The Word

by Harold Hancock


Scripture: Jn 1:1 Sep 10, 2023

This sermon focuses on Jesus as the Word of God, explaining that Jesus was present at creation, came to Earth to reveal truth and salvation, and commands complete authority as God's final message to mankind.


Good morning. I appreciate you being here this morning, and those that are visiting with us, we thank you for being here, and those that are joining us online, we thank you also. If you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn to the book of John in the first chapter, and I wanted to start with our lesson this morning, looking at John 1 and verse 1.

A couple of Sundays ago, when I spoke to you that evening, We spoke on the subject, Jesus is God. And one of the passages that we glanced at and looked at for a little bit was John 1, 1. And if you're familiar with that passage or have it before you, it says, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

And we focused particularly on that last part about Jesus was God, or the Word was God. Our purpose is not to re preach that lesson, but I want us to focus this morning on the idea of the Word. The Word was in the beginning, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. What is that word? And what is trying, is John trying to convey for us and to us when he talks about this word?

That's going to be the focus of our lesson. But I have to tell you, I've been studying the book of John in the first chapter for a couple of weeks now as I had prepared some other material. And I'm impressed with the depth, the depth and the beauty of this passage. And so while we're going to focus particularly on the Word, let me take just a minute to just point out to you a couple of the things that you see in this passage that maybe we rush through and don't realize, uh, unless we're studying it deeper.

To begin with, we, uh, I think all know that the Word is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We can see this easily by looking down to John 1 and verse 14, he says, The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We beheld His glory, the glory as the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. And most of us know that that Word that became flesh and dwelt among us is Jesus.

If we don't know that, if you look down to John 1 verse 39, it tells us that John the Baptist the next day stood there with his disciples and he saw Jesus coming. And so he tells us that word that we're talking about, it's Jesus. That's who it is. And you'll notice that he says that this word was with God and was there in the beginning.

I suspect that there's not many of us that pick up our Bibles and read John 1, 1, In the beginning was the Word, that our minds don't go back to the book of Genesis in the first chapter, where the Bible starts, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and the earth was born without form.

And so both of these passages, Genesis 1, 1 and John 1, talk about the beginning. And yet I'm suggesting to you that if you look at it carefully, there's a difference in the way those verses talk about it. Genesis 1 talks about the start of the beginning. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

But if you look carefully at the book of John in the first chapter, he goes even beyond the beginning, looks back, and he says, the Word was in the beginning. You've got the beginning, but you've got something before that, and he says that word was already there at this beginning. It is a way of saying that Jesus is eternal, that He always existed.

I'm mindful of the book of Exodus, in the third chapter, in verse 12, when, uh, Jesus spoke, or not Jesus, but God spoke, and, and talked about how, that He was, or Exodus 3 and 14. He said, I am on that occasion. And it was a passage where God was just saying, I am, I've always been. And then you look at the book of John, the eighth chapter and about verse 58, and Jesus is in a discussion with some of them about Abraham.

And he says, well, for Abraham, I am, he didn't say I was, he says, I am. And that was again, a way of him saying, I'm eternal. I have always existed. I didn't come into existence. I just am. I've always been. And that's what the Word is trying to get across to us when He says the Word was in the beginning, or in the beginning was the Word.

He's saying Jesus was already there. He's eternal. Not only that, when you look at this, He says, secondly, that the Word was with God. I'm told that this word in the Greek, with, is not the common word that you see translated with. This is really a word, uh, pros, P R O S would be the way that we would spell it.

And he tells us that it is a word that actually means coming toward one. And the idea is that they are extremely close. That they're very close is the idea. That he was with God. Now, you can't have with unless you have two distinct persons. And so you have the word, which we know to be Jesus, who was in the beginning.

And we have, he was with God, talking about God the Father. And he's... With him. So there's two of 'em. They're distinct though both of 'em are God, and yet he says they were with one another and this word is meaning. They were very, very close. Let me suggest if you would look down to chapter one in verse 14, and you see, and the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld hiss glory.

