THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY (5) ; The Eternal Son of God

John 1:1-18

GOD THE SON 

This study brings us to the most disputed aspect of Trinitarian Theology. The person of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, second person of the Trinity, has throughout the centuries been the battle ground for true orthodoxy. This is a most serious and vital matter because the Son of God is at the heart of the Father’s plan and man’s redemption:

“And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” (Colossians 1:18)

“And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.” (Revelation 5:6)

On this account, therefore, to be in error on the Doctrine of the Trinity is to entertain heresy with regard to the the Son of God, who is positioned at the heart of the throne of omnipotence. This is a serious matter. The most common heresy that we will encounter with regard to the Son of God, is Arianism peddled by the ‘Jehovah Witnesses’. They are no true witnesses to Jehovah being nothing more than a false cult whose greatest error is their teaching that the Son of God is created by Jehovah as the chief of all the angels. This study will supply you with Biblical arguments that may be employed when discussing the Scriptures with these people, who are spiritually blind.

 

1: The Person of the Son

It is apparent from the New Testament that the Father has a Son who existed with him before the Incarnation which occurred within the womb of Mary:

“…the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father…”  (John 1:18)

He is described in the writings of John as being the “only begotten Son”:

“…and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father” (John 1:18)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

The words “only begotten” stem from one Greek word – monogenes.

In Vine’s ‘Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words’ the following deductions are made with respect to the five occasions when John uses this word with regard to the relationship between the Son of God and His Father:

A Originated Relationship. He did not not become, but eternally is the Son of God sharing the same substance as the Father;  (Psalm 2:7, Acts 4:25-26, Hebrews 1:5, John 1:1).

B Deepest Intimacy. They are bound by powerful love and the Son is party to all the Father’s plans.

C Revelation. The Son is the complete revelation of the Father’s will, person and purpose. He manifests the Glory of God.  (John 1:18).

D The Gift. When God gave His Son he could offer nothing greater or make a sacrifice more meaningful.  (1st Timothy 3:16, Matthew 1:23, Colossians 2:9).

E First-Born. He is not the First Born in order of time but the First Born is order the greatness. He is the heir of God.

2: The Properties of the Son

On account of the unique person of the Son of God, called ‘the Logos’ or “the Word” in John 1, it therefore follows that He has the properties, the attributes or the characteristics of deity:

ATTRIBUTES OF DEITY

Eternal – Isaiah 9:6, Micah 5:2,

Revelation 1:8, 22:13.

Omnipresent – Matthew 18:20, 28:20, John 3:13.

Omnipotent – Revelation 1:8, John 5:19, Hebrews 1:3.

Omniscient – John 2:24-25, 1:49, 21:17, 16:30, Revelation 2:23.

Immutable – Hebrews 1:11-12, 13:8.

WORKS OF DEITY

Creation – John 1:3, Colossians 1:16-17, Hebrews 1:2,10.

Governance – Hebrews 1:3, Colossians 1:17, John 5:17.

Miracles – John 5:36, 21, Acts 4:10.

Salvation – Acts 20:28, John 13:18, 10:16, 28, Matthew 9:13.

EQUALITY AND UNITY WITH THE FATHER

John 5:17-18, 8:28, 17:5, 10:30.

OBJECT OF WORSHIP

Faith (John 14:1); Hope (Psalm 2:12, Jeremiah 17:5), Adoration (Hebrews 1:6, Psalm 2:12, John 5:23, Philippians 2:9-10).

3: The Purpose of the Son

The Son fulfills a purpose in the economy of God. Everything that God does he employs the Son in fulfilling that purpose.

CREATION

We have already observed from John 1 that all things were made through Christ. Was He is the ‘Word’ that God spoke in Genesis 1; the efficient cause of the vast universe. In the same manner he is the Sustainer and and Governor of all life today, “upholding all things by the word of His power”.

REVELATION

The Son of God reveals the power and glory of God:

“Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his , and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high

(Hebrews 1:2-3)

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

(2nd Corinthians 2:6).

REDEMPTION

The Father accomplishes the redemption of His elect people through the instrumentality of His Son through His Mediatorial Offices of Prophet, Priest and King. Ultimately this purpose will be fulfilled through His Second Coming:

“Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.”  (1st Corinthians 15:24-25)

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