“God’s Only Son”


The Nicene Creed (325/381 AD) elaborates on this phrase: “we believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made; who, for us and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man…” The Athanasian Creed (late 400s / early 500s AD) states that our Lord Jesus Christ is “perfect God and perfect man.” The Chalcedonian Creed (451 AD) says that in Jesus Christ the divine and human natures are together in one person (the hypostatic union) “without confusion, without change, without division, without separation.” The complete divinity and humanity of Jesus was the subject matter for most theological reflection and debates in the early centuries of the church. A clear statement about the divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ is perhaps the most important part of our Creeds. And it remains a primary point of contention, not only for those outside the church but also within it. (He might hold his two natures together “without confusion,” but we certainly have a propensity for confusion about him!)

At Jesus’ baptism, God the Father declared publicly, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” At Jesus’ transfiguration on the mountain, the Father again declared, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” God wants you to know that Jesus is his Son, that he is pleased with him, and that you should listen to him. Because, in listening to Jesus, we hear the Word of God himself, God the Son, in human flesh. Jesus reveals God to us not in his divine nature aloneapart from his humanity, or in spite of it—but in his divinity with his humanity, because he is both God and man in one person. In his incarnation, Jesus reveals God to us in his own humanity. He is God’s eternally-begotten Son, and he is God’s Son as a human being. God the Father looks at his incarnate Son and says to you, “Yes, good! He is the exact representation of my nature. Learn from him what I am truly like.” God is pleased and revealed by his unique Son, the God-man Jesus Christ.

Do you have a sense of the absolute uniqueness of Jesus Christ? Is it a sense of wonder, or are you distrustful of him and his claims? Have you listened to him as God commanded you? If Jesus really is the God-man who pleases and reveals God, when you look to Jesus, what do you learn about God? What difference would it make if he’s not both truly God and truly man? If you have a relationship with Jesus, what does that mean for your relationship with God? Do you know anyone who believes that Jesus is God’s only Son, yet who wants to have nothing to do with him? Do you know anyone who struggles to believe that Jesus is God’s only Son?


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