The glory and notice as the only begotten of the father. And I want you to focus on that phrase, the only begotten, for a moment. If you look down to verse 18, you would see again, he talks about no one has seen God at any time, the only begotten Son who is in His bosom. And probably all of us know John 3, 16, in the beginning, or, excuse me, God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.

And if you were to turn to 1 John 4, 9, you'd see it mentioned even yet again. That he is the only begotten. Now, when I was studying I saw some that said this in and of itself proves the deity of Jesus Christ. I'm not sure that the writer of that book or statement didn't overextend some. I'm not sure that the word only begotten itself actually simulates the idea that Jesus was deity.

Maybe it's in the idea that he is the only begotten of God. That relationship demands that he be deity himself. But this word, only begotten, is used some other times in the scriptures. And obviously those times is not talking about divinity. For instance, in the book of Luke, in the 7th chapter and verse 12, you remember Jesus was entering a city, and as he entered the city, There was a funeral procession, and there was a widow there that her son was the one that had died, and he is called her only begotten.

He was an only child to this woman. You can look at the book of Luke in the 8th chapter, and you remember Jairus, and his daughter was very sick, and he came to get Jesus, and asked Jesus to come and heal his daughter. And we're told in chapter 8, or Luke chapter 8 and verse 42, that Jairus, that this daughter was his only begotten daughter and child.

She obviously is not a deity, but there is that special relationship between them. This father and the daughter in the book of, uh, Luke and the ninth chapter in verse 38, you see a man that has a, a son that's dramatic and, and he is an only begotten again. And this man is concerned about this son. He's very close to this son.

And then in the book of 11th chapter, the relationship between Abraham and his son Isaac, he's called the only begotten. None of these are deity in these last passages that we talked about. But I think all of them do suggest here is a special relationship and a special closeness. And that's a part of what the Word was with God that he's trying to get across, that this was a special relationship and one that was a special closeness.

So close that the other passages talk about them being one. And so we see the, the, the closeness of the Son and the Father in this passage. And we ought to think about that as we think about how that Jesus gave His life and God sent His Son to die. How close He was to the Son and yet sent Him to die on the cross.

And then the last passage, as we pointed out that we talked about before, not only was He, in the beginning, not only was Christ with God, but He was God. He is Himself. Deity is the idea. And again, I hope you can see the beauty of, and the depth of the passage. See also the humiliation of Jesus, that He's willing to give up that closeness and, and being in Heaven and come to this Earth.

and sacrifice himself. I like Philippians 2 where he talks about, let us have this mind in us that was also in Christ Jesus who was in the form of God, the kind of thing to be grasped, but emptied himself took upon him the form of a servant I've mentioned before we, we can't really grasp that that much.

Peter Wilson, who was a preacher, who's passed away now one time in a lesson, said, uh, think about being an earthworm, or being a man, and then suddenly becoming an earthworm, and still thinking about what you were when you were a man. And that doesn't even touch this, that, that Jesus was deity, and that he was with God, and he surrendered that, and became a man, or like a man, in the fashion of a man.

And then humble himself even unto the death, the death of the cross. What a great passage that reminds us and tells us what sacrifice Jesus made, what sacrifice God made in giving us the hope of eternal life through the death of Jesus Christ. But come back if you would for a moment and, and focus on this fact that Jesus is the Word.

What is it that, that God is trying to get across to us when He, by inspiration, said that Jesus is the Word? The Word became flesh. I will tell you that it's not a word that's used uniquely with Jesus. In fact, I can quote, my computer suggests that this word is Logos and that it's used about 326 times, even in the New Testament, in 311 different verses, and so it's a common word, but this is what God has described Jesus as.

He's described him as the Word, and he does it here in John. If But he does it elsewhere. It's unique to the writer John. He uses it once in 1 John. He uses it in Revelation, where he calls Jesus the Word, but The word word is just not unique, but when you look up the meaning, we're told it's an expression of fault.

