In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.…
I. CHRIST IS DIVINE-HUMAN.
1. He assumed into union with His Godhead a human soul, a human body, and an animal nature. He hungered, thirsted, was fatigued, and had as real a need of meat, drink, and sleep as other men.
2. He grew, not only in stature, but in wisdom.
3. As regarded His human mind, He knew not the time of the consummation of all things.
4. He was as much mixed up with the manifold, humbling, petty details of daily life as any of us.
5. But every now and then there flashed rays of that glory which He had with the Father before the world was.
II. THE WRITTEN WORD IS DIVINE-HUMAN.
1. Its Divine element is twofold.
(1) Inspiration, which pervades the whole of it.
(2) Revelation, which characterizes the most important parts of it — the creation, the whole range of prophecy, the law, the gospel.
2. It is perfectly human — a fact attested by the variety of its style. It is coloured with the human mind, affections, experiences, reasonings.
3. This human element gives the Scriptures that geniality which wakens so many chords in our hearts, and which makes us find them such a sympathetic book. If they spoke only the tongues of angels they might reveal to us mysteries, impress and even scare us, but where would their comfort be?
4. Like the Personal Word, the Written Word, though both human and Divine, is but one book; inasmuch as all its treatises were given by inspiration of one Spirit, who did for them what the living soul does for the animal frame — gave them a regular organization and development which makes the Bible truly and really one body.
III. THE PERFECT HUMANITY OF THE WRITTEN WORD INVOLVES ITS BRING COMPASSED WITH INFIRMITY, AS THE WRITTEN WORD WAS. Hence the weaknesses of its human language and thought.
1. In censuring sin it speaks with a fidelity which our false delicacy does not relish, and which no uninspired preacher would dare to imitate.
2. Frequently the writers descend to matters of comparatively local, temporal, and mundane interest.
3. They were unacquainted with scientific truth.
4. In many points they give a handle to the misconstructions of enemies.
IV. THERE IS A GROWTH OF HOLY SCRIPTURE EXACTLY CORRESPONDING TO THE GROWTH OF THE PERSONAL WORD.
1. Prophecy is built up stone upon stone on the foundation of the original promise (Genesis 3:15). This promise is handed over to Abraham in an enlarged and expanded form (Genesis 12:3). When Abraham's family branches out into twelve tribes, Judah is selected as the tribe in which the promise should run (Genesis 49:8, 10). As soon as an earthly kingdom is established, David is indicated as the king on whose throne Messiah should sit (2 Samuel 7:12-16).
2. The Written Word is ever developing itself from Genesis to Revelation. In Genesis you have the dawn of Divine knowledge and thought; in the New Testament you have its noontide blaze. God, Christ, morality, the Fall, justification, sanctification are not seen as clearly in the Old Testament as in the New, nor in the earlier books of the Old as in the later. Yet from first to last it is the very Word of God, as Jesus is; as much exalted above other books as He is by His Divinity above other men.
V. IT EXHIBITS ALL THE SYMPTOMS OF ITS EXALTED CHARACTER AND ORIGIN, It abounds in passages of supernatural sublimity, foresights, revelations of heaven, oracles which seem to vibrate with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God. Like the Personal Word, the Written Word rises up in meek majesty to make those who approach it with hostile intent go backward and fall to the ground; upon it descends the holy dove; over it hangs the bright cloud; it quickens human souls; it says to the stormy sea of the human heart, "Peace, be still"; before it the demons of lust, pride, covetousness, worldliness, quake and flee. As both in His generation and resurrection and ascension Jesus was declared to be Divine, so both at its commencement, when it stoops down to inaugurate the narrative of earth, and at its close ascends to heaven again and exhibits man purged from all stain, so the Written Word is declared to be the Word of God with power.
VI. IF CHRIST WERE NOT HUMAN, WE SHOULD NOT HAVE THE CONSOLATION OF HIS SYMPATHY; IF THE SCRIPTURES WERE NOT HUMAN, THEY COULD NOT COME HOME AS THEY DO TO HUMAN HEARTS AND CONSCIENCES. Let us therefore regard them with but one whir the less affectionate veneration. There could be no trial of faith if they presented no difficulties. To what shall we go if we give them up?
Parallel VersesKJV: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.