Monday, May 20, 2013

All Things Were Made Through Him

Here's a link to listen to the sermon. 

All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. John 1:3

This is an extremely incredible verse considering what we’ve seen so far. Two weeks ago we looked at the intimate fellowship of the Trinity, how God the Father has always beheld and enjoyed His own perfections.  Those perfections were beheld in His only Son, whom He has always exulted over.  He was daily His delight. [Prov. 8:30] The Son likewise has always rejoiced before his Father. [Prov. 8:31] We saw this when John said “The Word was with God.” They have been together since before the creation of the world. The Father delighted in seeing His image in His Son, and the Son delighted in being in the Father’s presence.  And this mutual ecstasy and mutual delight for each other proceeded forth in an infinite and sacred love...who is the person of the Holy Spirit.  Three persons, one God.  One God who delights in the perfect fellowship of the Trinity.  This God who is never bored, never lonely, never tired, but always perfectly happy.  He is the happy God. This God is self-sufficient and doesn’t need anything. He doesn’t need the angels, He doesn’t need the heavens, He doesn’t need the earth, and He doesn’t need humanity.  You and I need things.  We need water, and shelter, and clothing and air.  God needs nothing! Acts 17:24-25 “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not...need anything.”  He doesn’t need anything outside of Himself to continue His existence and He doesn’t need anything outside of Himself to bring Him pleasure.  God is pure pleasure.  He is the fountain of all pleasure! 1 Timothy 6:15-16 says  “...He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.”  Our God is a perfectly thrilled at being God, and He lacks nothing, including creation, in order to sustain His joy.  So we should ask ourselves, why v. 3 here?  If this is all true, that God is self-sufficient and infinitely thrilled with being God, then why create at all?     Here’s the best answer that I have found.  God is the fountain of all pleasure.  What do fountains do?  They overflow.  In this case the overflowing of God’s pleasure in Himself is the creation.   Meaning that the heavens and the earth and all things visible and invisible and all of mankind are the result of God’s happiness in Himself overflowing. God’s joy in being God spilled over, and that over spilling is creation.  Thus John says “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
Now as we are looking at verse, God the Son is still on center stage in John’s mind here.  v. 3 flows from v. 1-2.  This Him here is the Word who is Jesus Christ. If we were to insert His name in this verse, it would read this way  “All things were made through Jesus, and without Jesus was not any thing made that was made.”  This verse is ultimately about the supremacy of Christ.  This verse is ultimately about the glory of Jesus Christ in the work of Creation. 

The Big Idea...The glory of Christ is seen in creation and providence. 

I. The Glory of Christ in Creation
II.  The Glory of Christ in Providence

I.  The Glory of Christ in Creation
This is the pre-incarnate Son in this verse.  Meaning that, this was the Son of God before He put on flesh.  This verse like the last two verses, declares that the Son of God is God Himself.  The last part of the verse says 
“...without him was not any thing made that was made.” Consider two proofs from this verse showing that Jesus is God Himself.  1) A created being cannot create all things that have ever been created, because that would mean He would have to self-create.  Self creation is a contradiction.  A nothing cannot become a something on the strength of it’s own power, because a nothing doesn’t have power, it is nothing!  Jesus made all the created things, and not even one thing that was created was done so apart from Him.  This means that Jesus was uncreated.  And if He is uncreated, than He is eternal God Himself. Jehovah’s witnesses, Mormons, and others who try to continue to use the Bible, but deny that Jesus is God, are in grave danger.   This verse flatly contradicts their position.  2) This verse proves that Jesus is God, because, according to the rest of the Scriptures, only God has the power of creation.

Genesis 1:1  “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” 

Psalm 102:24-25 “O my God,”...Of old you laid the foundation of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.”

Revelation 4:11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”

So if God alone has the power of creation, and Jesus is said to create, then the invincible conclusion is the Jesus is God.  Any who would deny this reality are trying to steal away the glory of Christ.  And this is the most dangerous ground that one could stand on.  For the Scripture says that He will not give His glory to another.  Isaiah 40:8 “I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other...” Any who try and undermine this King is the offspring of Satan. He attempted the same rebellion thousands of years ago, and now he and his demons await the judgment of eternal damnation. Jesus is God, and therefore He is glorious in the work of creation. 
Now “All things were made through Jesus...,” but I would not want to leave you with the impression that the Father and the Holy Spirit did not participate in creation also.  Creation is a Trinitarian word.  Notice this verse uses the word “through” here.  “All things were made through him...”  Jesus was the means or the vehicle through which creation was accomplished.
  In Genesis 1:1 we read, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”  How did God create?  By speaking.  What did God use when He spoke?  He used words.  He used the Word.  This Word that we are looking at in John 1.  So it was “through” the Word, as our verse declares, that God the Father created all the world. 
The Holy Spirit was also involved in creation.  Genesis 1:2 says “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”  The Spirit was there hovering over the created chaos like a bird hovers over it’s brood; sustaining, protecting, and perfecting it.  All three persons of the Trinity are responsible for the creation.  It is the Father who begins by speaking, the Son who establishes by being spoken, and the Spirit who perfects by hovering over.  Psalm 33:6 “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.” “The Father speaks, and on His Breath his Word is heard.”
  The Father speaks His Word(which is His Son) and He goes forth on His Breath(which is His Spirit).