It seems that it wouldn't be the word that you would use if you were going to talk about idle talk or something like that, or something that made no sense. And the idea is that Jesus is The father and he's communicating something to us through Jesus Christ. And so our question is, what is he trying to communicate to us through Jesus Christ?

I want to suggest to you about four or five things, and I don't have a PowerPoint, but you've got five fingers. You can just write one point on each finger if you want to and keep up with it that way. But I want to suggest to you, first of all, that when he says Jesus is the word, or he tells us the word and speaks of the word.

That he's trying to get across to us the power of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and the power of God. I said before, I don't think you can probably pick up John, if you are familiar with the Bible, and read, In the beginning was the Word, and not think about Genesis 1, Uh, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

But what you see in Genesis is, over and over, In this creation, it would say, God said, let there be light, and there was light. He just spoke it into existence, is the idea. Now, there are a number of passages that tell us that Jesus was very much involved in the creation. Look even in John, the first chapter in verse 3.

Having introduced the word to us, he says, all things were made through him, and without him nothing was made that was made. So God is, the Father is spoken of as creating, but He did it through Jesus, and Jesus was there at that creation. Look at, uh, the book of Colossians, if you would, and the first chapter, and read beginning in verse 15, Colossians 1 and verse 15.

He's talking about Jesus. For by him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him, and He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. Doesn't make any difference what you're talking about.

If you're talking about something that's physical, if you're talking about power, He says all of it came from Jesus Christ. That He is that Creator. Look over, if you would, to the book of Hebrews in the first chapter. And Hebrews, the first chapter in verse 1, God at whom at, who at various times and various ways spoke in the past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.

He made the worlds, He said. And my point is that we look at Genesis and we think, God created that just by speaking. What power! He must have. But Jesus also was involved in the creation. And His power is seen in His part in the creation also. Look back, if you would, for a moment, to an Old Testament passage.

Look, if you would, to the book of Jeremiah and the 32nd chapter. Uh, I did not use this passage when we were talking about, uh, deity last time when I talked about it. And it was in further study that I came across it. But it's a very impressive passage. Look at Jeremiah, the 32nd chapter.

And I want you to look at verse 18 at first. And this is what, uh, piqued my interest in the passage. He says, You show loving kindness to thousands and repay Uh, the iniquity of the fathers into the bosoms of their children after them. The great, the mighty God, whose name is Lord of hosts. Uh, I came across the passage because there's a passage in Isaiah that talks about mighty God, and it's talking about Christ, obviously.

And people recognize there's talking about Christ, but some say, well, but he's not the almighty God. He's a mighty God, but he's not the almighty God. And so I found this passage that here's a God that is talked about as being a mighty God. But look, if you would, in verse 17, why he calls him a mighty God.

He says, Ah, Lord God, behold, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arms. There is nothing too hard for you, who, whichever he is talking about, whether he's talking about the son or the father in this passage, and I think probably the father, but he says he's a mighty God.

We're going to look at Jesus in Isaiah nine and say, well, he's not fully God. He's just mighty God instead of, of almighty God, when the passage says. of God. He's a mighty God too. And then notice why he said he's a mighty God. He said it because he was able to create. And so if this is talking about God the Father or Jesus, Jesus was able to create too.

And so he would still be a mighty God too. But notice also he says this, he's a mighty God. He's, and he says, there's nothing your hands can, can't do. It seems to me like that mighty God is just made almighty, that there's nothing he can't do. And the, he's talking about it because he was able to create.

And our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was involved in that creation. And he had the same power that we're talking about in God the Father. He could speak and it would come into existence. Think about this, there was no material or raw materials to make it from. That what you see in Genesis, when God spoke and there was light, or when He spoke and there was dry land, if Jesus is the Creator, He had to do the same thing.

He couldn't go to a warehouse and pick out whatever He need and come and create from those materials. He had the same power that we see in Genesis if we attribute that to the Father. He had that same power. He had the same power that we read about in Jeremiah that says, He is a mighty God. He has that kind of power.

