And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
Today’s big question: did God really say “the Word Became Flesh”?
Throughout the years, the Genesis 3 attack has come from wolves in sheep’s clothing operating within the church. To deal with this internal attack, the church gathered together in councils to discuss the true teaching of the Word of God. From these great men upholding the truth we have some wonderful statements and creeds that have helped the church to stay true to the text of God’s Word.
Tertullian was a church father who defended the Christian faith against the Gnostic heresy around AD 200. He coined the term “Trinity” to help us understand the biblical doctrine that God is one Being in three persons. It was during his time that Gnosticism flourished. Gnostics questioned the human nature of Jesus Christ because they believed that all matter was essentially evil and God could not be tainted by it. It is because of this foundational belief that the Gnostics were refused to accept that Jesus is both fully God and fully man.
A huge problem for the Gnostics was that they relied on worldly philosophy to interpret the Bible. They could see the evidence of the curse on this world. They could see death, suffering, disease, and bloodshed right in front of their eyes. Their conclusion was that the matter comprising this decaying world must be evil.
Tertullian wrote against this by showing that God’s Word provides and accurate description of this world. God created a perfect world. There was no death, suffering disease, or bloodshed. However, because of man’s sin, God cursed this world and death became the norm. Evil is not the result of the existence of matter, but of man’s sin. God’s perfect judgment on that sin is apparent all around us.
The Gnostic view fails to properly explain physical matter. Only through the lens of God’s Word can we gain a correct understanding of this world. The Bible also reveals that Jesus Christ, the Word, became flesh and serves as our Mediator who will restore all things. His perfect, atoning sacrifice for sin is all that could appease the wrath of the holy God.
Matter is not the origin of evil. God created a perfect world (Genesis 1:31), but our evil rebellion brought about the perfect judgment of God and resulted in a cursed creation. Only through an acceptance of the veracity of God’s Word can we be assured of the full humanity and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Today’s big idea: a perfect creation helps us to understand our perfect Savior.
What to pray: thank God that His Word gives us understanding of this world and His Son.