The Life of Jesus in Harmony
Son of God
DEITY of the Son. A matter of doctrine with reference to the divine nature of Christ
. It is woven with the doctrine of the Trinity and in the very nature of the
case points to a relationship that in its deepest essence cannot be comprehended
by the human understanding (Mt. 11:27) any more than if we tried to comprehend
God's omnipresence,etc.. Yet the Scriptures do throw some rays of light on the
Scriptural. The term Son of God is used in the Scriptures in various senses.
In the OT it is sometimes applied to Israel
(Ex 4:22), also figuratively to heavenly beings (Job 1:6; 38:7). In the NT it
is also applied to Christ. And yet it is clear beyond all question that the
Scriptures apply this title to Christ in a sense far deeper than all these. Both
Christ Himself and His apostles
speak of His sonship in a way that cannot be employed with reference to any,
even the highest, of God's creatures (Jn 3:13,16; 5:17-31; 6:62; 8:58; 10:30;
14:1,11; Rom 1:3-4; 9:5; Col 2:9; Tit 2:13).
Theological. The doctrine of the Scriptures, universally held by the Christian
church, includes the following features:
- The deity of the Son involves an eternal distinction of personality between
the Son and the Father. He is the eternal Son even as the Father is the eternal
Father. Thus both Christ and the apostles speak of His preexistent state Jn
8:58; 17:5; Rom 8:3; 2 Cor 8:9; Phil 2:5-8).
- The sonship of Christ implies also that He as the Son has the ground of his
existence in the Father, and as the Father has not in the Son. Christ is the
"only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father" (Jn 1:18; ), the "only begotten Son" <3:16>, "His own Son"
<Rom. 8:3>. Upon these and similar Scripture expressions is based the doctrine of
the eternal generation.
- The Son is in the most complete sense partaker in the same nature with the
Father. He possesses the same attributes (Jn 5:21), performs the same works (Mt
9:2-6; Jn 5:24-29), and claims equal honor with the Father (5:23; 14:1). As the
Son, having the ground of His existence in the Father, He is in this sense
subordinate. Also in His incarnate state He became subordinate in a still deeper
sense. And yet before His incarnation He "did not regard equality with God a
thing to be grasped"; and in His glorified state "in Him all the fulness of the
Deity dwells in bodily form."
The doctrine of the eternal sonship of Christ has been the ground of many
hard-fought battles (particularly Arianism and Sabellianism ), but the Christian
church steadfastly holds to the teachings of the Scriptures. And the truth at
this point is most important; for only in the light of this truth can we recognize
in Christ the perfect revelation of God and realize the efficacy of His saving