Universal Salvation: Jesus, the Firstborn over all creation Part Four
In chapters eight and nine of Proverbs, wisdom is personified. And as such, many of the early Christian writers believed that part of it symbolically referred to God's Son in His prehuman existence. So do we. Have you ever noticed the following verses?
Proverbs 8:22-31 says: 22 "The LORD (YHWH) possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old. 23 I have been established from everlasting, From the beginning, before there was ever an earth. 24 When there were no depths I was brought forth, When there were no fountains abounding with water. 25 Before the mountains were settled, Before the hills, I was brought forth; 26 While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, Or the primal dust of the world. 27 When He prepared the heavens, I was there, When He drew a circle on the face of the deep, 28 When He established the clouds above, When He strengthened the fountains of the deep, 29 When He assigned to the sea its limit, So that the waters would not transgress His command, When He marked out the foundations of the earth, 30 Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; And I was daily His delight, Rejoicing always before Him, 31 Rejoicing in His inhabited world, And my delight was with the sons of men. "
Look what it says in verse 22: "The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way…"
The New International Version says, "The LORD brought me forth as the first of His works…"
And The New Living Translation says, "The LORD formed me from the beginning, before He created anything else."
Can you recall, in "JESUS, THE FIRSTBORN OVER ALL CREATION PART ONE", Colossians 1:15, where it spoke of Jesus as being the firstborn over all creation - clearly showing that Jesus was the first to be brought forth of all creation? Well, this is exactly what Proverbs 8:22 is saying. "The LORD brought me forth as the first of His works. "
"The LORD formed me from the beginning." This backs up what Jesus Himself said at John 6:57 "…and I live because of the Father…"
Also, the Hebrew word qanah for "possessed," or "brought forth," or "formed," can arguably mean created. The Septuagint translates qanah with the Greek word ektise, from ktizo, which means to call into being, to create. So the Septuagint, or LXX, translates that as "the Lord created me," as does the Syriac.
God created Jesus as the firstborn over all creation, before anything else was created. He was to be the way out for everyone, as we have already said. He was the pioneer of life.
Verse 24 continues, "When there were no depths I was brought forth. .."
The New International version says: "…When there were no oceans, I was given birth…"
Verse 25: "Before the mountains were settled, Before the hills, I was brought forth; (N.I.V. "I was given birth…"). The Greek Septuagint translates "brought forth" there with the Greek word genna, which also means origin, birth.
Verse 30: "Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman…" He was working alongside and on behalf of His Father before there was ever an earth.
As John 1:2 clearly shows, "He was in the beginning with God."
Why? Because as John 1:3 says, "All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made."
What is more, all things were made for Him. Colossians 1:16 tells us. "…All things were created through Him and for Him."
"But wisdom is in the feminine gender, is it not? "
Yes, but the word for "wisdom" is always in the feminine gender, and does not rule out the possibility of wisdom figuratively representing Jesus as the firstborn over all creation. Many languages give set gender to nouns.
Hebrews 1:2 gives us more information. "(God) has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, Whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds." If you were Jesus, how would you like to be heir of millions being tormented in hell fire, or millions who are eternally dead? That is not very good, is it? In fact, there is something quite sick about it. It does not lend credibility to Jesus as being able to save everyone, and it does not lend credibility to God as being loving. It would only be acceptable, if Jesus could do something about it.
The angel told the shepherds, at the birth of Jesus, that he had some good news, and the good news was not just for them, but for everyone. What was this good news that was for everyone? A Saviour had been born; Christ, God's Anointed One.
The apostle John at 1 John 4:14 tells us that "… the Father has sent the Son as Saviour of the world. " Can you see? Jesus as Saviour of the world, can do something about it.
1 John 4:8 says, "…God is love." The Father's loving plan, through Jesus as Saviour of the world, was for Him to lose nothing.
John 6:39 tells us, "This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing…"
What Has the Father given His Son? All things. And since the Father's will in action is for Jesus to lose nothing, He can not fail to end up as heir of all things, with nothing lost. Exactly as His Father appointed.
Before the earth or anything else was created, Jesus was brought forth as the first of the Father's works. The firstborn over all creation. Jesus, as God's firstborn over all creation, has now been made perfect through sufferings, and stands as a guarantee to all, that our Father will do the same for us. In fact, He can do no less. And that is Universal Salvation.
Jesus, as the Master Craftsman, is going to shape everyone. We are all going to be like Him. Perfect.
Most people will accept that is going to happen to the righteous, but can not accept that God will, or even can, change the unrighteous. And yet, works can not earn anyone God's grace. God's grace is a free gift.
When Judas brought the thirty pieces of silver back (Matthew 27:1-10), the chief priests bought the potter's field with them. A potter's field is where potters get the clay from. God is the Master Potter, and we are the clay. Then it tells us that they bought the potter's field to bury strangers in. Cheap at half the price, as the clay was probably exhausted. Anyone who is not in Christ, is a stranger to God. God is saying, here, that as the Master Potter, He can take the dead strangers - all who are not in Christ - and can still mould them into something beautiful.
It was called the field of blood, because it was purchased by the price of Jesus' blood. The blood of Jesus purchases even strangers to God; those who are not in Christ, but who are in the field of blood. So, whereas thirty pieces of silver meant death for One, the same thirty pieces of silver meant Universal Salvation, eternal life for all.
Philippians 3:21 says that Jesus can do something very special. It says: "…according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself."
"All things" is not just speaking of righteous people, but also of unrighteous people. That is why He is a Master Craftsman, just like His Father. As a Master Craftsman, He is able - that is so important that I am going to say it again - He is able, to subdue all things to Himself. That is every single thing that came about through Him. As Master Craftsman, He is able to shape everyone's hearts and minds, making everyone into His image. He can do it. Not only can He do it, His Father has told Him that He must. One day, even the unrighteous will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and be saved.
"How is He able to subdue all things to Himself?"
Well, as far as created beings are concerned, He is able to raise them incorruptible.
"What! Even those in the lake of fire?"
"But does that not take away freewill? Because it sounds as if there is no choice."
You have no choice anyway, where God's plan is concerned. In actual fact, raising everyone incorruptible, leads to everyone having freewill.
"How on earth does that work?"
Be sure to read, "Universal Salvation! The Holy Spirit Part One".
Next article: The Holy Spirit Part One