God created all things, but He created through His Son. The Son even created time.

God createdAll things are from God, the Father, but through Jesus Christ (I Cor. 8:6).  God created all things.  But Jesus was not created: He is the “only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).  Since time itself did not exist prior to “the beginning”, and since “the Word” existed “in the beginning” (John 1:1), there was no time when the Son did not exist.

God created all things.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1).

Thus says the LORD … ‘I, the LORD, am the maker of all things, Stretching out the heavens by Myself And spreading out the earth all alone’” (Isaiah 44:24; cf. 42:5; 45:18).
(As indicated by the capital letters, the word “LORD” is a translation of God’s personal name, which is Yahweh or Jehovah.  Isaiah 42:5 and 45:18 contain similar statements.)

Jesus has always credited Yahweh with creation, for instance, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female” (Matthew 19:4-6).

Jesus created all things.

Psalms 102:25-27 says of God:

Of old You founded the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. Even they will perish, but You endure; And all of them will wear out like a garment; Like clothing You will change them and they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not come to an end.

Hebrews 1 applies this nearly word-for-word to Jesus:

of the Son He says … You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of Your hands; they will perish, but You remain; and they all will become old like a garment, and like a mantle You will roll them up; like a garment they will also be changed. but You are the same, and Your years will not come to an end” (Heb. 1:8, 10-12).

God created all things through Jesus.

Jesus did create all things, but if we read carefully, we will find that it is God who created, but God created everything through His Son:

Genesis 1: God spoke to Jesus, in His pre-human existence, concerning the creation of Adam and Eve, saying, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26).

John 1:  The first verse in the Bible reads, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1).  John 1 uses the same phrase, “In the beginning” (John 1:1), saying, “In the beginning was the Word … All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being” (John 1:1-3).  “The Word” is Jesus (see John 1:14).  “The beginning” was when all things were brought into being.  Since Jesus existed “in the beginning”, He is eternal; there was no time when He was not.

Colossians refers to “His beloved Son” (1:13) and states, “by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.  He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (1:16-17).

Hebrews 1:2 refers to “His Son … through whom also He made the world”.

The phrases “through Him” and “through whom” in John, Colossians and Hebrews indicates that God is the Source of all creative power and wisdom, but God creates all things through “His Son.”  Creation can therefore be attributed to both the Father and the Son.  The following verse explains the different roles of God and Jesus in creation:

There is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him” (I Cor. 8:6).

All things

Both John 1:3 and Colossians 1:16 testify that the Son made “all things”.  Hebrews 1:2 says He made “the world”, but then verse 3 continues to say that He upholds “all things.”  This implies that “the world” in verse 1 is a synonym for “all things.”  Colossians 1:16 defines “all things” as “in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities”.  We therefore can conclude that the Son created the universe and everything in it.

There was no time when the Son did not exist.

In the view of some the Son was God’s first creation.  They believe that there was a time when the Son did not exist.  However:

Since God does not exist in time, there is no such things as God’s first creation.

Since His Son created all things, He “is before all things” (Col. 1:17).

Since God created even time “in the beginning”, through the Son, there was no time when the Son did not exist.

He is “from long ago, from the days of eternity” (Micah 5:2).

First-born of all creation

Colossians 1:15-16; (RSV) reads, “He is … the first-born of all creation; for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible …. all things were created through him and for him.”  Revelation 3:14 similarly describes Jesus as “the Beginning of the creation of God.

These are used by some as evidence that Jesus is the first created being.  For a discussion of the phrase “first-born of all creation”, please see Jesus in Colossians.  In brief:

Some argue that “first-born” means preeminent, because, in the Hebrew mind, this is what the word “first-born” over the centuries came to mean.  However, on the basis of the word “for” in Colossians 1:16, the article Jesus in Colossians proposes that “the first-born of all creation” means that the Son was the first to exist.

On the other hand, the article Only Begotten argues that His Son was not created, but that He is eternally begotten by the Father.  This is reflected by the word “born” in “first-born”.  The concept of “begotten” conveys to finite minds something of infinity; how God’s Son came to be.  See Only Begotten for a further discussion.

Our limited understanding 

We may think that we understand time, space and matter, but Einstein showed that we really do not.  For a long time people thought of the earth as flat because they were only able to see such a small part of it.  In the same way we understand time, space and matter only from our minute context.  The time, space and matter of which we are aware is extremely small, compared to the entire universe; must smaller than a grain of sand on a desolated beach when compared to the entire world.  But even if we understood the universe, God exists beyond time, space and matter.  While the universe had a “beginning”, God has no beginning, for He is eternal (Rom. 16:26).  Since God is not subject to time, the statement that the Son always existed with God, is nonsense.

