Eternal Son of the Living God
Cliff Jones, Cardiff, Wales [SEE PROFILE BELOW]
Before time began, and before anything had been created, God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, existed and dwelt together in holy harmony, love, union and communion. Then the wonder of creation occurred, ‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth’, Gen. 1. 1. The Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten, beloved and eternal Son of God, who is co-equal and co-existent with God, was the agent through whom all things were created. Everything was made by Him and for Him, and now He maintains and holds together the entire creation, John 1. 3; Col. 1. 16, 17.
John stated that he wrote his Gospel ‘that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God’, John 20. 31. At the beginning of His public ministry and at the close of that ministry, God spoke from heaven saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’, Matt. 3. 17; 17. 5. Peter made those wonderful declarations when he said that the Lord was the ‘Christ, the Son of the living God’, 16. 16; John 6. 69.
In Genesis chapter 3 we read of the entry of sin when our first parents, Adam and Eve, disobeyed God. Sin is lawlessness; it is a missing of the mark, a falling short of God’s standard of absolute holiness. Irrespective of who else is involved, all sin is first and foremost against God, Gen. 39. 9; Ps. 51. 4. The punishment of sin is inevitable, for God is holy, Lev. 19. 2. We have all sinned, Rom. 3. 23, and deserve to be separated from God eternally, suffering for our sins, ultimately in the lake of fire, Rev. 20. 15.
‘God is love’, 1 John 4. 8, and the greatest revelation of the love of God is found in the giving of His only begotten Son to pay the penalty for the sin of the whole world, John 1. 29; 2. 2. ‘God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life’, 3. 16. The Lord came into the world to save sinners, 1 Tim. 1. 15, to seek and to save those who are lost, Luke 19. 10, and John wrote, ‘We beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father’, John 1. 14.
The relationship between the Father and His only begotten Son is unique and eternal. However, at the climax of His suffering on the cross the Lord cried, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ Matt. 27. 46; Ps. 22. 1. This is the only time we read of the Lord addressing a question to His Father. The answer to the question is found in Psalm 22 verse 3, where we read, ‘But thou art holy’. God is ‘of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity’, Hab. 1. 13. On the cross, the sinless, only begotten Son of God was made ‘to be sin for us
. . . that we might be made the righteousness of God in him’, 2 Cor. 5. 21. The Lord had been forsaken by His disciples, Matt. 26. 56, by the Jewish nation, John 19. 15, and now by His God. He was forsaken of God that those saved by grace through God-given faith in the Person and finished work on the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ, Eph. 2. 8, would never be forsaken, Heb. 13. 5. Although He was forsaken by God, the relationship between the Father and His only begotten Son was unbroken, for He is ‘the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father’, John 1. 18. This is His eternal position. The fellowship and communion of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is eternal and unbroken.
The Father’s love for the Son is eternal. The Lord referred to this eternal, divine love when He said, ‘Thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world’, 17. 24. Love delights in giving and we read in John chapter 3 verse 35, ‘The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand’, and, in chapter 5 verse 20, ‘The Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth’.
God’s delight has been in His Son eternally. The Son was ‘daily his delight’, Prov. 8. 30. The Lord always did the Father’s will and the things that pleased Him, John 8. 29; Luke 22. 42; Heb. 10. 7. The Lord obeyed and glorified His Father in His life and when He was on the cross, suffering, bleeding and dying, ‘the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God’, 1 Pet. 3. 18. It was His ineffable love to God, His Father, John 14. 31, and to us which made Him willing to suffer as He did. Now God can be ‘just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus’, Rom. 3. 26.
Express image of His Person
God has revealed Himself to mankind. Until the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ, the revelation through the prophets was gradual and fragmentary, Heb. 1. 1. During His incarnation the Lord appeared outwardly as man, Phil. 2. 8. He was a real man, Heb. 2. 14, 17, but He was not a mere man, for He never ceased to be what He is eternally, and that is God. He was ‘holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners’, Heb. 7. 26. He was like us in every way apart from our sin, 4. 15. There is no sin in Him, 1 John 3. 5; His humanity is unique, holy humanity. He was ‘God with us’, Matt. 1. 23, God ‘manifest in the flesh’, 1 Tim. 3. 16.
The Lord has revealed God to man, for He is ‘the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person’, Heb. 1. 3. He is ‘the image of the invisible God’, Col. 1. 15. In Him ‘dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily’, Col. 2. 9, and He could say, ‘He that hath seen me hath seen the Father’, John 14. 9.
The Father sent the Son
The sending of His only begotten and ‘altogether lovely’, S. of S. 5. 16, Son into the world to suffer, shed His precious blood and die as a substitute for sinners, gives an insight into the love of God, 1 John 4. 9. He ‘sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons’, Gal. 4. 4, 5. God sent His beloved Son in the likeness of sinful flesh as an offering for sin, Rom. 8. 3. The Lord said, ‘I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me’, John 8. 42. The Lord was sent by His Father, but He came voluntarily. The will of God the Father was the will of God the Son. He said, ‘I and my Father are one’, 10. 30. He delighted to do His Father’s will, Ps. 40. 8, and could say, ‘My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work’, John 4. 34. Speaking to His Father He said, ‘I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do’, 17. 4. When He was on the earth, God’s only begotten, beloved, eternal Son glorified His Father and procured for us a wonderful and eternal salvation, 3. 36.