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Chapter IV.

God's Creative Original
by Cecil J. Blay

God is One. He is certainly not Three; but neither is He Two.

This truth is not easy to grasp, and it has been obscured by much theological philosophizing regarding the relationship between the Father and the Son during the period of the Incarnation. Our thoughts are constantly disturbed by the apparent differences between Father and Son recorded during the period when "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us."

Paul makes it very clear, in his first Epistle to the Corinthians (8:6) that there is to us one God, the Father (i.e. Invisible spirit) out of Whom are all things, and we for Him, and one Lord, Jesus Christ (i.e. a personal human being) through Whom are all things, and we through Him. Paul adds, by way of parenthesis, "but not everyone knows this!" Perhaps we might add that today very few, even among Christians, really know of the relationship between God and His Son.

God, Who is invisible spirit, is the First Cause, the source of all creation, "Out of Whom are all things." Our Lord, Himself, stated that He "Came forth out of God" (John 8:42). God is invisible and beyond human knowledge, but He becomes visible and knowable in Christ Jesus, His Son, and in no other way. All things are through the Lord Jesus, Who is the Mediator of God and man, the bridge over the otherwise impassable gulf between spirit and matter. Divine as to spirit and human as to flesh, in Him God and man meet.

Paul tells us that Christ and God are complementary (Col. 1:15-20). This Scripture tells us more about God and Christ than all the theological books ever written. In Christ dwells the entire complement of Deity, and through Him reconciles the universe to God (making peace through the blood of His cross) through Him, whether on earth or in the heavens.

Christ, we are told, is the Image of God -- the visible of the invisible. Conversely, God is the invisible of the visible Christ: we cannot have one without the other. So visibility and invisibility are two aspects of Deity and the visible Son is not a separate "person" from the invisible Father.

In the Hebrew Scriptures there are several accounts of human beings talking to God face to face, and this they could not do with invisible Spirit. They spoke to Jehovah, Who appeared to them as a man, the visible Image of the Invisible. He appeared to Adam and Eve in the garden, to Abraham in friendly converse, to Moses and to others. From the account of the transfiguration it would seem that Moses and Elijah instantly recognised in the Lord Jesus the One to Whom they had spoken long before.

This was always the Hebrew understanding of God -- One Who was both transcendent and therefore invisible and unapproachable, and One Who was also immanent, visible and near at hand. The Greek Scriptures also speak of the Deity in the same way, referring to the characteristics of God as being Fatherhood and Sonship. This does not make God "two persons." God, as Spirit, cannot be a Person in the way we understand the word; He personalises Himself in Christ.

Our Lord, surprisingly, made known to a woman of doubtful morals this profound truth about God, that He cannot be localised. He is Spirit, not a Spirit, and He is not confined to place, even for purposes of worship.

Our Lord made it very simple for us when He said "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father." So if we wish to find the Person of God, we look in the face of His Son, for Christ is God in human form.

In human form God became subject to the limitations of human conditions, and this involved the temporary giving up of His powers wherever the retention of those powers would have made Him physically more than human. Thus He became subject to hunger and thirst and weariness. But so far as spiritual power was concerned, Christ derived this directly from the Father, with Whom He was in close and constant communion. The Lord made this clear on many occasions in such expressions as "The words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself, but the Father Who dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works" (John 14:10). And again, "The Son can do nothing of Himself" (John 5:19).

Perhaps we do not pay sufficient heed to Paul's statement "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself." Not reconciling the world to Himself in (by means of) Christ, but IN CHRIST reconciling the world. In the Son of God we ought to see God Himself giving Himself, sacrificing Himself.

It is important that we should be able to distinguish between these two aspects of God. On the one hand, God the invisible spirit, out of Whom are all things, and God the visible (our Lord Jesus Christ) in Whom the universe has its cohesion, Who reveals God to man, through Whom are all things. We do not see in Christ a different person from God, but God Himself, revealing His heart in One Who at the same time is both human and Divine.

God has always acted through His Son, so far as this universe is concerned. The limitations endured by the Son during His incarnation did not restrict Him before that event nor limit Him after it. When He appeared to His disciples after His resurrection, He said "All power is given unto Me in heaven and on earth," and before the emptying of Himself and taking upon Himself the form of a slave, He subsisted in the form of God, and there was no limit to His power. Indeed, it was through Him that the universe was created.

Creation and redemption are always closely related in Scripture, both having to do with the revelation of God, and both being accomplished through Christ. As the Word, or Logos, He is the expression of God. "He was in the beginning with God, and He was God." And, John adds, "All things were made through Him, and without Him was nothing made that was made."

Paul, too, ascribes creation to Christ, when he writes, "the universe in the heavens and on earth is created in Him -- the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or sovereignties or authorities -- the universe has been created through Him and for Him, and He is before all, and the universe has its cohesion in Him" (Col. 1:16-18).

He is here described as the great Originator of all things, as He is in the first Chapter of Hebrews, and which speaks of Him as "the Effulgence of God's glory and the Emblem of His assumption, Who carries on the universe by His powerful declaration."

There is a further description of our Lord in the Unveiling as "the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, and God's Creative Original" (Rev. 3:14).

There is also a striking passage in Hebrews 1 (verses 8 and 9 and 10 and 12) where the Father addresses the Son. Verse 10 states explicitly: --

"Thou, originally, Lord, dost found the earth,
And the heavens are the work of Thy hands."
The Scriptures leave us in no doubt at all as to who is the Creator; it is none other than our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Contemplation of these truths sheds much light on God's relationship to the human race. In the form of the Son, God becomes Creator so that the race made in His image should ultimately realise sonship towards Him. Christ is the Ideal Son, and He shows to us the Ideal God. In the form of the Son, God comes to us by incarnation, and is called "Immanuel," that is, "God with us." In Christ He reconciles the universe to Himself in the suffering and sacrifice of the Cross.

And it is Christ, through Whom all things were made, Who finally at the consummation gives up the kingdom to God, even the Father, and then the Son shall be subject to Him Who subjects the universe to Him, that God may be All in all (1 Cor. 15:24-28).

"God's purpose is, and always has been, to lead many sons and daughters, all humanity, to glory, and the Sonship realised and revealed to us in Christ Jesus is at once the final and first cause of all things, of the whole creation. The universe comes to its majority and enters on its inheritance in His person. The meaning and end of Creation is the meaning and end of Humanity."

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