God sustains all things through His Son. 

He (the Word) … upholds all things by the word of His power” (Heb. 1:3).

In Him (Jesus) all things hold together” (Col. 1:17).

The Son is therefore very different from the created sons of God.

NEXT:  We must worship Jesus.

Articles in the series: Is Jesus God?

1.    The three views of the Son
2.    Jesus existed prior to His birth in the form of God.
3.    Jesus in Colossians
4.    Did Jesus empty Himself of equality with God?
5.    Who is the Word?
6.    Jesus is not God.
7.    God is the Head of Christ.
8.    In the Bible Jesus is called God.
9.    Only Begotten Son of God
10.  God created all things through His Son.
11.  We must worship Jesus.
12.  Is Jesus God?

God created and still upholds all things through His Son.

Word of GodGod is the Source of all creative power and wisdom.  All things came into being by His word.  But the Word is also a Person; God’s only begotten Son.  The Bible consistently draws a distinction God and the Son, but also describes the Son as The Beginning, through whom God brought all things into being, and who upholds all things by the word of His power.

This article has been replaced by some other articles.  Please see: In the beginning was the Word..

This is the third article in a series about who the Son of God is and what His relationship is with His Father, God Almighty.

The first article explains the three views of the Son.  Some people propose that the Son of God is a created being.  Others say that He was derived from the Father.  A third view is that He always existed; co-equal with the Father.

The second article shows that God is One, that the Bible contrast His Son with God, and that the Father is greater than the Son.

This third article discusses the Son as Creator and Upholder of the universe.

The Word in John 1

God’s word of creation

In the BeginningThe dramatic first verses of John 1 do not refer to “the Son” or to the “Son of God”, but to “the Word”.  Some therefore propose that “the Word” does not refer to the Son, but to the word which God spoke when He created all things.  Modern translations render “the Word” with a capital “W”, but all original documents have been written in capitals only.  Capitals and lower case therefore are only interpretations.

Let there be lightIt is possible that “the Word” in John 1:1-2 refers to God’s word, for “God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light” (Gen. 1:3).  The whole of Genesis 1 is about what God spoke, and it came to be.  The phrase “God said” appears 10 times in that chapter.

But the Word is also the Son

The Word is described as a Person.

What would be the logic of saying that “the word” which God spoke “was with God … was God … was in the beginning with God”? (John 1:1-2) These descriptions imply that “the word” is a Person.

God created through the Word, but God also created through His Son.

All thingsAccording to John 1:3 “all things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being”.  “Him” in this verse is also an interpretation.  The original word means “the same”.  What 1:3 is saying is that all things came into being through the Word.

However, both Hebrews 1 and Colossians 1 say that all things came into being through the Son (Col. 1:13; Heb. 1:2).  This implies that “the Word” is “the Son”.  Note the word “through” in John 1, in Colossians 1 and in Hebrews 1 (John 1:3; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2).

Since God created through His Son, it remains God that created.

The Word” is “the Light”, and “the Light” is the Son of God.

John 1:4 continues to explain “the Word” but changes the symbolism from “the Word” to “the Light of men”.  The subsequent verses continue to describe “the Light”, and do it in a way that refers to the Son:

John 1:6-8 says that John the Baptist came as a witness, to testify about the Light”.  John was the forerunner for the Son of God in human form.  John witnessed, “I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘make straight the way of the Lord … among you stands One whom you do not know …” (John 1:23-26).  “The Light”, and therefore “the Word”, refers to Jesus, who is the Son of God in human form.

The True LightJohn 1:9-10 refers to “the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.  He was in the world, and the world was made through Him”.  These verses confirm that the One through whom “all things came into being” (1:3) is also “the light of men” (1:4), and this One came into the world (1:9).  How could this be anybody other than the Son?

The Word became flesh.

Tested unto death
Son of God

John 1:14 again refers to “the Word”, and says “the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us”.  This can only be the Son of God.  He “descended from heaven” (John 3:13; 6:38, 62).  “I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world” (John 8:23).  “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

But how can the Word be the Son?

