All things were made by him - That is, by this Logos. In Genesis 1:1, God is said to have created all things: in this verse, Christ is said to have created all things: the same unerring Spirit spoke in Moses and in the evangelists: therefore Christ and the Father are One. To say that Christ made all things by a delegated power from God is absurd; because the thing is impossible. Creation means causing that to exist that had no previous being: this is evidently a work which can be effected only by omnipotence. Now, God cannot delegate his omnipotence to another: were this possible, he to whom this omnipotence was delegated would, in consequence, become God; and he from whom it was delegated would cease to be such: for it is impossible that there should be two omnipotent beings.
On these important passages I find that many eminently learned men differ from me: it seems they cannot be of my opinion, and I feel I cannot be of theirs. May He, who is the Light and the Truth, guide them and me into all truth!
All things - The universe. The expression cannot be limited to any part of the universe. It appropriately expresses everything which exists - all the vast masses of material worlds, and all the animals and things, great or small, that compose those worlds. See Revelation 4:11; Hebrews 1:2; Colossians 1:16.
Were made - The original word is from the verb “to be,” and signifies “were” by him; but it expresses the idea of creation here. It does not alter the sense whether it is said “‹were‘ by him,” or “were ‹created‘ by him.” The word is often used in the sense of “creating,” or forming from nothing. See James 3:9; and Genesis 2:4; Isaiah 48:7; in the Septuagint.
By him - In this place it is affirmed that “creation” was effected by “the Word,” or the Son of God. In Genesis 1:1, it is said that the Being who created the heavens and the earth was God. In Psalm 102:25-28, this work is ascribed to Yahweh. The “Word,” or the Son of God, is therefore appropriately called “God.” The work of “creation” is uniformly ascribed in the Scriptures to the Second Person of the Trinity. See Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2, Hebrews 1:10. By this is meant, evidently, that he was the agent, or the efficient cause, by which the universe was made. There is no higher proof of omnipotence than the work of creation; and, hence, God often appeals to that work to prove that he is the true God, in opposition to idols. See Isaiah 40:18-28; Jeremiah 10:3-16; Psalm 24:2; Psalm 39:11; Proverbs 3:19. It is absurd to say that God can invest a creature with omnipotence. If He can make a creature omnipotent, He can make him omniscient, and can in the same way make him omnipresent, and infinitely wise and good; that is, He can invest a creature with all His own attributes, or make another being like Himself, or, which is the same thing, there could be two Gods, or as many Gods as He should choose to make. But this is absurd! The Being, therefore, that “created” all things must be divine; and, since this work is ascribed to Jesus Christ, and as it is uniformly in the Scriptures declared to be the work of God, Jesus Christ is therefore equal with the Father.
Without him - Without his agency; his notice; the exertion of his power. Compare Matthew 10:29. This is a strong way of speaking, designed to confirm, beyond the possibility of doubt, what he had just said. He says, therefore, in general, that all things were made by Christ. In this part of the verse he shuts out all doubt, and affirms that there was “no exception;” that there was not a single thing, however minute or unimportant, which was not made by him. In this way, he confirms what he said in the first verse. Christ was not merely called God, but he did the works of God, and therefore the name is used in its proper sense as implying supreme divinity. To this same test Jesus himself appealed as proving that he was divine. John 10:37, “if I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.” John 5:17, “my Father worketh hitherto, and I work.”
