Jesus is the Son of God

We see the Son of Man again through the eyes of the disciples, Peter, James and John, on the mountain when Jesus is transfigured before them, “And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them. And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus. And Peter answer ed and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid. And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him” (Mark 9:1- 7, see also Matt. 17:1-7).

 

Can there be any doubt that they are both seeing Jesus, who is the Son of Man in all of His glory and splendor? This is the very Son of God as He is viewed in His glorified state! Jesus is referred to as being the Son of God.

This title for Jesus has been a stumbling block for many people throughout the centuries. In the fourth century, a man named Arius arose bringing a new doctrine which is called the Arian heresy which denied the doctrine of the Trinity, stating that Jesus was not God, but that He was only a created being.

Arius would call attention to such verses of scripture that referred to Jesus as the “who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature” (Col. 1:15), “the only begotten of the Father” (John 1:14), of which Arius would argue that Jesus had a beginning in time and was Himself created by God, and was a creature. He would say that if Jesus was “begotten” that it could only mean that He could not possibly be eternal, and if He is not eternal, then he is a creature, and that it would be blasphemy to call Him God, render any worship to Him. That Jesus was once and angel and that now He occupies a station that is above all other angels, and is become a god, but that He certainly is not God.

But let us examine the scriptures, it is a fact that Jesus is “begotten, not made.” In English this seems to be a contradiction, but not so in the Greek. When we hear the word “begotten” it does imply a beginning, but when it is applied to Jesus, there is a uniqueness in the way in which He is begotten that separates Him from all other creatures. He is referred to as “the ONLY begotten of the Father.” In this sense Jesus stands alone in the fact that He is begotten of the Father. He is eternally begotten of the Father. Remember Jesus is “begotten,” not made. And this takes into view His coming into the world in human flesh. God the Son is become a man, being born into the world as a little child. But He is the eternally begotten of the Father. In His deity He is eternal, and in His humanity He had a beginning. This fact fulfills the prophesy of old saying, “Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee” (Psa. 2:7; Acts 13:33; Heb. 1:5). His sonship carries the description of intimacy with the Father; and carries with it more than that of mere preeminence that comes with biology. The term “begotten” is a Greek word filled with meaning, shouting forth His deity; He is “begotten,” not made!

To say this we are not being irrational, but we are being faithful to the scriptures. John the Baptist knew this to be true, listen to what He has to say about Jesus, “this was He of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before mewho coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose” (John 1:15, 27). John, was about six months older than Jesus, by birth, he understands that Jesus is the only begotten of the Father. And after he baptized Jesus he becomes witness to a most wonderful scene. When Jesus came forth from the water, and “lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: and lo a voice from heaven, saying, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17). So let us conclude with the truth, Jesus was begotten of the Father, but not made.
 

Elder Thomas McDonald


Jesus is the Word of God

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:1- 4).

The title Word is rarely used in the New Testament for to describe Jesus. It is found primarily in the book of John’s gospel where one unmistakable fact is set forth. First, that Jesus is the Word of God, and second, that He is God. Jesus is God the Word!

 

 

The Apostle Paul tells us that “by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist” (Col. 1:16-17).

The Greek word that is used is the word Logos. Which means, “something said, a word or thought or concept.” Our English word Logic comes from this very same word. We also have a suffix “ology” that is used in many other words, which we attach to other words or terms to show forth a academic disciplines and sciences. For example the word biology is “bios-logos, is a word concept for the study of science which deals with the origin, history, physical characteristics of the life process, habits, etc. of plants and animals. And the word theology is the “theos-logos, which is a word concept for God.

The concept that the Apostle John is trying to convey is that “in the beginning there was Logic, and Logic was with God and the Logic is God -and the Logic became flesh.” John is stating a dynamic principle here! He is not saying that Jesus Christ is being reduced to some mere rational principle, but that God Himself is the unity, consistency, yes, He is the glue which binds all things together under His divine rule John expresses to us the quality of God’s being, which is itself coherent, consistent, and clearly seen in all things that He creates. And we see here that it is Jesus Christ Himself that is identified as being the eternal Word, Logos within God, which brings order and harmony in the universe. It is His coherency that holds the ultimate meaning of the universe and the stuff from which everything was made. And it’s Jesus, the Word of God who makes sense of it all.

One of the problems of the world is that there seems to be no room in their minds for the concept of a personal God who by His power and wisdom and sovereignty created the world in order and in harmony. And without the thought of God, the best that they can come up with is speculation of some abstract principle, which they say, ordered reality and keeps it from becoming a mass of confusion.

We find this very same concept to be a very old concept. We find it in the Stoick philosophy. We find the stoicks mentioned in Acts 17:18, “then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, what will this babbler say? Other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.”

