First, a short list of basic meanings for Logos (Gk. λόγος):
a saying, speaking, speech, mode of speaking, eloquence, discourse; conversation, talk; word, expression; assertion; principle, maxim; proverb; oracle; promise; order, command; proposal; condition, agreement; stipulation, decision; pretext; thought, reason, reckoning, computation, reflection, deliberation, account; cause, end; argument, demonstration; meaning, value; proportion; Christ.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.
For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
For although they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Man’s tendency to speculate in one way or another that there was chaos in his beginning is simply his philisophical attempt to legitimize the presence of sin and darkness within his own soul. For he knows where he came from, and where he ought to be going; but he loves the darkness instead of the light, because his deeds are evil.
And we have been given this great revelation:
In the beginning was Logos:
with God was Logos,
and Logos was God.
Logos (Jesus Christ, here characterized by John as Logos) cannot proceed from chaos; chaos is by very definition of its nature the deviation from Logos. Logos cannot but only be first and primary.
For there to even be chaos, there must already subsist either an existence and/or a being distinct from God which is capable of rejecting Logos, since God Himself is not a God of confusion. The Spirit of Christ declares of Him that in the beginning only God’s Logos was, and this Logos was indeed very God. Such a decription leaves no room for any existence or being outside of Him “before” creation.
Neither, then, in the beginning, could there have yet been that chaos of which men speak; since there only was God, with whom is that Word (Logos), within whom no deviation can be. And so, where there is found chaos and disorder, the true and orderly beginning has to have come before it, and then a transgression. For chaos is a transgression of Logos.
As the scripture says:
In the beginning, God…
…and God created…
By this we see clearly that only God, and that which God creates, and the energies and actions of either, can be spoken of; for elsewise nothing is. It is therefore somewhat misleading when we declare that God created ex-nihilo (“out of nothing”); since nothing is not existent, and nothing is not being. Existence derives from preexistence; being derives from being. Does not nature itself teach us this principle? For truly God is said to have created – as we might axiomize in Greek – ektós-theos (“out of God”); since that which is cannot proceed from that which is not.
All things came into being through Him, and without Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being. (LITV)
“Without Him” means apart from, beside, and includes the meaning of outside of. That which He created, He did not create from outside of Himself; but rather from within Himself. For as it states clearly, apart from Himself there became neither existence nor being. Hence, all things came into being “through” Him, for He is the matrix of all possible existence and of all possible being. Therefore, the nature of the created order, even with disorder now present, unmistakably illustrates His eternal truth because it still bears the marks of the same mystery of He who made it; who both precedes and exceeds it, who both sustains and upholds it by the word of His own power.
And He is before all things, and all things consist in Him.
Colossians 1:17 (LITV)
Creation is originally derivitive of God Himself. The propensity in men to avoid this truth reveals the very separation of the creature from God which began at the fall. Now, this is not a denial of “the many” (the distinction of creation from God) as much as it is neither a denial of “the One” (the consistence of creation through God). For sin is manifested in both denials; because sin itself is the division of the many from the One (the creation from the Creator). For although we are to distinguish between them, they are not meant to be divided; and this division is the fall. For the fall is the creature’s declaration of his independance from the Creator.
Therefore, to deny the One for the many, or to deny the many for the One, is to embrace the very deviation of spiritual selfishness which divided the two. That is the exact definition of heresy. We might clumsily label these two denials of God’s order “pantheism” and “radical individualism;” but they are both manifestations of the same separation of the creature from the Creator: and they both therefore magnify the creature at the expense of the Creator. The one error is not better than the other.
Upon this separation, the Word of Christ (again, characterized as Logos) is exchanged for the constantly disordering motion of chaos; yet only in the life of the creature. For although God created man through Christ; He tasked them to willingly remain in Christ, which they did not. Disorder cannot touch God because He is the final and highest definition of Logos; and He is immovable: so that whatever deviates from His Way removes itself from Him, and He Himself is not changed.
The disorder in ourselves is not to be embraced, nor even tolerated, but rather expelled: otherwise we ourselves will be fully expelled to exist entirely outside of the possibility of grace. Our deviation is not natural to God, in whose image we were intended to exist; therefore we know that it ought not be natural to ourselves.
Logos preexisted chaos, True Life preexisted death; and death will again be swallowed up in victory for all who live through and in Him – He who both preceded and exceeded death. For He precedes all causes, and exceeds all ends. He IS the beginning and the end.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overtake it.
After all, how could it?
Awake, O sleeper, arise from death; and Christ will give you light.
If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Logos is not in us.
1 John 1:10