And that's one of the things we see when we talk about the Word. We see Him speak, and we see all of this happen. But it's not confined just to creation. In fact, if you remember in the book of Hebrews, in the fourth chapter, in verse 12, He talks about that the Word of God is sharper than any two edged sword, able to pierce, dividing a soul and spirit in joint and mark.

He talks about the power of that Word. And so, we're just told, here is this Word, and that Word is Jesus. What do we see when we see the Word? Well, one of the things we should see is the power. We should see that God is so powerful, and that He sent Jesus so that we could see how powerful He was. That He can speak, and things can happen as they do.

The second thing I want you to think about is that this Word, is the word of truth. Look over, if you would, to the book of Ephesians in the first chapter. And you'll remember that Ephesians is telling us God's scheme of redemption. But in chapter one of Ephesians and verse 13, you'll read in him talking about Christ.

You also trusted after you heard the word of truth. And if you were looking at a group, uh, a Greek text, you would see the Logos of truth. It's the word of truth, just like Jesus is the word. Now this is the word of truth. And he says, you're in him because you heard this word of truth. He says, you can see how closely Jesus is associated with truth.

Look down to our text in John, the first chapter. And, uh, look again, if you would, to verse 14. The Word became flesh, dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, he says. Jesus is full of truth. He wants us to see truth. And so Jesus comes so that He can show us truth.

He's full of grace and truth. Not only that, you'll remember in John 17, 17, that Jesus has said, sanctify them in Thy Word, Thy Word is truth. The word is truth we live in our ear. I don't know if you've ever thought about it, but I want to suggest to you three things about truth. One, truth will always be right.

You have truth, you have lie. Lie is not really real or true. But truth is right. If you have the truth, you know what is right. You know the truth about being saved. You know what God is saying. This is the right way to be saved. We talk about the truth and it directs us in our life. We know that when we follow the truth, we're doing what's right is the idea.

But secondly, not only is truth right, it's trustworthy. You can just know that truth is going to continue to stand. Uh, if somebody's telling you a lie, you've, you soon learn that, hey, they're not really trustworthy. But if somebody is telling you the truth and always is associated with the truth and never, never lies, then you know that you can trust that one.

You can trust anything God says. You can trust anything Jesus says, because He came to show us the truth. And truth is trustworthy. You can trust him when he says that, that there's a time coming when this world's going to end. It may be a while, but Peter talks about this is going to happen. You can trust that.

You can trust when he says that there's a way that you can live beyond this life and be happy. If you just follow His directions, that's truth, and that's trustworthy. You can put your trust in that, and you'll not be disappointed. And then thirdly, I want you to know that truth effectively works in them that believe.

This is Paul's writings in the book of 1 Timothy, in the second chapter, in verse 13. So, he says that we can effectively, or that it will effectively work, truth will effectively work in those that believe. I have a book of truth. It's not going to help me unless I believe. It's not going to change my life unless I believe that it's the truth, and I implore those things into my life.

But if I will effectively let it work in my life, it will make me better. And if I can add one more, I said three, but if I can add one more, I tell you that it's also powerful. Truth is powerful. And we can do so much with truth. And so, Jesus is the Word. So what did he mean? He wants us to see the power.

But more than that, he wants us to see truth. He wants us to recognize there are things that are true and things that are false. But what Jesus stands for and what Jesus taught, this was truth. I want you to suggest to you that the Word is powerful. a word of authority also. Uh,

Daniel kind of touched on this in his class, but you remember after the Sermon on the Mount, as Daniel mentioned, chapter 7, and then the last verses of chapter 7, after he's finished the sermon, it says, And so it was when Jesus had ended the saying that the people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as scribes.

I read one time that The scribes were kind of like our judges sometimes. They'd come up with a meaning, and then they'd say, this is according to scribes so and so in earlier years. Like, our judge may render an opinion on something and says, according to the judgment made so and so by such and such. But Jesus never had to say, I'm, I'm saying this, and then turn to another authority for that.