Lets consider now how the glory of Christ is seen in this creation.  What is included in creation? Colossians 1:16 helps us out:  “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.”  All things in heaven and earth.  Is there any other place?  No, that means He created all things in every place.  All visible things and all invisible things.  Are there any other kind of things?  No.  That means that He created the spiritual and the material world.  All things whether they be thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities.  Is there anything high and lofty and above us that He has not created?  No, even the most marvelous archangel, which if we saw, would cause our heart to be in terror is under God’s creating power.  The highest and most lofty thing that is not God, was created by God, and specifically through His Word, through Jesus. 
This is an awesome thought if you just consider it for a moment.  You and I have never created anything in our lives.  Nor, for that matter has any other human being, or angel.  Mankind only have the power of manipulation.  We take pre-existing matter and shape it into objects for our uses.  But we have never created ex nihilo, meaning, “out of nothing.”  Let your mind consider that. Think of anything in this room or outside of this room for that matter.  Cars, computers, t.v. sets, jewelry, books, clothing, anything that you can think of.  All of those things came from the original creation.  Out of the ground, or from animal and plant life.  This pulpit, those chairs, this concrete, your home.  All of these things were made through Christ, and man merely manipulates and shapes them.  King David humbly declared 1 Chronicles 29:14 “For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you.” All things come from God and when we give back to Him, it is His own stuff that we are offering.  All glory be to the Father.  All glory be to the Son. All glory be to the Spirit.  “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” [Romans 11:36]

II.  The Glory of Christ in Providence
Providence is a word that has been lost in our culture, and I hope to regain it at this church.  Providence is God’s preserving and governing all His creation.  Q.11 in the Shorter Catechism, which we we be getting to in a few weeks on Tuesday nights reads “God’s works of providence are His most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all His creatures and all their actions.” So let’s break God’s providence down into two parts: 1) It is God’s Preserving and 2) It is God’s Governing. 

The Glory of Christ is seen in His sustaining all things. 
Jesus Christ sustains, or preserves, or upholds all the creation. Hebrews 1:3 says that “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.”  Jesus does not just simply create and then walk away from His creation, He upholds the creation, meaning He nourishes it, and carries it, and keeps it alive.  He is the invisible power that stops everything from flying apart. Colossians 1:17 says “ him all things hold together.”  
My information may be outdated, but the last time I checked, quarks are the smallest things that scientists discovered that make up atoms.  Atoms are the basic building blocks of existence.  They are made up of protons, neutrons, electrons, and a nucleus. Quarks are the smaller components that make up those parts. Now, do you want to know what is in between those quarks? Nothing. Empty space.  What is holding the quarks together?  Jesus Christ.  Colossians 1:17 “ him all things hold together.”  That is the glory of Christ in providence!  When John tells us that “All things were made through him,” He doesn’t mean to tell us that Christ walked away from that creation after He made it. Creation does not have the power to sustain itself. Self-existence or self-survival is not a characteristic that creation has or can have.  That is a power that belongs to God alone.  And not even God can give this power to His creation.  God alone has the power of self-existence.  He cannot give this power away any more than He could make another God.  It is a contradiction to create something that has self-existence.  The moment it is created proves that it cannot be self-existent or even self-sustaining.  All of creation depends on God  As Job 34:14-15 says ”If he should set his heart to it and gather to himself his spirit and his breath, all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust.”  Christ’s glory is seen in the fact that we are not disintegrating at this very moment back into nothing.   He is sustaining us, for it is through Him that all things are made. 

The Glory of Christ is seen in His governing of all things. 
John in our verse says that Christ made all things.  Let me ask a question: are actions or events things? According to Webster’s 1828 dictionary they are.  The very first definition of a thing that is listed is “an event or action.”
  It comes from the Latin evenio, which you can even hear the word event in that word: evenio.  So the definition of a thing isn’t limited to material things, or even spiritual things, but it also includes events and actions.  Which means that John here is including here the idea that Jesus made all events as well.  Consider these verses:

Isaiah 48:3 “The former things I declared of old; they went out from my mouth, and I announced them; then suddenly I did them, and they came to pass.”  What came to pass?  Events.  Events that God declared from before the beginning.  Events that God made through Christ. 