When we follow plans of the Lord's devising we are “laborers together with God.” Whatever our position—whether presidents of conferences, ministers, teachers, students, or lay members—we are held accountable by the Lord for making the most of our opportunities to enlighten those in need of present truth. And one of the principal agencies He has ordained for our use is the printed page. In our schools and sanitariums, in our home churches, and particularly in our annual camp meetings, we must learn to make a wise use of this precious agency. With patient diligence, chosen workers must instruct our people how to approach unbelievers in a kindly, winning way, and how to place in their hands literature in which the truth for this time is presented with clearness and power. CT 530.1
Only by the aid of that Spirit who in the beginning “was brooding upon the face of the waters;” of that Word by whom “all things were made;” of that “true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (Genesis 1:2, R.V., margin; John 1:3, 9), can the testimony of science be rightly interpreted. Only by their guidance can its deepest truths be discerned. Only under the direction of the Omniscient One shall we, in the study of His works, be enabled to think His thoughts after Him. CT 530.2Read in context »
“The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath,” Jesus said. The institutions that God has established are for the benefit of mankind. “All things are for your sakes.” “Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.” 2 Corinthians 4:15; 1 Corinthians 3:22, 23. The law of Ten Commandments, of which the Sabbath forms a part, God gave to His people as a blessing. “The Lord commanded us,” said Moses, “to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive.” Deuteronomy 6:24. And through the psalmist the message was given to Israel, “Serve the Lord with gladness: come before His presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.” Psalm 100:2-4. And of all who keep “the Sabbath from polluting it,” the Lord declares, “Even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer.” Isaiah 56:6, 7. DA 288.1
“Wherefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath.” These words are full of instruction and comfort. Because the Sabbath was made for man, it is the Lord's day. It belongs to Christ. For “all things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.” John 1:3. Since He made all things, He made the Sabbath. By Him it was set apart as a memorial of the work of creation. It points to Him as both the Creator and the Sanctifier. It declares that He who created all things in heaven and in earth, and by whom all things hold together, is the head of the church, and that by His power we are reconciled to God. For, speaking of Israel, He said, “I gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them,”—make them holy. Ezekiel 20:12. Then the Sabbath is a sign of Christ's power to make us holy. And it is given to all whom Christ makes holy. As a sign of His sanctifying power, the Sabbath is given to all who through Christ become a part of the Israel of God. DA 288.2Read in context »
The deepest students of science are constrained to recognize in nature the working of infinite power. But to man's unaided reason, nature's teaching cannot but be contradictory and disappointing. Only in the light of revelation can it be read aright. “Through faith we understand.” Hebrews 11:3. Ed 134.1
“In the beginning God.” Genesis 1:1. Here alone can the mind in its eager questioning, fleeing as the dove to the ark, find rest. Above, beneath, beyond, abides Infinite Love, working out all things to accomplish “the good pleasure of His goodness.” 2 Thessalonians 1:11. Ed 134.2
“The invisible things of Him since the creation of the world are ... perceived through the things that are made, even His everlasting power and divinity.” Romans 1:20, R.V. But their testimony can be understood only through the aid of the divine Teacher. “What man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:11. Ed 134.3
“When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth.” John 16:13. Only by the aid of that Spirit who in the beginning “was brooding upon the face of the waters;” of that Word by whom “all things were made;” of that “true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,” can the testimony of science be rightly interpreted. Only by their guidance can its deepest truths be discerned. Ed 134.4
Only under the direction of the Omniscient One shall we, in the study of His works, be enabled to think His thoughts after Him. Ed 134.5Read in context »
From the earliest times the faithful in Israel had given much attention to the matter of education. The Lord had directed that the children, even from babyhood, should be taught of His goodness and His greatness, especially as revealed in His law, and shown in the history of Israel. Through song and prayer, and lessons from the Scriptures, adapted to the opening mind, fathers and mothers were to instruct their children that the law of God is an expression of His character, and that as they received the principles of the law into the heart, the image of God was traced on mind and soul. In both the school and the home, much of the teaching was oral, but the youth also learned to read the Hebrew writings; and the parchment rolls of the Old Testament Scriptures were open to their study. FE 442.1
In the days of Christ, the religious instruction of the young was thought to be so important that the town or city which did not provide schools for this purpose, was regarded as under the curse of God. Yet in both the school and the home, the teaching had become mechanical and formal. Since “in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren” (Hebrews 2:17), and Jesus gained knowledge as we may do, the intimate acquaintance with the Scriptures, which He evinced in His ministry, testifies to the diligence with which, in those early years, He gave Himself to the study of the sacred word. FE 442.2Read in context »