Page 5 - January 2023 - Truth & Tidings
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before?” (6:62). And He prayed, “Father,   Hebrews 1:5 quotes Psalm 2, “You are
        glorify me in your own presence with the   my Son,  today  I  have  begotten you.”
        glory that I had with you before the world   And John speaks of Christ as the “only
        existed” (17:5).                      begotten” (Joh 1:14,18; 3:16,18; 1Jn 4:9
          Paul also affirms the preexistence of the   KJV). “Only begotten” conveys Christ’s
        Son. To the Romans he wrote, “God …   uniqueness as the Son, and His being
        sending his own Son in the likeness of sin-  of the same essence as the Father. In hu-
        ful flesh” (8:3), and to the Galatians, “But   man terms, we understand that what we
        when the fullness of time had come, God   make does not share our nature, but what
        sent forth his Son, born of woman” (4:4).   we beget does. The “only begotten Son”
        Paul also reminded the Corinthians “that
        though he was rich, yet for your sake he   has eternally shared the nature of His
        became poor” (2Co 8:9), which only makes   Father. We must remember that human
        sense if Christ’s life of poverty on earth   father-son relationships are an imperfect
        was preceded by riches elsewhere. And   picture of the archetype – the perpetual,
        to the Colossians Paul stated that by the   divine Father-Son relationship. It would
        “beloved Son … all things were created   be backward to interpret Christ’s sonship
        … and he is before all things” (1:13,16-17).  based on the limits of the human parallel.
          The writer to the Hebrews asserts the   In closing, consider that, if we deny the
        same, opening with the statement that   eternal sonship of Christ, “we lose our
        God  “has  spoken  to  us  by  his  Son  …   measure of the divine love. The force of
        through whom also he created the world”   a passage such as John 3:16 derives from
        (1:2; see also v10). Later the writer de-  Christ’s unique relationship with the
        scribes Melchizedek, whose priesthood   Father. He did not become God’s Son by
        was “made like the Son of God,” “hav-  being given; he was given as God’s Son.”
        ing neither beginning of days nor end   We must uncompromisingly defend the
        of life” (7:3 NASB). Christ was not made   truth that the Son is eternal, and at the
        like Melchizedek, but the priesthood of
        Abraham’s contemporary was patterned   same time bow our hearts in wonder and
        after what was already true of the Son of   worship.
        God: without beginning or end.               And when I think that God,
          Much more could be said about these    His Son not sparing, Sent Him to die,
        and other verses which teach that Christ       I scarce can take it in …
        is the eternal Son of God, but it might be   Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to
        helpful to briefly touch two related scrip-  Thee, How great Thou art,
        tural terms: “firstborn” and “begotten.”                       6
          Christ is “the firstborn of all creation”     how great Thou art!
        (Col 1:15). “Firstborn” can refer to birth   ⁴ John MacArthur admits that this was part
                                              of where he went wrong when he held that
        order, but this title is also used to signify   Christ’s sonship began at His incarnation.
        occupying the place of privilege. As Exo-  MacArthur explains why he abandoned that
        dus 4:22 and Psalm 89:27 show, “firstborn”   view and now affirms the eternal sonship of
        doesn’t always signify a birth. Arianism   Christ:
        wrongly concluded that “firstborn” meant   ⁵ Macleod, The Person of Christ, 130.
        a beginning.                          ⁶ Stuart K. Hine (1899–1989)

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