The Son Of God
This is an essential topic in Christianity because:
1. You can only have eternal life if you believe in the Son of God: John 3:36 “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
2. If you reject or accept the truth of the Son of God you do not have or have God as your Father with you: 1John 2:23“Whosoever denieth (to contradict, i.e. disavow, reject the truth of) the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth (confesseth, assent to, agrees with the truth of) the Son hath the Father also.”
3. If you have or have not the Son of God as Saviour you have or do not have eternal life: 1John 5:12 “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”
But what does “son” mean?
Primarily “son” denotes a male offspring. However in many passages it is used in a metaphorical sense i.e. suggestive of certain characteristics;
1. Luke 16:8 “children (sons) of light” i.e. believers who are characterised by the light of God.
2. Acts 4:36 “And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,” i.e. characterised by comforting or encouraging people.
The Title Son – Its Importance
The word son shows that there is a relationship with a Father. The mention of a “father” automatically means that there is a child, and with God that means His Son. Consequently as each New Testament book mentions the “Father” then, either directly or indirectly, each New Testament book states the eternal Sonship of Christ.
Additionally each of the four Gospels make reference to it;
Matt 8:29 “And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?”
Mark 1:1 “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”
Luke 1:35 “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”
John 20:31 “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
The Lord, Himself, made the claim of Sonship.
John 11:4 “When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.”
John 5:23 “That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.”
So the Lord Jesus, as the Son, put Himself on equality with the Father.
In John c5 The Lord Jesus refers to “Father” thirteen times. For example:
John 5:17-18 “But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. v18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.”
Here the Lord did not say "The Father", but "My Father" which shows His consciousness of the Divine relationship that ever was His.
The Jews knew that this title, coupled with the assertion that the Father and the Son were working together, implied equality within the Godhead. Moreover, the use of the present tense "worketh, work" implied a continuity of work that embraced all the days of the week, including the sabbath. Thus, from the time of Adam's fall up to the present time, God has been working ceaselessly, and He is still working. The same was true of the Lord Jesus. He was engaged in His Father's business. This is also seen in John 5:19, 20, 21, 22, 23.
John 5:26 “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.” From all eternity the Father and the Son have had life dwelling in Them. The Father had life in Himself completely independently of everyone else. That life never had a beginning, nor a source outside of themselves. When we think of the word “given” we think that it is time related. As Christ is God, He could never be anything less than God at any time. Therefore that “given to the Son” must have been an eternal giving. This is again a distinct statement about the Deity of Christ and as to His equality with the Father.
John 5:43 “I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” When the Lord Jesus was here on the earth, He had the total authority of the Father behind Him in all that He said and did. This is further seen in John 5:30, 36 and 37.
But where did this knowledge come from?
Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:” It is noticeable that it is “a child is born” and “a son is given” and not the other way round. For something or someone to be given it has to previously exist before it is given. Therefore Christ existed as the Son before He was born on earth. This is further confirmed by:
John 5:38 “And ye have not his (Father v37) word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.”
John 14:24 “He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.”
1John 4:14 “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.”
So the Lord Jesus recognised that He existed before He came into this world.
John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. v2 The same was in the beginning with God.” So in v1 we have Christ's personality and Deity and v2 shows that they were without beginning. A word is the living expression of a thought and so Christ, as the Divine Word, was and is the living expression of God.
John 16:28“I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.” The eternal and pre-existent relationship between the Father and the Lord Jesus is expressed in these words said by the Lord.
John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
Colossians 2:9 “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” This means, amazingly, that the fulness of the Father dwelt in Jesus; that the fulness of the Son dwelt in Jesus and the fulness of the Holy Spirit dwelt in Jesus. So the fulness of the Godhead actually walked here on the earth.
John 1:18 “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”
Christ “the only begotten Son”.
