By A. J. Pollack
Divine Titles In The New TestamentSon
Scripture clearly claims eternal Sonship and Godhead glory for our Lord Jesus Christ. The phrase “Eternal Son” is not found in Scripture but the truth these words convey is found throughout the Bible, sometimes stated and often inferred. Scripture acclaims Him as the Son in eternity before time began (Jn. 17:5; 1 Jn. 1:2) and as born into this world as Man (Heb. 1:5). Hebrews tells us that in these last days God has spoken by His Son (Heb. 1:2). When the prophets spoke, God was speaking through them. But when the Son spoke, God spoke. He is described as the brightness of God’s glory, the express image of His Person in its fullness (Heb. 1:3). Who could answer to this description? Only One, and He must be God Himself.
Hebrews 1:8 is very emphatic: “To the Son He says: ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom’” (NKJV). The Son is here addressed as God. What more testimony do we want? If God is eternal, what is the Son but eternal?
We quote another striking Scripture: “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was” (Jn. 17:5). These are the words of the blessed Lord. To our great delight and instruction, this prayer has been recorded for our worshipful meditation. The Son speaks to His Father of a glory that He had with the Father before the world began. This relationship then was in eternity before time – a glory clearly eternal, the glory of the Son. We have presented here two Persons, the Father and the Son, seen in eternity before the world began, eternal in their being and relationship, and reciprocative [mutual] in fullest measure.
Our Lord said, “All should honor the Son just as they honor the Father” (Jn. 5:23). This is blasphemy if not true. Thank God it is most blessedly true! What a claim our Lord made – and none could make such a claim, but God. “You believe in God, believe also in Me” (Jn. 14:1). Our Lord never refused worship offered to Him, for as God He was always rightly the Object of worship.
Related thoughts shared by Walter Scott
(adapted from The Bible Handbook)
Son Of God
“Son of God” occurs but once in the Old Testament (Dan. 3:25). The title applies to Adam in Luke 3:38 as the expression of his place and dignity in creation. The angels too are styled “sons of God” (Job 1:6, 2:1, 38:7), but no angel is ever termed “Son of God,” much less “the Son of God.” “Son” is a title belonging to Christ by inherent right; and it becomes ours only by adoption.
“Son of God,” occurring nearly 50 times in Scripture, is the expression of Christ’s personal dignity and glory. “Son of the Father” (2 Jn. 3) intimates the blessed relationship eternally existing between the Father and the Son. “Only begotten Son … in the bosom of the Father” (Jn. 1:18) is the declaration to us of the depth and tenderness of the love in which the Son ever abode with His Father. Dignity, relationship and love are unfolded in these divine and exquisitely beautiful titles.
Luke connects Sonship with the incarnation of our Lord (1:35), Matthew with the calling out from Egypt (2:15) and Mark with the commencement of the Lord’s ministry (1:1). But John traces the Sonship of Jesus Christ before time began: “In the beginning was the Word” (Jn. 1:1). “From the beginning (1 Jn. 1:1) refers to a specific event – the appearing of Christ as Man in the world. “In the beginning was the Word” has no reference to either date or epoch. It is a truly remarkable phrase. Eternity, Personality, Deity, Co-equality and Creatorship are ascribed to Him who is the “Word” and the “Son,” and that within 42 words (Jn. 1:1-3).
The Church is built on the glory of Christ’s person divinely revealed: “Son of the living God” (Mt. 16:16). The Divine glory of that name and person formed the ground of heavenly glory of the “Son” and is needed for Church foundation, blessing and glory – and is also the basis, solid and imperishable, on which our individual salvation most surely rests.
Look for the continuation of this Series next month.