The Son of God
Harold S. Paisley, Mississauga, Canada
The supreme objective in all ministry is to speak of things concerning Christ. This is the aim of the present series. We desire to draw out the hearts of the Lord's people to His Person, to Him who is heaven's beloved One. It is by seeking to show the spiritual significance of His name and titles, we hope that some incentive may be put into the hearts of our fellow believers to search the Scriptures and find Him there.
There is divine beauty, accuracy and precision in the gracious way the Holy Spirit testifies of the Person of the Son of God's love. The blessed Lord has a name above every name, and glories that excel. May we appreciate His excellencies and sympathies.
In considering the Lord Jesus as the Son of God, we enter a domain where flesh and blood cannot understand. Nevertheless, faith believes that He is and has always been the Son. In this is plainly declared His deity. We adhere unequivocally to the absolute deity of Christ, which is enshrined in the term 'Son of God'. This great foundation of the faith should underscore all our service, worship, devotion and prospects. The best known verse in all the word of God declares the blessed Lord to be the only begotten Son of God, who is God's great love gift to the world, that through His atoning death none need perish but have everlasting life, John 3. 16. Here we learn that, as the one and only Son of God, His co-equality and co-eternal relationship with the Father exist. The idea is the uniqueness of relationship. Beside Him there is none other. He, who is the eternal Son of God, is also the only complete representation of God on earth, and throughout all ages and forever.
God declares Him to be His only begotten Son, but at the annunciation of His birth the angel Gabriel also made known to Mary concerning Him, 'He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest, and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David, and he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end, and he shall be called the Son of God', Luke 1. 30-37.
In the very next chapter of Luke there is one glimpse of the Lord during His boyhood, at the age of twelve. His statement to Mary and Joseph is wonderful in depth and meaning, 'Wist ye not I must be about my Father's business?' Here we listen to His first reference to God as His Father.
The manner of His words clearly declared the unique relationship of His Sonship. Mary and Joseph did not understand this saying that He spoke to them, Luke 2. 49-50. Later, when Peter made the great confession, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God', Jesus replied, 'flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven', Matt. 16. 16-17. How thankful was Peter and how blessed that day. We, too, to whom grace has revealed that He is the Son of God, should bow in worship. We can say as the eunuch, 'I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God', Acts 8. 37. Again, at the beginning of His earthly ministry, when He was baptized in the Jordan, the voice of His Father declared, 'This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased'. Farther along His pathway to the cross, on the Mount of Transfiguration, the Father's delight in Him was made known again, 'This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased, hear him‘, Matt. 3. 17; 17. 5.
What a solemn day it was for Caiaphas when he said to the Lord Jesus, 'I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?', Mark 14. 61. He replied, 'I am as thou hast said'. They understood now that His claim to deity was the sum of all His teaching and ministry. They hated Him for this assertion, and desired His death as a blasphemer. The Jews, however, had no power to stone Him to death for His claim, which they saw as legitimate grounds for it, so they handed Him over to the Roman authority on the charge of treason. For this He was sentenced to be crucified. Being the Son of God was the root cause from the man-ward side for the cross, but we, as believers, behold the supreme mystery of God's love, and the wondrous grace of the Son of God. As He hung upon the cross, many mocked Him and taunted His claim to be the Son, saying, 'He trusted in God, let him deliver him now if he be the Son of God', Matt. 27. 43.
God revealed His sonship when the grave could not hold Him. He rose a victor from the tomb, the conqueror of death. He was ‘declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of Holiness by the resurrection from the dead', Rom. 1. 4. God has exalted Him to His own right hand set Him there as our Great High Priest. 'Thou art my beloved son, today have I begotten thee', Heb. 5. 5. He will yet exalt Him as the King of kings when He brings Him again into the world as His first begotten Son, Heb. 1. 5-6.
Two New Testament writers specifically present His sonship. John, who was the disciple whom Jesus loved, wrote his gospel with one end in view, 'that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God', John 20. 31. Paul is the other, who writes of His Sonship in his epistles at least sixteen times, and describes Him as God's own Son; 'God spared not his own son', Rom. 8. 32. He gathered up all his meditations of Christ and expressed his thoughts in the beautiful words, 'the Son of God who loved me, and gave himself for me', Gal. 2. 20. What an unfolding of the truth! The wonder of divine love seen in the Son of God taking the place of sinners, the Just for the unjust to bring us to God. How thankful we should be to share in that glorious work of the Son. May we honour the Son in doctrine and practice until we see Him as He is.
The late Edward C. Quine, who laboured in the Isle of Man, penned the great words of this song of worship, which all believers gladly sing:
Glory to Thee:
thou Son of God most high,
All praise to Thee!
Glory to Thee,
enthroned above the sky,
Who died for me.
High on Thy throne,
Thine ear, Lord Jesus bend,
As grateful hearts,
now to Thyself ascend.