Does God Have A Son?

II Jn 1:1-3

1 THE ELDER, To the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all those who have known the truth, 2 because of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever: 3 Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. (NKJ)

Whenever we take up the subject of God we must realize that we have entered an area in which we can hope to gain only a glimpse of the grand subject. How can the creature understand the creator? We can hardly understand the creation. Recently scientist have mapped the genetic code. A code so complex that it took us thousands of years to figure out only the basic components even with our super computers. But I heard one scientist say that it would be another 100 years before we would have a complete understanding of the code. He said it is like we have learned the alphabet but not words yet let alone sentences.

And we need to understand that physical things are much easier to understand that spiritual. Physical things can be scientifically examined, but weight, height, substance, temperature, etc. But we have no means to measure or scientifically examine the spiritual elements of our universe.

In relation to God philosophy has attempted to guess at the unknowable. God is so far above the creation that they only things we can be sure about is what He has chosen to reveal to us about Himself.

Job 11:7-9 "Can you search out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than heaven-- what can you do? Deeper than Sheol-- what can you know? Their measure is longer than the earth and broader than the sea. (NKJ)

Matt 11:27 "All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. (NKJ)

Rom 11:33-36 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! "For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?" "Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him?" For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. (NKJ).

With those verses in mind we then come back to the question, "Can or does God have a Son?"

In the ancient pagan cults the idea of God having a son would be of little dispute. For they believed in a multitude of deities with various areas of strength and responsibility. So for the pagan this is not a problem.

But of those who accept the Bible, there is a real problem. Actually there are several problems. These are stated in Strong's Systematic theology thus:

The doctrine of the Trinity may be expressed in the five following statements:

1. In Scripture there are three who are recognized as God.

2. These three are so described in Scripture that we are compelled to conceive of them as distinct persons.

3. This tri-personality of the divine nature is not merely economic and temporal, but is immanent and eternal.

4. This tri-personality is not tri-theism; for while there are three persons, there is but one essence.

5. The three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, are equal.

The problem is found in Deut 6:4 "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! (NKJ) Jesus Himself quotes this verse in Mark 12:29 Jesus answered him, "The first of all the commandments is: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. (NKJ)

If God is one, how can Jesus be God? This is still the problem for the orthodox Jews for they claim that we worship more than one God.

Some have tried to explain the trinity by the use of physical representations such as water that can be a liquid, a solid and a vapor yet each is truly H2O. The problem with that illustration is that the same water cannot be a liquid a solid and a vapor all at the same time.

The mystery of Godliness is not comprehendible as Spurgeon tells us from commenting of 1 Tim. 3:16. "God was manifest in the flesh." In this Paul testifies not merely to our Lord's birth, but to the whole of the divine manifestation in his life of two or three and thirty years. He was abundantly manifest among the multitudes, and before his disciples during the latter part of his life. He was God in miracles most plenteous, but he was man in sufferings most pitiable..869 He was the Son of the Highest, and nevertheless, "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." He trod the billows of the obedient sea, and yet he owned not a foot of land in all Judea. He fed thousands by his power, and yet all faint and weary he sat upon a well, and cried, "Give me to drink." He cast out devils, but was himself tempted of the devil. He healed all manner of diseases, and was himself exceeding sorrowful even unto death. Winds and waves obeyed him, every element acknowledged the august presence of deity, and yet he was tempted in all points like as we are. Oar Lord's manhood was no phantasm, no myth, no mere appearance in human shape: beyond all doubt "the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among "Handle me and see, saith he; "a Spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have." "Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing." Yet with equal certainty, God was manifest in him. As the light streams through the lantern, so the glory of Godhead flamed through the flesh of Jesus, and those who were his nearest companions bear witness: "We beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

We must realize that we cannot reconcile all things concerning the trinity. But for the purpose of the discussion this morning we can show that the Bible teaches without doubt that Jesus is God. And since there is only one God, He is one with the Father or else we have multiple Gods instead of one as Deut 6:4 says.

