Nick Lica
Compare and contrast the views of Christ in:
John 1:1-18; Romans 1:3-4; Acts 2:36


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A. John 1:1-18

The scope and design of this passage is to confirm our faith in Christ as the eternal Son of God, and the true Messiah and Savior of the world and that we may be brought to receive him, and rely upon him, as our Prophet, Priest, and King, and be saved by him1 John begins his gospel like Mathew with a “genealogy”; but his genealogy is a history of divine, not of human origins.2 Jesus is described here as being the:


Word - logos

The Greek term usually translated ‘word’ (especially word of God) when it occurs in the NT. Logos has a wide range of meaning, e.g., reckoning or accounting, explanation or reason, statement or discourse.

Originally employed as a technical philosophical term by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus (sixth century b.c.), logos became a particularly important concept for the Stoics (third century b.c. and later). In Stoicism, logos was the principle and pattern that gave the world or cosmos its character and coherence. The term was taken over by Philo, the Alexandrian philosophical theologian of Judaism, who was roughly a contemporary of the apostle Paul. By means of the logos, Philo sought to reconcile Greek philosophical theories about the universe (cosmology) with the biblical accounts of God’s creating the world by his spoken word. God’s logos became a clearly identifiable entity, mediating between God and the world, the mode of the divine creativity and revelation.

In both Greek and Jewish thought there existed the conception of the word. This word belonged to the heritage of both races and both could understand. The word that which is spoken, either by a human or by God. In the Bible, God’s revelation is characteristically his speaking. Therefore, the expression ‘word of God’ or ‘word of the Lord’ holds an important place in the Bible and biblical religion, usually denoting God’s revelation of his will and purpose. In the ot, God’s word is central. God speaks and thus creates (Gen. 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26). He utters the words of the Decalogue (Exod. 20:1). Prophets hear and speak what the Lord has spoken to them (Isa. 1:2; 6:8-10), for they are primarily recipients and transmitters of the word of the Lord (Jer. 1:2). The nt usage of the term is subject to later and extrabiblical influences but can be seen as a development of the OT. Jesus preaches the word (Mark 2:2), and the gospel of Jesus Christ is called the word of God (Acts 4:31). Eventually, Jesus himself is said to be God’s Word (John 1:1, 14; cf. Heb. 1:2). Thus, in both the ot and the nt, God’s speaking and word are of fundamental importance.


Characteristic of the word

John presents 5 main characteristics of the word in this passage:

  • The word is eternal, The expression in the beginning was the word does not refer to particular moment of time but assumes timeless eternity. This show preexistence of Christ, and His divine nature. This means also that when beginning began the Word was already there. The eternity of God is described in Ps. 90:2: Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God”. 3

  • The word is divine. The word was God. This statement shows the deity of Jesus. His origin is divine and He has the very same character, quality and essence with God. This means that Jesus was so perfectly the same with God in mind and heart, in being that in him we perfectly see what God is like. Jesus is the revelation of God to men. Only through faith in Him we can know God and have eternal life. This is the main purpose of John in writing his gospel.

  • The word was the agent of creation: all things were made through Him. By assigning the Word an indispensable role in creation, John makes clear not only that creation is good but also that in this Word creation and redemption are linked together. God made the world by a word (Ps. 33:6) and Christ was the Word. By him, not as a subordinate instrument, but as a co-ordinate agent, God made the world. This proves that he is God; for he that built all things is God, Heb. 3:4.

  • The word is the source of light and life:(In Him was life v. 4). This further proves that Jesus is God, not only the true God, but also the living God. God is life; All living creatures have their life in him; not only all the matter of the creation was made by him, but all the life too that is in the creation is derived from him and supported by him. It was the Word of God that produced the moving creatures that had life, Gen. 1:20; Acts 17:25. He is that Word by which man lives more than by bread, Mt. 4:4. Jesus is ‘the bread of life,’ ‘the light of life,’ ‘the resurrection and the life,’ ‘the way, and the truth, and the life’ (John 6:48; 8:12; 11:25; 14:6). The one believing in Jesus receives eternal life both in the present (‘has passed from death to life,’ John 5:24) and in the future (‘I will raise him up at the last day,’ John 6:40).

