“I AM AGAINST ALL THE WORLD”
A man by the name of Arius was a third and fourth century priest associated w/ the doctrine of Arianism. Arianism is a false doctrine developed by Arius himself that states that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, which is true, but goes on to state that Christ did not always exist and was made before “time” by the Father, making Him not coeternal with God the Father.
It is not difficult to see the error in such a belief and false teaching. What God is, Jesus is. What Jesus is, God is. Holding to the belief that Jesus was the first created being and therefore a god goes against the written word inspired, delivered, and preserved by God.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Consider three things that are said about Jesus here in verse 1:
- He was in the beginning—Before time and all creation we find Jesus. Not as the first created being, but as one who is preexistent. In John 8:58 we see that Christ Himself claimed His own divine preexistence—
58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”
- He was with God—Here we see that Christ was and is a separate being from God the Father and is distinct from the Father who He was with from the beginning.
- He was God—It doesn’t get much clearer than this. Christ was in the beginning, He was with God, He was and is God. It is this part of the verse that has come under much scrutiny by those who claim Jesus is not the eternal God. Muslims falsely claim Jesus is not God but a created being like a prophet. Jehovah’s witnesses believe all versions of the Bible are mistranslated but their own (New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures). They believe this part of the text should read ‘the word was a god’ (little g) and not ‘the word was God’ (big G). Let us put an end to this poor argument.
If we look at v.3 of John 1, we are able to see the error of this false teaching that Christ is not God but is instead a created being. Again, John 1:3 records for us that All things were made through THE WORD (CHRIST), and without THE WORD (CHRIST) was not any thing made that was made. If the Word was a made or created being, then that means He had to create Himself. The Scriptures records for us that all things were made THROUGH HIM, and without Him NOTHING was made so the obvious conclusion to this false teaching is that the Word created Himself. How can something that does not exist bring itself into existence? It can’t. So if Christ (the Word) made everything that exists, that makes Him the Maker and not that which was made. To claim that the Creator was Himself created is to contradict the Scriptures, something we know God does not do.
So Arius was promoted a false doctrine. A doctrine sound Christians would not agree with today, and a doctrine many did not agree with in the days of Arius. One man fearlessly stood against and opposed this teaching of Arius. After dealing with several exiles, this man was brought before the emperor who demanded that he cease his opposition to the teachings of Arius. While standing before the emperor, he was reprimanded and asked this question, “Do you not realize that all the world is against you?” A question to which this man quickly responded, “THEN I AM AGAINST ALL THE WORLD.”
James 4:4—4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
Who do we wish to be our friend? Who will we then make our enemy? Either we are friends with the world, or we are friends we God. If we are friends with the world, then we are enemies of God. Are we bold enough to stand against the false teachings, and those in the world who stand against God? It is easy to make the declaration when times are easy, but what about when times get difficult? Should the whole world oppose us for following the Lord and His teachings, I hope we can all boldly say in that moment “I am against the world” while finding comfort in knowing God is with those who are. But until that time comes, let our conduct reflect our friendship with God being unconcerned with where that puts us before man.