not done, by reason of, on account of, because of, for this reason, therefore, on this account."
In most Greek Interlinear renderings it says "through." He was the channel or reason for the act of creation.
So when one reads the above verses and inserts the definition for "by," they find that God created the worlds "through" Jesus Christ. "Because of" Jesus Christ. Or "on account of" God one day taking on flesh. God acted, or created all things for this reason.
On many occasions the Bible tells us that Jesus was "sent into the world," or "sent from God." Do these passages indicate that Christ existed before his birth? Such verses as John 3:17, 10:36, and 17:18, all say that Jesus was sent into the world. Wouldn't that mean that he existed prior to coming into the world?
Well, that depends on what John means in John 1:6, 17:18, and 20:21. In these verses the very same terminology is used, only referring to John the Baptist and the Disciples. John was "sent from God," in John 1:6, and the Disciples were "sent …into the world" in John 17:18, and 20:21. These verses dealing with the Disciples both make the comparison to them being "sent into the world" just as the Father sent Jesus "into the world."
It is interesting to note that such language is primarily found in John. Thus it is often called "a Johanine phrase." There are several other phrases that are very commonly used by John that the other Gospel writers did not employ. So in light of the lack of support from the other writers it is logical since the "phrases" were used in other instances that clearly did not indicate preexistence then it must also include the verses dealing Jesus as well.
There are other verses that indicate to us that "the Son" was not eternal. As stated above, God planned to join himself to his creation by "becoming flesh" from the very beginning. But this does not mean he had an actual existence "in the beginning."
Some verses that indicate to us that the Son had a beginning are: Ps. 2:7, this being a prophecy quoted again in Hebrews.
"For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?" Heb. 1:5.
The words "this day have I begotten thee" indicate that the Son had a beginning. And then the "tenses" of the next phase also lend themselves to such a conclusion. "Will be," and "shall be," indicate the Father-Son relationship was to be in the future.
Thus the Old Testament passages such as Isa. 44:24, that speak emphatically of Jehovah "creating all things alone," and "by myself" retain their true meaning. It was indeed Jehovah (the ONE Eternal Spirit) who was alone in all He created. But the purpose or thought behind his creating was his plan or idea to one day walk the earth as the man Christ Jesus to redeem his creation.
©Copyright 1998 Randall D. Hughes
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