Christ Before the Manger
Lesson 1Christ Before Creation
For the three Sundays leading up Christmas, I’m going to lead us on a short study looking at Christ before the manger. Ron Rhodes wrote an excellent book years ago entitled "Christ Before the Manger: The Life and Times of the Preincarnate Christ", which I read during my days in seminary, and it really opened my eyes to a much deeper understanding of Christ and of the Trinity.
I suspect today that most of our lost friends and neighbors, and maybe even some of the saved folks we know, believe that Christ came into being at Christmas some two thousand or so years ago. Little do they know that he was probably not physically born during the traditional Christmas season, and he wasn’t visited in the manger by three wise men on camels, and in fact he was the creator of the world in which we live today –- long before the manger.
And so I thought that in order to better prepare us to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, it would be good for us to go back to the beginning – before Genesis 1:1, to learn more about this mystery called the Trinity, and to better understand how deeply Christ loved us – before anything was even created.
We will begin our study this week, then, looking into something that may at times appear a little confusing – something that may startle or surprise you – but in the end, I believe that will really open your eyes to the importance of understanding the Old Testament, and to seeing Christ as our Creator, our Savior, and as our King.
Since I am going to take the approach of "letting scripture interpret scripture", you won’t need any additional books or reference material for this study; however, you will notice that there are a lot more scripture references that I will ask you to look up and jot down notes about.
So put on your Bible study seat belts, thinking caps, and reading glasses, and let’s begin!
- What does Jesus say about himself and the Old Testament (or "the scriptures") in the following verses?
- Matthew 5:17
- John 5:39
- Luke 24:27
- Luke 24:44
- Hebrews 10:7
- Have a look at the following verses. Are there references to Christ in any of them? If so, please cite them.
- Genesis 1:26-27
- Genesis 3:22
- Genesis 11:7
- Isaiah 6:8
- There are other references to Christ’s existence before creation. Look at the verses below and jot down what they say about Christ before the world existed – and about God’s plan of salvation. Did it happen after the Manger, after the Cross, or was it already in place before anything was created?
- Revelation 13:8
- Ephesians 1:4-5
- Titus 1:2
- 2 Timothy 1:9
- Matthew 25:34
- John 1:1-14
- 1 Peter 1:19-20
We’ll stop here this week. I hope that you will take the time to diligently look up each set of verses and allow the Holy Spirit to illumine your hearts and minds regarding our great Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. In the next lesson, we will see that the entire Bible, from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21, is a revelation of Christ, and his role in creation, salvation, and judgment – all made plainly clear. He existed with God and the Holy Spirit from before time began, as a part of God’s triune being. Through him, all things were created; and he holds all things together.
May God richly bless you this week as we search and study to learn more about our loving Savior and Lord.