The Word Carries the Whole Being of the Divine Nature

Christmas Monday

John 1:1-3, 14

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. That Word was with God in the beginning. All things were made through the Word, and without him nothing was made that was made.”

The word and the speaker cannot be one person. For it is impossible for the speaker himself to be the spoken word. What kind of a speaker would it be if he were himself the word? He would have to be mute or the word would have to sound forth by itself or speak itself without the speaker. Scripture, however, states strongly and clearly with express words in Genesis 1: “God spoke.” Thus, God and his Word must be distinct. If Moses, in Genesis 1, had said that there was a speech…it would not have been so clear that two distinct entities were present, the word and the speaker. But now he explicitly says: “God spoke,” naming the Speaker and his Word, he cogently states that there are two, and that the
Speaker is not the Word and that the Word is not the Speaker, but that the Word comes from the Speaker and that the Word does not have his nature from himself but from the Speaker. But the Speaker does not come from the Word. He also does not have his nature from the Word, but from himself. This is how Moses establishes conclusively that there are two persons in the divinity from eternity, before all creatures, and that one has the nature from the other, while the first one has his nature from no one but himself. Again, Scripture abides and stands firm that there is no more than one God, as Moses begins, saying, “In the beginning, God created heaven and earth.” And in Deuteronomy 6:4, he says: “Listen, Israel, your God is only one God.” Look, this is how Scripture uses simple, understandable words and teaches such high matters in such a clear manner that everyone can understand, but it also teaches in such a powerful manner that no one can argue against it…The Arians tried to turn the clear words in John 1 into a fog. They tried to drill a hole through heaven since they could not get past these verses, saying: “To be sure, this Word of God was certainly a god–though not by nature, but as a creature. And all things were made through it, but the Word was created first and then the rest of the creatures were made through that Word.” The Arians spoke all these things based on their own dreams without any foundation in Scripture because they abandoned the simple words of Scripture and followed their own thoughts…Now, we must open our heart and reason wide lest we consider such Word to be no more than a man’s insignificant, perishable words. Rather, as great as the Speaker is, so great we also must regard his Word to be. It is a Word that he speaks in himself and that remains in him and that is never separated from him. Thus we must think according to the apostle’s thoughts how God speaks to himself to himself and how he lets a Word from himself be in himself. But this Word is not idle wind or sound, but carries with it the whole being of the divine nature…God speaks his Word in such a way that the
entire divinity follows the Word and remains in the Word by nature and that is God by nature…The human word knows something of this, for by a man’s word we know a man’s heart…Experience, then, even taught the Gentiles who said that a man’s character is expressed in his words and that a man’s word is the image of his heart…But the simile of the human word also has its limitations because the human word does not substantially carry with it the nature of the heart, but only in a figurative manner, as a sign, just like a picture of a person does not carry with it the substance of the human person it signifies.

St. Louis ed., 11:156-160.

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