Right! I’ve only ten minutes to answer Mr. Heaster which could require much longer, but I will deal with the last few points first.
On the word “God”, it is quite true that it is, on rare occasions, used for other beings than the One whom we call “God the Father” – but can a man accept being called “God” – addressed as God? I think the case in Acts 14 makes it perfectly plain that he can’t.
On the meaning of “logos”, it is perfectly true that it has the primary meaning that Mr. Heaster has explained. But then the word “light” too has the primary meaning of what comes from the sun, or from these electric lights here. But it also is used as a reference to Jesus personally – he was the light; and as he was the light so he was the word. He himself is the expression of everything that God is. He is the one that declared God, according to John 1:18 “the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him”. Therefore, I submit to you, that the interpretation I placed upon the first verse of John’s gospel is the right one. You can read that section 1 to 18 right through, carefully, and you will find that it is consistent.
Now when it says “the word was made flesh” I think it is perhaps necessary to make one point clear. It doesn’t mean that someone made the word flesh. More exactly translated it is “the word become flesh”. We might almost say it is an act of His own.
Now the second point I want to make in referring to Mr. Heaster’s first speech is the constant use of the word “shall be”, “will be”, and similar expressions, in relation to the foretelling of the coming in of Jesus into the open world and in particular those verses he referred to in the opening chapter of Luke, referring to the birth of Jesus from Mary.
[One point I am happy to be in entire agreement with Mr. Heaster on is the virgin birth. That is something that is much denied these days and so it is worthwhile saying that I affirm it.]
But the “shall be’s” and the “will be’s” in all those passages simply refer to the person that was to be born into this world. No other word could have been used until he was actually born. The confusion arises from a failure to distinguish the place that Jesus has come into (as is explained in Philippians chapter 2) in coming out of the divine Godhead into the place or form of a servant. Once you have grasped that fact, all those difficulties disappear.
Jesus is both God and man. I have no quarrel at all with Mr. Heaster on the subject of his real manhood because Trinitarian doctrine, if I must use that expression, is one that insists equally upon his manhood. There have been, and Scripture shows us, those who denied his manhood. We are not worrying about that argument at the moment, but that’s why it is important to insist upon it. The reason it’s important is this. Christ died for our sins. If he had not been man, he could not have died. If he had not been God, his death would have been of no avail, because he bore our sins in his own body on the tree. No mere man could have done that. Therefore, I also insist that he was sinless internally as well as sinless in the sense that he didn’t commit sins. That is made perfectly clear from Scripture. It doesn’t only say that “he did no sin neither was guile found in his mouth” but “in him is not”. John’s first epistle chapter 3 verse 5 “and you know that He appeared in order to take away sins” (I should say, I am reading in this instance from the New American Standard Bible) “And you know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin”. It wasn’t simply that he didn’t commit sins, but there was no sin in him. If it had been otherwise, then his death would have been of no avail, because his sacrifice would not have been a pure sacrifice. “Holy, harmless, undefiled” refers not simply to what he did but what he was. He couldn’t have made a sacrifice for himself had he been sinful internally because the sacrifice would not have been admissible. The sacrifice to be effective had to be pure. What he did was to sacrifice for us and it was because he was perfect internally and externally in every way that the sacrifice is acceptable to God. Our whole salvation depends upon that point.
I will add something further, just to support that. If you go to the gospel according to John 7:18, “he who speaks for himself seeks his own glory” (that refers to the opponents of Jesus) “but he who is seeking the glory of the one who has sent him” (that is Jesus) “he is true and there is no unrighteousness in him”.
Now turn with me to Psalm 92:15 “To declare that the Lord (that is Yahweh or Jehovah) is upright: He is my rock and there is no unrighteousness in Him”. As there was no unrighteousness in Yahweh so there was no unrighteousness in Jesus. Therefore the moral argument that has been used against the deity of Christ falls flat. And thank God it does, for our salvation depends upon the true Godhead of Jesus and the true manhood of Jesus and the sinless perfection of Jesus. It was only because of all those three he was able to die for our sins.
I think that is all I need to say. Jesus is both God and man.
For those of you who have been looking enviously at us as we drink our water, there is some coffee and some drinks outside.