What is the significance of the title “The Word” as it is applied to Christ in John 1:1?
This title is peculiar to the writings of the Apostle John among which it occurs three times: John 1:1. I John 1:1. Revelation 19:13. In these references Christ is revealed as “The Faithful Witness” in the Gospel of John, “The First Begotten from the Dead” in his Epistle, and as “The Prince of the Kings of the Earth” in the Book of the Revelation. These appear related to Him as prophet, priest, and king. John calls the Lord Jesus “The Word” in his Gospel, “The Word of Life” in his Epistle, and “The Word of God” in the Book of the Revelation.
A word is the expression of a thought. The Eternal Word, Christ, was ever manifest before God, He was in the bosom of the Father. Through His incarnation He became visible to men as essentially manifesting God to them. He was in the world specifically to declare the Father. As the Incarnate Word, Christ revealed God in all the perfections of His nature and character as life, light, and love. When Philip said, “Show us the Father and it sufficeth us,” the Lord Jesus replied,
“He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father also.”
The saintly Canon Lidden said,” The term Logos, the Word, denotes at the very least something intimately and everlastingly present with God, something as internal to the Being of God as thought is to the soul of man. In truth the Divine Logos (that is, the Divine Word) is God reflected in His own eternal thought. In the Logos God is His own object. This infinite thought, the reflection and counterpart of God, subsisting in God as a Being or hypostasis, and having a tendency to self-communication, such in the Logos. The Logos in the thought of God …subsisting with the intensity of a personal form. The expression suggests to our minds the further idea of communicativeness. The Logos is speech as weir as thought.”
The Lord Jesus Christ came down from Heaven to tell us that God loved us. That life, light, and love can all be communicated to us in a new creation: love from the heart of the Father, life through the death of the Son, and light by the operation of the Holy Spirit (John 3:13-19).
“In Jesus Christ God is revealed unto us as a just God and a Saviour, as mighty and merciful, as faithful and forgiving, as infinitely holy and gracious and full of compassion. Such a revelation is attractive; it is fitted to melt the heart into penitence, to awaken its confidence in Him, and to draw it to Him in the fellowship of life and light” (W. Jones).
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Some, in the attempt to differentiate between the baptism of the Spirit and water baptism, aver that the baptism of the Spirit is a baptism into life, whereas the baptism in water is a baptism into death. This is most unsatisfactory reasoning, and does not bear the light of full investigation. The word “baptizo” not only means immersion but also emersion. The real concept expressed by the Greek word is found in the English infinitive “to dip.” The final act of baptism, that of emersion in either of these forms, the baptism of the Spirit or baptism in water, must therefore be into life. —Ed.