There is therefore sufficient proof that “the Word” in John 1:1-2 refers to the Son.  But how must this be understood?  God did not create another Creator; He spoke the word.  All things came into being by the word of God.  But the Word is also a Person; “the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father” (John 1:18).  That Person later became flesh (John 1:14).  Not only was He “in the beginning with God” (John 1:1-2), He Himself Is “the Beginning“ (Col. 1:18; cf. 2 Peter 3:4; Rev. 3:14).  He is “the firstborn of all creation” (Col. 1:15). This is both a truth and a mystery.  Let us be content to accept that the God is beyond human understanding.

Comparing Three Key Creation Passages

Consider the following three quotations:

Gospel of JohnJohn 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.

Colossians 1:13 His beloved Son15 … is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 … He is the beginning

Hebrews 1:1 God2 has spoken to us in His Son … through whom also He made the world 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.

This is what theologians call high Christology; explanations with a high view of Christ. Various conclusions will now be drawn from the three passages:

God brought all things into being through the Son. 

All three quotations claim that God made “all things” “through Him”:

John 1:3All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being”.
Through HimCol. 1:16By Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him”.
Heb. 1:1-2His Son … through whom also He made the world” (Heb. 1:2).

The presentation of the Creator as consisting of more than one Person is not unique to the New Testament.  On the first page of the Jewish Scriptures, describing the creation of this world (Gen. 1:1), God refers to Himself as “Us”, saying “Let Us make man in Our image”, which, with the knowledge we have from the New Testament, includes His Son.

We therefore conclude as follows:

A. God is the Source of all creative power and wisdom.
B. The Father is greater than the Son (John 14:29).

There was no time when the Son did not exist.

He is before all thingsHe is before all things” (Col. 1:17).  He is “from long ago, from the days of eternity” (Micah 5:2), “before the world was” (John 17:5).  Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58).

John 1:1 begins with the words “in the beginning”.  “The Word … was in the beginning with God” (John 1:2).  This phrase probably comes from the first verse in the Bible, which reads, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1).

John 1:1-3 links “the beginning” to the creation event.  The beginning is therefore when all things were brought into being.  Colossians also relate “the beginning” (1:18) to the creation of all things (1:15-16).  Before “the beginningnothing existed.  There was no time before that, so to talk about the Son existing with the Father before that time is an anachronism; time did exist.

While the universe had a “beginning”, God has no beginning, for He is eternal (Rom. 16:26).  God exists beyond time.

We can therefore conclude that there was no time when the Son did not exist, for God also created time through the Son.  But to make any statement that He always existed co-equal with God is treading into an area which is beyond human comprehension.

All things” include the universe and everything in it.

All three quotations claim that the Son made “all things”.  Hebrews 1:1 says He made “the world”, but then verse 3 says He upholds all things, which implies that “the world” is a synonym for “all things”.  Colossians 1:16 defines “all things” as “in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities”.  The ancient people had no idea how large the universe is.  (Neither do we.)  We therefore can conclude that the Son created the universe and everything in it.

God continues to uphold all things through the Word. 

The title “the Word” also indicates the Son’s permanent role as the One through whom God continues to speak to uphold all things.

Upholds all things
Upholds all things

Col. 1:17In Him all things hold together”.
Heb. 1:2-3His Son … upholds all things by the word of His power”.

He became a human being as part of His work to uphold all things.  He became a human being to redeem this world.

Col. 1:13 God, through the Son, “rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son”.
1 Tim. 1:16 “Just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself”.

The Son contrasted with God

As a child I was taught to think about God the Father and God the Son, but that is not exactly how the Bible presents the Son.  As shown in the previous article, the Bible consistently draws a distinction God and the Son, as if the Son is not God.  The three creation passages quoted above do the same:

The Word was with God” (John 1:1-2).
His beloved Son … is the image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:13-15).
God …  has spoken to us in His Son … through whom also He made the world” (Heb. 1:1-2)

Consider some of Paul’s statements, randomly selected:

“Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father” (2Th 2:16)
God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 1:1)
Our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus” (1 Thess. 3:13; cf. v11)

But between such statements we find statements such as “the Word was God” (John 1:1).  And it is said that God made all things through Him and that the Son “upholds all things by the word of His power“.  This series of articles is evaluating three option, as mentioned above.  The last article will bring the evidence together into a conclusion.

Series

This is the third in a series of seven:

(1) The three views of the Son of God.
(2) God is One, the Son contrasted with God and the Father is greater than the Son.
(3) What the Son does: He made and still upholds all things by the word of His power.
(4) What the Son is: Fullness of Deity
(5) The Son is worshiped.
(6) The Son is Yahweh of the Old Testament.
(7) Conclusion: Is He created, derived or eternally co-equal?