It's like what was mentioned in the class. He just said it, and it was right. Because He spoke the truth, because He had the authority. And then you'll remember at the end of the book of Matthew, He says, All authority has been given to me in heaven and earth. So He is, He's here to show us who has the authority, and that He has that authority.

What does that mean to us? Let me give you one very practical, uh, illustration of what authority is and what it means. Look back, if you would, in the book of, of Matthew and the 8th chapter. And you remember that there is mentioned here a man who had a servant that was sick. And so this master wanted to sin.

to Jesus and have Jesus come and heal the servant. And when you put all the, the quotes together or all the accounts together, at some time, this man himself, it seemed like Jesus was going to go to his house and this man decided, I'm not worthy for him to come to my house and he left his house and went out to meet Jesus.

And Jesus tells him, I'll come heal the servant. And he says, And I want you to listen particularly at, at what is said here. In verse 9, he says, For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, Go, and he goes. And to another, Come, and he comes. And to my servant, Do this, and he does it.

And it says in verse 10, When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and he said to those who followed, Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel.

Comprehend what's going on. This man has a servant that is sick, and he wants Jesus to heal him. He is so impressed with the authority and the Greatness of Jesus. He doesn't feel worthy that he comes in, that Jesus would come into his house. Now this is a centurion, but he recognizes the greatness of Jesus and he thinks, I don't need that person to come into my house.

But it goes beyond that because what he's saying is, is you don't have to come into my house. He says, you can stand where you are, Lord, and tell you my servant to be healed and he'll be healed. You don't have to come into my house. You've got that much authority. You've got that much power that you can just tell the disease or whatever it is, be gone and it will leave.

And that's why I think he, he marvels at his faith that here he is a centurion and yet he knows Jesus has such power that he can stand where he is and heal somebody. Somewhere else. But listen to what he says. He says, and he's saying, I know you're a man of authority. And he says, here's what I know about authority.

I'm a man of authority, and I tell this person to go, and he goes. Or I tell him to come, and he comes. I tell him to do this, and he does it. That's a good illustration of what we're talking about with the authority of Jesus. If he tells us to go somewhere, we get up and go. If he tells us to stay somewhere, we stay.

If he tells us to do this or to do that, we do whatever it is he says, do, because he is a man of authority. You remember a little later, Matthew the 17th chapter, that Jesus goes up into the mountain with three of his disciples. John is one of them, incidentally. But Peter gets the good idea of, of, let's build a, a tabernacle, one for Moses and one for Elijah and one for Christ.

And a voice from heaven speaks and says, This is my beloved son. Hear ye him. That's authority. Forget Moses at this time and forget Elijah. At this time. You are focusing on Jesus and what you are supposed to do is hear him and do whatever he says. He's the author of Return to Salvation, to All who obey him.

He has that authority. If he didn't, I could argue with him. I might say, Hey, there's a better way of doing this. Why should I have to go and get wet in the baptistry? But he has all authority. And if he says, do it, then I need to do it. And I remind you of Matthew seven, verse 21, when he says, not everyone that sayeth me, the Lord, Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he that do it, the will of the Father, Jesus is the word.

And one of the things we see in the Word is the authority that is there. I want you to know also that the Word is the Word of Salvation. Look over, if you would, to the book of Acts, in the 13th chapter, and I want to start reading with you in verse 23. And this is, um, I think Paul speaking.

It says, From this man's seed, according to the promise of God, raised up for Israel a Savior, Jesus. This is Paul just trying to show us that God sent Jesus through the lineage of David, but He is the Savior, he says. He sent a Savior, Jesus. After John had first preached before His coming the baptism of repentance to all people of Israel, and as John was finishing his course, he said, Who do you think I am?

I am not he, but behold, there one comes after me, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to lose. Men and brethren, son of the family of Abraham and these among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent. The word of this salvation. If you look at the Greek, it's the logos of this word, the word of salvation.

And so Jesus is the word. He is the word of salvation. In the book of Hebrews, in the second chapter, verse three, he talks about Jesus and he says that he, or he asks the question, how should we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first was spoken by Jesus and then by his apostles.

