- John 1: 1-3, 14: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made... The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
- Col 1: 15-19: He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him.
- Col 2: 6-10: Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.
Is this just an obscure theological doctrine, or does it have relevance to us today? I believe it is relevant for at least three reasons:
- If we truly believe that God himself has chosen to come down from heaven and share in our humanity, we will be full of gratitude toward Him, and unlikely to fall into the dreary despair that is so often the mark of atheists.
- If we truly believe that God created the human body and delights in it, we will be more likely to treat our own and others' bodies with respect, and less likely to fall into the trap of despising things that are "merely" physical and "not spiritual enough".
- One mark of a cult is that its members deny that Jesus was God incarnate. Many in the New Age movement, for example, believe that Jesus was just one of many religious teachers who managed to tap into a spiritual force called the "cosmic Christ" or "Christ consciousness". (The attraction of this heresy is two-fold: it means that we don't have to submit to the Lordship of Jesus, and it means that we can gain spiritual power through our own efforts, rather than being completely dependent on God.)