And we also notice that Paul also “encountered” these stoicks, or to be more accurate the stoicks “encountered” Paul, which means that they withstood, and challenged him. The stoicks were early Greek thinkers who thought that there was no such thing as a personal God who by His power, wisdom and sovereignty created the world in order and harmony. In fact they believe that nothing could exist beyond the limits of human knowledge and experience. They believed that at best there was only some theoretical abstract form and power which they called nature, which ordered reality and kept it from becoming a mass of confusion. They never considered that their was an All-powerful being who was King and who was involved with things of this world. Their concept of “Logos” or the “Word” functioned merely as an abstract idea that was necessary to account for what they perceived as order that was evident in the universe.

The stoicks that Paul encountered at Mars Hill debated with him about their notion that all things came into being from a single seed of fire, which they called the Logos Spermatokos. And within this “Seed” or “Word” the power of creation and source of procreative power, which word begets life and order and harmony. We have all heard of the expression “every person has a spark of divinity in them.” This notion came from stoicks. The stoicks believed that each and every individual object had a piece of this divine seminal fire in it, but in their mind it was impersonal and abstract. We can see this very same philosophy in our so-called science of creation today, only now it is called the “big bang theory.”

The Apostle John did not use the word the same way that the Greeks did, in John 1:1 he drooped a bombshell on the thinkers of his day when he looked at Jesus and spoke of Him not as some impersonal concept, but as the incarnation of the eternal “Word” or “Logos.” Because the ancient Greeks knew nothing of such a concept, so it was a stumbling block to them, rather than the idea of an incarnation (1 Cor. 1:23). To John Jesus is the “Word,” He is the “Logos” in a very personal and radical way, this is very different from the Greek in his uncertain philosophy. To John the “Word” is a real person, and not simply a principle!

The second thing that seemed to be outrageous to the Stoick’s thinking was the thought that the “Word” or “Logos” should become incarnate. To him there could never be anything that was more of a stumbling block than the idea of an incarnation. That is that there could ever be an endowment of the divine with a human body. This was because of his view of all matter in the universe, it was unthinkable to him that God, if there really was one, should ever take upon himself human flesh and form. “He would think to himself, “this world is made up of material things, as because it is must be therefore could never be dependent on anything that was external, such as matter to exist in human flesh. So to the Stoick, as well as to the modern so-called scientist today, to have the “Word” or “Logos” be clothed in the garb of a material world would be a disgusting thought in his classical Greek philosophy. The Apostle John, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, Looked at the “Word” or “Logos” at the personal level. He saw Christ the very manifestation of the eternal person by whose power and existence does not depend on anything or anybody of this natural world, but on whose power all things are held together. This concept pointed to the deity of Christ as being the only cosmic reason in the universe! He is the ultimate reality of all things!

The Word is not only said to be with God, but to also be God. This is a clear and direct statement of the deity of Christ. When we read John 1:1 there can be no doubt at all as to what is meant by the textJesus Christ is God the Word! He is the true Logos!

Today as modern day scientist work to remove the idea of God from every thought of the human mind, we find that they are added by such organizations as the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons, who attempt to cloud and distort the scriptures, by trying to make the argument that the Bible does say that the Word was God, but that it should read “that the Word was a god.” If this is what John was trying to say then there are several problems that come up. First it leaves us with John affirming a form of polytheism. Now polytheism is the belief and worship of many gods. As opposed to monotheism which is the belief and worship of one God only. And little child of God it is clear when we read our Bibles that the scriptures teach from the first book of Genesis to the last book of Revelation that there is only One God. And so to say that the text ought to read that the Word was a god,” is to declare that there are more than one God. These say, “well you Old Baptist believe the Trinity, and 1+1+1 equals 3.” And they say it is we who believe in polytheism. But their math is flawed, its not 1+1+1=3, but 1x1x1=1, because John declares that “these three are One” (1 John 5:7). This is the true doctrine of the Trinity. Jesus is the same as the Father, and yet is distinguished from the Father. He is the same as the Holy Ghost, yet is distinguished from the Holy Ghost. We see that God and Jesus are one in being but two in their person. The Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost are one being, but are distinguished in terms of their personality and work, and the ministry they perform.

It is this witness that John gives us that is of the intimate type. John is saying that we have a face-to-face relationship with the eternal Creator of the universe from all eternity! Our hope and faith does not rest of the things that we see. The Father, Son and Holy Ghost are one and Jesus Christ is the “Word of God.” God in the flesh, for John says “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” (John 1:14). Here we see that God is dwelling with us, or literally He is “pitching His tent with us.” Just like when God dwelt with the children of Israel in the Old Testament in the tabernacle, so He dwells with us in the person of the “Word, the “Logos” who embodies the truth of God Himself, “for in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9). Jesus Christ is the manifestation of the glory of God. John goes on to tell us that “in Him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4).

I will close this subject for now. And realize that I have not been able to do this great subject its full justice, but I hope that it has in some way been to God’s glory and hopefully to the edification of the people of God. The next time we hope to look at “Jesus as the Saviour.” May God bless you and keep you.

Elder Thomas McDonald