August 7, 2011

λόγος VIII: Salvation Perfectly Repackaged

It is likely that when John wrote his prologue, not only was he trying to proclaim the symbiotic and inseparable nature of God and His Word/word, he also attempted to combat Hellenism, Docetism and burgeoning Gnostic thought that was prevalent in the surrounding culture. These dangerous mindsets could’ve been purposely used to subvert Christianity either by man or the powers of this world. When John, with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit tapped in the words “the Word”, he had found a terminology that connected all of the disparate strains of thought in his world.

The Word /Jesus had always existed but something new had come, at least from a human perspective. John had given a new meaning to the old idea in the Word just as God had repackaged salvation in the flesh in the incarnate form of Jesus Christ. Salvation through faith (accredited as righteousness) had always existed but now it had finally taken on the attribute of humanity and as such was in the perfect position to serve as our advocate for the Father.

"Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone" ~Hebrews 2:9.

"Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted." ~Hebrews 2:14-18

John was able to bridge the Old Testament Judaism and Greek philosophy with the New Testament Christianity. In doing so he had given rise to a third and final meaning to the Word. Having associated the Word to flesh in the form of Jesus he had truthfully made claim that the Word was Salvation (Barrett 129). Belief in Jesus is by faith and as Paul said, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ (Romans 10:17)…who was the Word!!!

John was able to bridge the Greek/Gentile cultural idea of intangible reason with that of a tangible manifestation of God (Jesus), God’s Word and Reason for those that would hear and see. Because of John’s synthesis he was then able to refute pagan philosophies as could early church apologists. Because of John’s explanations of Jesus being the Word, he then had a starting point to begin to explain the Gospel and Jesus which is often the hardest part of sharing the Good News…finding a suitable point of commonality between multiple opposing ideas. The philosophy ended up being a gateway to sharing the message of Christ. John shows that Jesus is the personal self-disclosure revelation of God in His total being. He is the Gospel. He is all these things and more…He is salvation-the light of men.

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