Shelby G. Floyd
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:1-3).
All Things Were Made By Christ
John, the apostle, affirms in verse three that all things were made by Christ. This includes the universe, all of its elements and its systems of law. Christ, the creator of things, is himself uncreated, for he was in the beginning with the Father, which means he is eternal in his nature and existence. The same cannot be said for the material universe. It is not eternal since it had a beginning.
The Universe Had a Beginning
John says that all things were made by Christ. The verb “were made” translates a Greek word which is in the aorist tense, and means: to become, or to come into existence, to begin to be, received being, and is used in John 1: 3 of the origin of all things. So from this verb we learn that all things of a material nature definitely had a beginning. They were begun when Christ made all things. The Bible teaches that the material universe had a beginning and it will have an end. Therefore, it is temporary in nature and not eternal. We understand and believe this fact by faith. “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” (Hebrews 11: 3.)
God did not make the world out of preexisting materials as an architect and a builder would make a house; but he made the universe out of nothing. He simply spoke and these things came into existence. This is what Moses affirms in the first chapter of Genesis when he says, “in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1: 1.)
God the Father Is the First Cause
Next we notice that while God the Father was the first cause in creation, our Lord Jesus Christ was the instrumental cause in that creation. The apostle affirms that “All things were made by him.” The preposition “by” translates a term which means through, or the instrument by which anything is effected, because what is done by means of a person or thing seems to pass as it were through the same, of an instrument used to accomplish a thing or of the instrumental cause in the stricter sense with the genitive of person, meaning by the service, the intervention of anyone. God, the Father, then is the originator and architect of the entire material universe, while his Son is the instrument or agent in bringing this universe into being.
Christ is the Instrumental Agent in Creation
This is more clearly seen and distinguished in 1 Corinthians 8, where Paul said, “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of (ek) whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by (dia) whom are all things, and we by (dia) him” (1 Corinthians 8: 6). From this verse we notice that all things came forth from out of the Father, while they were brought into being through the agency, or by the instrument, of his Son, Jesus Christ. This is also seen in Paul’s statement to the Colossians,
“For by (en) 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 (dia) him, and for (eis) him: And he is before (pro) all things, and by (en) him all things consist.” (Colossians 1: 16-17.)
The Son, Jesus Christ, therefore is the agent, and the instrumental cause in creation as the contrac¬tor is the agent of the owner who builds a house. In the book of Hebrews we read that God, “Hath in these last days spoken unto us by (en) his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by (dia) whom also he made the worlds” (Hebrews 1: 2).
Therefore, beyond a shadow of a doubt, God, the Father, is the first cause in all of the creation, and his Son, Jesus Christ, was the instrumental cause by which all of these things were brought into existence.
Christ Created the World by the Spoken Word
And furthermore, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit brought the world into existence by the power of their word. David said, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth” (Psalms 33: 6). But our text is even more emphatic in affirming the instrumental cause of Christ in the creation of all things. The apostle John says, “And without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3). This simply means that apart from the agency of Christ, not one thing came into being that has come into being and still exists.
The phrase “that was made” translates a verb in the Greek which is in the perfect tense. In the Greek the perfect tense denotes the present state as the continuing result of a previous act. In the beginning the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit brought the material universe into being, and that universe is still with us as a result of that previous act, but not one thing which was made and still continues with us to this day came into being apart from the agency of Christ.
The People of the World Knew Not Him Who Made the World
Therefore, Christ had a part in bringing everything that we know or can understand into existence. Since Christ brought all things into being, let us have a greater respect for his power, and for his word. In John 1: 10, we read, “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.” It is from his word that we can learn and understand how the world came into being, and it is from the word that we can learn and understand about Christ and his purpose for coming into the world to be a sacrifice for our sins. Let us have a greater respect for Christ who made all things.
Copyright © 2014 Shelby Floyd All Rights Reserved
Shelby G. Floyd