  • The word was incarnated: And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. Incarnation (Lat. incarnatio), a term meaning ‘to enter into or become flesh.’ It refers to the Christian doctrine that the pre-existent Son of God became man in Jesus. This is the biggest revelation of God in Christ becoming flesh. Dwelt” (NKJ) translates a Greek verb that implies tenting or tabernacling, evoking the motif of God’s dwelling with his people, in the wilderness tabernacle and in the Temple on Mount Zion. Jesus renounced His glory and came in our environment and lived a holy and pure life. The act of His incarnation show us the love of God towards human beings (Jn 3:16).

B. Romans 1:3-4

The subject-matter of this epistle is what Christ has done for us. The prophets and apostles all bear witness to Jesus; he is the true treasure hid in the field of the scriptures. In these verses there is the core of Paul Christology. He gives proof of his humanity: was born; and the proof of his deity: his resurrection from the dead. Paul view of Christ here is that in Jesus there are two distinct natures:

  1. His human nature: Made of the seed of David (v. 3), that is, born of the virgin Mary, who was of the house of David (Lu. 1:27), as was Joseph his supposed father, Lu. 2:4. David is here mentioned, because of the special promises made to him concerning the Messiah, especially his kingly office; 2 Sa. 7:12; Ps. 132:11. Paul in contrast with John 1 shows Christ first as the one who was born from the royal family and then he was declared the Son of God.

  2. His divine nature: Declared to be the Son of God (v. 4), the Son of God by eternal generation. According to the flesh, that is, his human nature, he was of the seed of David; but according to the Spirit of holiness, that is, the divine nature he is the Son of God. The great proof or demonstration of this is his resurrection from the dead, which proved it effectually and undeniably. So that we have here a summary of the gospel doctrine concerning Christ’s two natures in one person.

C. Acts 2:36

The end of the Peter’s Sermon is Christocentric and emphasizes what must know every Jew about him: he is Lord and Christ. This is Peter’s view of Christ.

  • Jesus is Lord! Lord, is a title of dignity and honor acknowledging the power and authority of the one so addressed. In the ot ‘Lord’ is used to translate various titles for God (e.g., Adonai, El Shaddai). Many people called Jesus Lord but they did not meant God but teacher or rabbi a man with authority. Peter takes this title and connects it with his OT evangelistic sermon and show that Jesus is more than a teacher, He is LORD – Adonai. He is one Lord to the Gentiles, who had had lords many; and to the Jews he is Messiah, which includes all his offices. He is the king Messiah the prince, Dan. 9:25. This is the great truth of the gospel which we are to believe, that that same Jesus, the very same that was crucified at Jerusalem, is he to whom we owe allegiance, and from whom we are to expect protection, as Lord and Christ.

  • Jesus is Messiah – The Sahedrin rejected Jesus’ claim being the Messiah (Mk 14:61). For this they condemned Jesus to death. But God used the cross of shame where Jesus died to make Him Lord of Lord’s and King of King’s. Peter believed that Jesus is the anointed one that God promised to Israel even if he was not a kind of messiah that they were expected. But Peter changes his view of the messiah after Jesus’ resurrection and He is the first who preach the good news to the Jews and Gentiles in the day of Pentecost. Peter’s view of Christ is the one who saves and the one who rules the world.


These three texts are show Christ in different ways according to the receiver and situation and purposes for what they having been written. John is to both: Jews and Greeks that’s why he uses the term logos to bind together their thoughts and proclaim to both Jews and Gentiles that Jesus is the eternal, divine and incarnated word. Paul was eager to preach the gospel of Jesus in Rome (1:15) and before he got there he wrote to them about Jesus and his view on Jesus is that in Him are 2 natures: human and divine. Peter concludes his sermon with a challenge for all Jews: that Jesus is Lord and He is the Messiah. In other words, Messiah has come and he died and is alive, he came to destroy the power of sin and to bring salvation and eternal life for those who believe in Him


3The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.