The Eternal Sonship of Jesus Christ
The eternal sonship of Jesus is a very important doctrine. It is also a doctrine that cannot be fully comprehended by mortal man. On the other hand, mortals must at least accept this doctrine as being true. Remembering that God is spirit and is not bound by time, space, and material/bodily constraints, will help us to more readily accept this truth. Being the Son of God means that Jesus is God. The Son has the nature of the Father. This means that the Son is eternal. Though He was begotten and not made, the Son is eternal. While these things are hard to be understood, let us attempt to attain a rudimentary knowledge of them.
The Son Eternally Begotten of The Father
Before Jesus was ever begotten in the womb of the virgin Mary He was the Son of God. The Sonship of Jesus is not a physical sonship, but a spiritual one. As Isaiah prophesied of the coming of Jesus, he told us, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” ( Isaiah 9:6) KJV This passage tells us that Jesus was the Son before He became a man; He was givenas the Son. Not only so, but He is one with His Father, which tells us that the Son of God is God. We again read, “ 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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” ( John 3:16,17) KJV The Son was givenand sentthus testifying to the fact that Jesus was the Son before He became a man.
There has never been a time when God in all of His glorious perfection did not have a complete comprehension of who He is. Never has there been a time in which God did not have a full understanding of all His nature and His deeds. In the midst of this perception that God has of Himself is to be found the fact that God delights in Himself; He is the happy God (1Tim 1:11). This idea, love, delight, and contemplation of His own perfections is so complete that it stands forth as another person. This person is the second person of the Godhead, the Son of God. This is a begetting in a spiritual sense because the One begotten is truly the eternal offspring of the Father. The Son is eternally begotten, because there has never been a time that God has not had this perfect delight in, and understanding of, who He is. This means that the Son is eternal. It also means that the Son is indeed divine in all facets of His nature. (Note: We should not think of the Son being begotten as though He had a beginning. The terms “begotten” and “Son” actually refer to the relationship He has with the Father rather than speaking of origination and beginning.) “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 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 person, 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; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.” (Hebrews 1:1-8) KJV This passage speaks volumes about this wonderful truth. It tells us that the Son is of the same character as the Father, He is the Son who is begotten of God, is due worship, and is God.
The Father’s Witness to The Son
The Father bore witness to the Sonship of Jesus at least three times while He was on earth. The first was at His baptism: “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of 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.” (Matthew 3:16,17) KJV The second time was when He spoke to Peter, James, and John in the Mount of Transfiguration: “ While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” (Matthew 17:5) KJV Finally, the Father testified of the Sonship of Jesus when He raised Christ from the dead. Paul said that He was “ declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” (Romans 1:4) KJV This is, I believe, a faithful representation of the Sonship of Jesus Christ, our Creator and Redeemer.