If a Muslim or a Jehovah’s Witness, both of whom are Arians, say, “You’ve got this translation wrong. It really shouldn’t say ‘the Word was God.’ It should say, ‘the Word was God-like or a god or a great prophet, a great angel, and then God used him for great things,’” you can know that’s not true just because of John 1:3. You can show them this.
All Things Made Through Him
John 1:3 says, first, “All things were made through him.” You might think that’s enough right there. He’s not a creature, he created creatures. Isn’t that enough? All things were made through him, but they will surely say, “Not really, because when it says all things were made through him, of course the one who made all things is excluded from the all things and is himself, then, made.” And you might say just on the base of that, “Well, it’s not obvious to me that he’s excluded from this — that he’s not the one who makes creatures rather than being in the all things made. It doesn’t look like he’s in the all things made. He made all things.” If it were just left at that, you would have an argument and you would go on and on.
Not in the “Made” Category
John didn’t leave it at that. He went on to say this: “And without him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:3). Why’d he do that? Why did God inspire him to repeat himself and then add, “without him, nothing was made in the made category.” If he’s in the made category, he had to make himself. If you don’t exist, you can’t bring yourself into being.
“Christ was not made. That is what is means to be God.”
I don’t think you need to know any Greek. You don’t need to go to Thomas, though that might help. Hebrews 1 might help. Romans 9 might help. Colossians 2 might help. The deity of Jesus Christ — the Godness of Jesus — is pervasive in the New Testament, but all you need to do is push with all you might on John 1:3 and say, “I think the way verse three is constructed, ‘without him was not anything made that was made.’ Everything in the made category, he made it, so he can’t be in that category.” End of argument.
Pray for Them
I don’t think we should play games. I think we should care about their souls. I don’t think they’re believers. I don’t think they’re Christian. So my tactic now — I’ve done this for years, they ring the doorbell, have their magazine — is to say, “I think I understand where you’re coming from. I’ve talked to Jehovah’s Witnesses a lot. I’m a Christian who believes deeply that Jesus Christ is not a mere angel and that he is very God of very God. I know you don’t believe that, so I don’t want to get into a discussion, but I would like to pray for you, and if you would just bow with me, let’s ask Jesus to come and show us who’s right here.” I have never had one of them let me do that. Never. One old man ran as fast as he could off my porch.
So that’s just my suggestion: if you don’t have time to sit down and talk about what I just said — I really mean this with all my heart — I believe Jesus will show up like on Mount Carmel. And they know he might show up. None of them has ever said, “Fine. Let’s have a truth encounter here.”
Christ was not made. That is what it means to be God.
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