Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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Alpha & Omega

We commonly use the phrase “A to Z” to identify the sum total of any particular thing. If a person is knowledgeable on a subject, we say he knows it from “A to Z.” If a person is accomplished in a particular area, we say that he has done it all, from “A to Z.”

In the Bible, similar phrases are used.

For example, Jehovah described Himself to Israel by saying, “Listen to Me, O Jacob, And Israel, My called: I am He, I am the First, I am also the Last” (Isaiah 48:12). In Isaiah 44:6, He stated the same thing, with an added emphasis, “Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” The phrase, “beside me there is no God”, serves to indicate in part the significance of the phrase “I am the first, and I am the last.” It indicates that God is the sum total of Deity, the first and only cause for creation, and the sole One to look to for guidance and hope.

In the Greek language, the first letter of the alphabet is “alpha.” It is the equivalent of our letter “a.” The last letter of the Greek language is the letter “omega”. It serves as the long “o”, the equivalent of the English sound contained in words such as “boat” and “phone.”

In the book of Revelation, the letters are used as an illustration in much the same way as we do with the phrase “A to Z.” In all four passages, our Lord references Himself, much as the texts previously mentioned in the book of Isaiah. Note the passages:

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (1:8).

“…‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,’ and, ‘What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea’” (1:11).

“And He said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts’” (21:6).

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last” (22:13?).

The phrase serves to declare the eternal nature of our Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come.” This attribute was affirmed by John in his gospel, when he wrote, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1-2). As the son of God, Jesus had no beginning, and will have no end.

The phrase also establishes His preeminence. As stated in Revelation 1:8, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” If He is the beginning and the end, the sum of all, then our Lord is preeminent in power and glory. If you read the throne room scene of Revelation 4 & 5, you will see our Lord as the center of praise and worship. “And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13).

Finally, the phrase serves to establish our Lord as the means of our redemption. “I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts” (21:6). Any attempt by man to make Jesus into anything other than the unique Son of God dishonors Him.

The apostle Paul recognized the singular nature of our Lord Jesus Christ. Note his description, given in Colossians 1:15-18: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 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. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.”

Truly, the Lord Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega. Amen.