Notice. Word of salvation, spoken first by Jesus. Jesus told people what to do to be saved. Matthew ends by telling them that, I have all authority, go and make disciples, and baptize them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Mark 16 ends in verse 15 and 16, telling us that, that the gospel and, and the, he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.

This is the word of salvation. And he's speaking with authority. If you want to have salvation, this is what you can do. And you don't have to argue with it. He has the authority. You just need to obey it. You see this in the book of Acts in the second chapter. When Peter tells us whoever it is that calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

And then he preaches to them that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. And they finally get this and they say, what shall we do? And Peter says, you need to repent. You need to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. In Acts 22, Ananias told Paul, arise and be baptized.

Wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

He is the message of salvation. And that salvation is open unto anyone who hears and who will come. That's what that word did. He came to give us the word of salvation. May I suggest one... Last point, and that is Jesus is the final word. You know, when I was back in high school, junior high, I guess, there used to be a set of film strips, and they would show us the history of the Bible by the patriarchal, go through Genesis up to Moses, rose up in Egypt, and he became the leader.

So you had the Patriarchal Age, and then you had the Mosaical Age, where Moses was given the Law. And then the last one was the Christian Age, where now the Law has ended, and He's speaking to us through Jesus Christ. And that's it. There's not a fourth dispensation here on Earth. And if I can carry you back for a moment to Matthew 17, when there was Moses, and Elijah, and Christ, and Peter says, let's build a tent for one for each of these.

And God says, no, you hear Him, Jesus. Why? Because the mosaical age, or the patriarchal age had passed. The mosaical age had passed. And we're in the Christian age. Hear Him. And there's nothing else coming. We're down to the point where you hear Him, and accept His Word as authority, and do His Word, and that's the Word of salvation, or you just don't do it, and you're lost.

Listen to, to Peter. In the book of 2 Peter in the 3rd chapter for a moment. These are some people that were delaying and waiting and, and questioning whether or not all this was true. And they'd say, well, you know, times passed. There was this or that or whatever. Talked about the flood some. But Peter pointed out in chapter 3, in verse 9, He says, or verse 8, Beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is a thousand years, and a thousand years is one day.

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering to us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and an element will melt with fervent heat.

Both the earth and the works that are therein will be burned up. And then he says, Since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be? His point being, yeah, there's been times before. And right now we have the time as it is. But this is it. And when this time ends, Christ will come and this world will burn up.

And there's nothing coming after it. As far as my plan of salvation. Something you could do to redeem yourself at that time. Nothing. Jesus is the final word, and God says here, you know. If you're in John 1 again, or if you want to turn back to John 1,

I want to share with you what I think perhaps are some of the saddest words in all the Scripture. He's talked about how that the Word was with, or in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, and he talks about how He is light, truth, and so forth. Listen to verse 10. He was in the world and the world was made through him, that much we saw already, and the world did not know him.

The very maker of this world comes into the world to save us, but we didn't even recognize him. He came to his own and his own did not receive him. Can you picture that? That here... God sends the maker of the world into the world to try and save us. To do everything He can to save us. Let's Him hang on the cross so that He can save us.

And we see that, and we hear Him say, Come, the very one that made the world. And we act as if we don't know Him. The Word. Won't you see what the Word is saying to us, what it's trying to get us to know and understand, and accept the Savior, and be saved even this morning with that Word of salvation. You're here this morning, you've never put on Christ and baptism, just do it.

Don't argue with Him. Just do it. He has the authority. And then you can trust your salvation, because He says He'll save you. When you put on baptism, rise up to walk, and you just align. He also is so gracious that some others have done that, but we've left us my lives again. And he just says, repent and confess your fault to me and come to me and I'll forgive you.

There is no reason, no reason for a person not to be saved. If in the day when Christ comes again, you're on the left, not the right. You have no one to blame but yourself because he has come so that you can be saved. That's the word. You're subject to the invitation, we invite you to come, as together we stand the same.