The word “only begotten” 3439 monogenes, only-born, i.e. sole:-only (begotten, child).’ (Strong) is used five times, all in the writings of the Apostle John, of Christ as the Son of God. It is also translated “only begotten” in Hebrews 11:17.
With reference to Christ, the phrase “the only begotten from the Father” John 1:14 indicates that as the Son of God, He was the sole representative of the Being and character of God, Who sent Him. John was describing what sort of glory (i.e. manifested excellence) that he and the other apostles had seen. This glory was the unique relationship that Christ, as the Word, had with the Father. As in John 3:16 “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” shows that that the words “only begotten” refers to eternity past and does not imply the beginning of His Sonship. The word “only begotten” is used in Hebrews 11:17 of Isaac; “Abraham ... offered up his only begotten son”. This indicates that Isaac was Abraham’s son in a unique way and different from the other sons.
In John 3:16 "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” must not be taken to mean that Christ became the only begotten son by incarnation. The value and the greatness of the gift lay in the Sonship of Christ Who was given by God.
which is in the bosom of the Father,
Here the clause "the only begotten son, which is in the bosom of the Father," means that Christ had oneness (which is deeper than unity) and love with the Father. That He knew all the Father’s knowledge and was in full and happy fellowship with Him. “Which is“ shows that Christ was in the bosom of the Father while He was Jesus, a Man on earth and so always came fresh from the presence of the Father to any situation. The implication is amazing. While Jesus Christ was forsaken of God on the cross (see Mark 15:34) and bearing our sins, He was still in the bosom of the Father!
he hath declared him.
Every action and every word of the Lord Jesus declared what the Father was like.
1. The sovereign Creator. Joh 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. – It is good that we belong to the sovereign creator as Christ showed by His miracles that He was the Sovereign Creator.
a. Sovereign Creator John 6:1-14 in supply C6 Feeding 5,000
b. Sovereign restorer Mark 5:9, Luke 8:30 Delivering Legion from demon possession
c. Sovereign restrainer – stilling the storm: Mr 4:39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace (speaking to the outside influence of the wind), be still (speaking to the turmoil of the waves). And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
Joh 6:19 So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. v20 But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid.
2. The Displayer of Eternal life. Joh 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. v5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” Men lives are lived in darkness but the Lord Jesus’ life was the light and showed people how they ought to live all of the time.
3. The Displayer of the true light. Joh 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. There is no greater light than what the Son of God has given.
4. Christ overall displayed constant love despite being rejected. John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. v11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
5. Christ blessed people of faith: Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
6. Christ gives out of His fulness and He gives grace (underserved favour) upon grace (undeserved favour). Joh 1:16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.
7. John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
8. Christ mended a broken situation. With Christ’s first miracle, when He made water into wine, He restored a situation to what it should be. The Lord’s last publically recorded act in John is where Christ successfully restored a person to what he should be.
9. Jesus gave the truth of God even at times when it was not immediately understood. Joh 2:19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
10. Joh 2:23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. God generally wants people whole although He allows sickness for His glory. Joh 11:4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
In John’s Gospel there are 7 individually recorded miracles. The 4 individual miracles which were done in Galilee resulted in greater fame for the Lord Jesus. However the 3 individual miracles that we done in Jerusalem resulted in greater persecution of the Lord Jesus.
11. John 3 The Lord Jesus revealed the need of eternal life to a religious man.
12. John 4:1-42 The revealed that that God gives living water to a sinful woman.
It is noticeable that after the women was saved a number of others were also saved from Samaria. However after Nicodemus there were not a number of other religious people that also trust in the Lord.
13. John 4:46-54 The Lord Jesus healed the nobleman’s son.
It is noticeable in Mr 1:34-38 “And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; Mr 1:36 And Simon and they that were with him followed after him. … v37 And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee. i.e. to be healed. v 38 And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.” So the Lord Jesus valued preaching, as that effects people for eternity, far more than He valued healing, as that only temporarily effects people physically.
Such a Person has revealed God the Father to us!