Theology 101 — Jesus: The Proclaimed Wordcomment (0)
March 13, 2014
By Jerry Batson
For the past 10 studies we have been thinking about Christ as the Word. We began our look at the doctrine of Christ by thinking about Him as the Word that was. He was with God and was God. Then we moved on to think of Him as the Word that became. He became flesh to reveal God, redeem sinners and teach saints by His words and His exemplary life.
For the next few weeks we will think about Christ as the Word that is.
First John 1:1 reads, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the Word of life.” These words remind us that Christ is the eternal Word that was from the beginning. The verse further reminds us that He is the Word that became flesh. The second verse in 1 John amplifies this by explaining, “The life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us” (1 John 1:2).
Since Christ was the incarnate Word, people saw Him, touched Him, heard Him and followed Him. But they did more. When Jesus had returned to the Father, those same disciples began to proclaim Him as the Word of life. As the Word that is, Jesus is still the proclaimed Word.
Let’s think this week about Jesus as the proclaimed Word. For the past two millenia, faithful followers of Christ have proclaimed His person and work, the very heart of the gospel. Gospel proclamation properly centers on Christ. The apostle Paul spoke for all true disciples when he wrote, “We preach Christ” (1 Cor. 1:23). Contemporary proclamation cannot improve on that agenda; we also proclaim Him. By preaching Christ we are holding forth the Word of life (Phil. 2:16).
Concerning the proclaimed Word, 1 John 1:3–4 declares, “That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you so that you too may have fellowship with us, and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.” These two verses reveal three ideas about Christ who continues to be the heart of gospel proclamation.
The proclaimed Word is the way into fellowship with God. Jesus underscored this truth by declaring, “No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). As the exclusive way to the Father, Christ must be proclaimed to people everywhere.
The proclaimed Word also is the way by which people enter and enjoy fellowship with one another. Christian fellowship is God’s best answer to human loneliness. People in fellowship with one another must share something in common. Some connections between people are shallow and passing. As the link that connects us in meaningful fellowship with others and that has eternal duration, Christ must be proclaimed to everyone we can.
The proclaimed Word is the way unto completeness of joy. Often we hear ourselves substituting happiness for joy. The word happiness suggests that it is tied to whatever happens. Joy flows from a personal relationship to and fellowship with Jesus. Happenings vary; Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. We find full and enduring joy in Him.