Editor’s Introduction -- By: Jonathan Armstrong

Journal: Reformation and Revival
Volume: RAR 09:4 (Fall 2000)
Article: Editor’s Introduction
Author: Jonathan Armstrong

Editor’s Introduction

John H. Armstrong

O Word of God incarnate, O Wisdom from on high,

O Truth unchanged, unchanging, O light of our dark sky;

We praise Thee for the radiance that from the hallowed page,

A lantern to our footsteps, shines on from age to age.

The Church from her dear Master, received the gift divine,

And still that light she lifteth o’er all the earth to shine.

It is the golden casket where gems of truth are stored;

It is the heav’n drawn picture of Christ, the living Word.

It floateth like a banner before God’s host unfurled;

It shineth like a beacon above the darkling world.

It is the chart and compass that o’er life’s surging sea,

‘Mid mists and rocks and quicksands, still guides, O Christ, to Thee.

O Make Thy Church, dear Savior, a lamp of purest gold,

To bear before the nations, Thy true light as of old.

O teach Thy wand’ring pilgrims by this their path to trace,

Till, clouds and darkness ended, they see Thee face to face.

William How, the author of these familiar words found in his hymn, “O Word of God Incarnate,” understood correctly that “the Word of God” has several meanings within a balanced and correct Christian theology. Plainly, and primarily, the Word of God must always refer to Jesus Christ, the one who is the living Word of God (John 1:1, 14; 1 John 1:1; and Revelation 19:13). The apostle John makes this abundantly clear (the Old Testament implies it; cf. Psalm 119:89) that the eternal Word is not a book but the personal expression of God himself. This one who is the living Word sustains creation and works out God’s purpose according to his own will. It is a actually a Muslim claim, not a Christian one, that written truth is

eternal since the Quran is itself believed to be an actual transcript of a tablet preserved in heaven before it ever came down to mankind.

When Christians enter the world that is to come they will no longer need the written Word. But why? The living Word himself will be the light of that glorious realm. In the presence of this living eternal Word, the person of Jesus Christ, we have all the revelation of God we could possibly n...

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