The Eternal Ministry of Jesus Christ (Part Two): His ministry in Eternity Past
2. Jesus’ ministry in Eternity past
Most people only think of Jesus as the God-man who came to earth in the New Testament to die for our sins, but, if we study the Bible carefully, we will see that He was very busy ministering on our behalf long before that.
Let us start at the beginning: “In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. He was [continually existing] in the beginning [co-eternally] with God. All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him not even one thing was made that has come into being. In Him was life [and the power to bestow life...” (John 1:1-4, Amplified Bible).
The word for “beginning” here is further enlightened by “before all time”, in other words, in the dateless past, before anything existed, Christ already existed, together with the Father. This is further evidenced by the fact that the word used for the Deity in this verse and throughout this first account of the Creation, is Elohim, which is the plural form of Eloah. As we can see in the next verses, the Holy Spirit is already in existence as well, as He is brooding over the waters .
Some people translate Elohim as “the Triune God” and this is evidenced in Genesis 1:26: “God said, ‘Let us make man in our image’ . . . God created man in His image.” Here God is a plural noun, said is in the third-person singular verb form, and we see both the plural pronoun our and the singular His referring to the same thing (God’s image). This is not horribly confused grammar. Rather, we are being taught, in a limited way, that God is a plurality in unity. This is not to suggest, of course, that the Bible presents three different gods, but rather, that God is three Persons in one essence; the Divine essence subsists wholly and indivisibly, simultaneously and eternally, in the three members of the one Godhead—the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
I hope that clears it up, although the essence of the Triune God is difficult for most people to understand. I often explain it by referring to our own beings: I am a spirit, I have a soul |(emotions and thoughts) and live in a body. Therefore, when God made us in His image, He made us tripart beings.
The point for this article, however, is simply to show that Jesus always existed: there was not a time that the Father existed when the Son and the Holy Spirit did not also exist. The Father is the decision maker, the Son actually does the work to see that the decisions will come to fruition, and the Holy Spirit empowers the Son to fulfill the commission. So, in the dateless past, Jesus already existed and, from the Scriptures that we have studied so far, it is obvious that He created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them, fulfilling His Father’s wishes and He (Jesus) was empowered by the Holy Spirit.
The New Testament reveals significant truths about the three Persons of the Trinity, for instance, where Jesus said: : “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” (Mt. 28:19) and Paul writes, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God [the Father], and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14). Further confirmation of this can be found in Romans 16:16, 30; 2; Corinthians 1:21, 22 and Ephesians 2:18.
So, Jesus’s ministry in eternity past included the fact that He created the universe, as Paul explains to us: “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.” (Col.1:16).
I hope you have grasped this significant truth about Jesus: He already existed long, long, long before He took on human form in Bethlehem: He always existed, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Next time I would like to show you the covenant that Jesus cut on our behalf in eternity past.
(from author’s book: Images of Christ in Genesis)