Isaiah 46:9-10 “...I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’”  Christ’s purpose is not only seen in creation but also in every event that has ever transpired underneath the sun.  There is not one thing that you can conceive of that was not pre-planned, and purposed by Christ.   
Consider, have you ever been outside in the winter when giant snowflakes were falling?  And then you looked up and was in wonder of all those billions and billions of snowflakes falling in every direction.  Every one of those snowflakes that travels from the heavens to the earth is an event.  Which means that the exact path that they take is a path that Jesus Christ determined before the creation of the world. “The former things I declared of old; they went out from my mouth, and I announced them; then suddenly I did them, and they came to pass.” [Isaiah 48:3]  Is that too wonderful for you to fathom? When King David considered things like this, he declared. “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.” [Psalm 115:3]
What about events that includes human beings?  Events that seem to happen by chance?  In the O.T. there is a story of a wicked king named Ahab.  A prophet of the Lord told him that he was going to die in battle for his wickedness.  Ahab decided to disguise himself so that the enemy would not know who he was.  Do you think that that thwarted God’s purposes for him?  1 Kings 22:34-35 “...a certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel between the scale armor and the breastplate. Therefore he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn around and carry me out of the battle, for I am wounded.” And the battle continued that day, and the king was propped up in his chariot facing the Syrians, until at evening he died.” So picture, this random guy, shot, at random, an arrow, and struck the king in the only place where his armor would allow the arrow to go through. That was an event.  That took place because Jesus made all things.  “The former things I declared of old; they went out from my mouth, and I announced them; then suddenly I did them, and they came to pass.” [Isaiah 48:3]  The glory of Christ is that He is the Word that is spoken by God that declares all things before they happen.  The Father announces them through His Son and they were created, and then they come to pass.  Nothing happens apart from Jesus Christ, and this is His crown and this is His glory. 


 These truths are for comforting the godly.
“All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. “  Recall that at the beginning I said that creation is an overflow of God’s happiness in being God.  This should be the source of your everlasting joy, that God is supremely happy in being God, and He has made you to be supremely happy in Him.  God is for the happiness and comfort of His creatures, when this happiness is found in Him alone.  When we are happy in our Heavenly Father, we are most like Him.  As we behold Him, we become more and more like Him and we conform to the image of His Son Jesus Christ.  2 Cor. 3:18 says “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”  So we fulfill God’s purposes for creation when we find all our joy and fulfillment in Him alone plus nothing.  The happiest Christian is the one who can lose everything, but know that they have everything when they have Jesus. 

These truths are for gravely warning the sinner.  
“All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. “  One of the things that Christ has made are the wicked.  Proverbs 16:4 says “The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.”  This verse tells us that God through Christ made the wicked for a purpose.  They were not an accident, or an oversight.  If He wanted to, He could have withheld creation from them since He knows all things.  But He didn’t.  God created the wicked for the express purpose of showing Himself righteous, in judging and punishing them.  It is more important in the mind of God that His justice be displayed than not.  God had the choice to either not display His justice by withholding creation from the wicked, or to display His justice in the everlasting punishment of them. He chose the second.  That truth should make us fear the Lord and repent if we have not yet done so.  We are all commanded to repent of our treason for hating this Christ who made all things.  We are all commanded to repent of our ignoring this Christ who made them for His glory.   There is a glory in Christ accomplishing all of these things, and He wants us to see it and enjoy it and praise Him for.  The wicked hate this obligation and in rebellion turn away from it.  Be warned those of you who are turning away from the Lord.  On top of everything else that Christ made, He has also made a day of judgment.  Romans 1:16 says that there is a “ God will judge the secrets of men through Jesus Christ.”  On that day there will be weeping and gnashing teeth, for judgment will be exact and vengeance will be the Lord’s.  In that day a new creation will occur.  Both the wicked and the righteous will have new bodies made for them, by Christ.  The righteous will have new bodies to enjoy heaven, but the wicked will have new bodies given to them so that they can endure the unspeakable horrors of hell. If you are wicked, turn from your wickedness and live that you will not be given such a body for such a purpose. 

These truths are for encouraging the doubting.
“All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. “ Christ has also made the day of salvation. 2 Cor. 6:2 says “Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”    I don’t think I’ve shared with you that I have lived in G.C.  10 + years.  Years that I have been addicted to drugs, to sex, and to hatred of God.  The darkest years of my life.  In fact if you want to know where I lived, just go down to 44th and Adams, and you will see an empty lot there.  I lived in the shed in the front.  They were dark years where I was in bondage to Satan, and I loved my sin.  Christ Jesus delivered me from that.  He created a day of salvation for me and He offers that to everybody here as well.  The Scripture tells us all repent of our sin, which means that with grief and hatred of our sin we turn from it towards God.  It means, that, with as much energy as you spent loving your sin, you not hate it all the more energy.  And then by faith alone, you receive Jesus Christ as the treasure of your life.  It  means that you trust Him.  It means that you believe that His sacrifice on the cross is enough to pay for your crimes against God.  It means that you believe that nothing that you do will ever satisfy God’s justice except for the sacrifice of Christ alone.  It means that you love Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and God Himself, who made all things for His glory.  And it means that you live a life where you spend your time pursuing Christ either until He returns or until you die.  Trust Christ for that.  Believe that He can make your sins whiter than snow.  Even your sins that you are so ashamed of, and that nobody knows about.  Christ already knows about them and He has created a day in which you can be saved.  “Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” 

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