  1. He is expressly called God.
    1. John 1:1
      1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (NKJ)
      2. In the beginning the Word already existed. He was with God, and he was God. (NLT)
    2. John 1:18
      1. No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. (NKJ)
      2. No one has ever seen God. But his only Son, who is himself God, is near to the Father's heart; he has told us about him. (NLT)
      3. No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained {Him.} (NAS)
    3. John 20:28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" (NKJ)
    4. Rom 9:5
      1. Of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen. (NKJ)
      2. Their ancestors were great people of God, and Christ himself was a Jew as far as his human nature is concerned. And he is God, who rules over everything and is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. (NLT)
      3. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen. (NIV)
    5. Titus 2:13
      1. looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, (NKJ)
      2. while we look forward to that wonderful event when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. (NLT)
    6. Hebrews 1:8
      1. But to the Son He says: "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom. (NKJ)
      2. But to his Son he says, "Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. Your royal power is expressed in righteousness. (NLT)
      3. But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. (NIV)
    7. Colossians 2:9
      1. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; (NKJ)
      2. For in Christ the fullness of God lives in a human body, (NLT)
      3. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, (NIV)
    8. Acts 20:28
      1. "Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. (NKJ)
      2. "And now beware! Be sure that you feed and shepherd God's flock-- his church, purchased with his blood-- over whom the Holy Spirit has appointed you as elders. (NLT)
      3. Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. (NIV)
    9. 1 Timothy 3:16,
      1. And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory. (NKJ)
      2. [And]-- following up <1 Tim. 3:15>: `AND (that thou mayest know how grand is that truth which the Church, like a pillar, upholds) confessedly (by the universal confession of the members of the Church, which is in this respect "the pillar of the truth") great is the mystery of godliness: (namely) He WHO [so 'Aleph (') A C G, hos (grk 3739), for Theos (grk 2316), `God. ' Delta f g, Vulgate, read ho (grk 3588), `which mystery'] was manifested in (the) flesh, (He who) was justified in the Spirit, ' etc. If Christ were not essentially superhuman <Titus 2:13>, how could Paul declare emphatically that He was manifested in (the) flesh? <Phil. 2:7; 1 John 1:2; 3:5,8; 4:2>. Christ is Himself "the mystery of godliness." [Hence, the neuter, to musteerion (grk 3466), passes into the masculine, hos.] He who before was hidden `with God' was made manifest <John 1:1,14; Rom. 16:25-26; Col. 1:26; 2 Tim. 1:10; Titus 2:11; 3:4>. (from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary)
      3. :Listen to Adam Clarke in his commentary.
        1. Though all this makes a very plain and consistent sense, yet we are perplexed by various readings on the first clause, Theos (grk 2316) ephaneroothee (grk 5319) en (grk 1722) sarki (grk 4561), God was manifest in the flesh; for instead of Theos (grk 2316), God, several MSS., versions, and fathers, have hos (grk 3739) or ho (grk 3588), who or which. And this is generally referred to the word mystery; Great is the mystery of godliness, WHICH was manifest in the flesh.
        2. The insertion of Theos (grk 2316) for hos (grk 3739), or hos (grk 3739) for Theos (grk 2316), may be easily accounted for. In ancient times the Greek was all written in capitals, for the common Greek character is comparatively of modern date. In these early times words of frequent recurrence were written contractedly, thus: for pateer (grk 3962), PR; Theos (grk 2316), THS: Kurios (grk 2962), KS; Ieesous (grk 2424) IEES,-- etc. This is very frequent in the oldest MSS., and is continually recurring in the Codex Bezae, and Codex Alexandrinus. If, therefore, the middle stroke of the Greek letter theta (th) in THS (grk 2316), happened to be faint, or obliterated, and the dash above not very apparent, both of which I have observed in ancient MSS., then THS (grk 2316), the contraction for THEOS (grk 2316), God, might be mistaken for HOS (grk 3739), which or who; and vice versa. This appears to have been the case in the Codex Alexandrinus, in this passage.
        3. To me there is ample reason to believe that the Codex Alexandrinus originally read THS (grk 2316), God, in this place; but the stroke becoming faint by length of time and injudicious handling, of which the manuscript in this place has had a large proportion, some person has supplied the place, most reprehensibly, with a thick black line. This has destroyed the evidence of this manuscript, as now it can neither be quoted pro or con, though it is very likely that the person who supplied the ink line, did it from a conscientious conviction that THS (grk 2316) was the original reading of this manuscript I examined this manuscript about thirty years ago, and this was the conviction that rested then on my mind. I have seen the manuscript several times since, and have not changed my opinion. The enemies of the Deity of Christ have been at as much pains to destroy the evidence afforded by the common reading in support of this doctrine as if this text were the only one by which it can be supported; they must be aware that <John 1:1,14>, proclaim the same truth; and that in those verses there is no authority to doubt the genuineness of the reading. We read, therefore, God was manifested in the flesh, and I cannot see what good sense can be taken out of, the GOSPEL was manifested in the flesh; or, the mystery of godliness was manifested in the flesh. After seriously considering this subject in every point of light, I hold with the reading in the commonly received text. (from Adam Clarke Commentary)
        4. God was manifest in the flesh; not God essentially considered, or Deity in the abstract, but personally; and not the first nor the third Person; for of neither of them can this or the following things be said; but the second Person, the Word, or Son of God; see #1Jo 3:8 who existed as a divine Person, and as a distinct one from the Father and Spirit, before his incarnation; and which is a proof of his true and proper deity: the Son of God in his divine nature is equally invisible as the Father, but became manifest by the assumption of human nature in a corporeal way, so as to be seen, heard, and felt: and by "flesh" is meant, not that part of the body only, which bears that name, nor the whole body only, but the whole human nature, consisting of a true body and a reasonable soul; so called, partly to denote the frailty of it, and to show that it was not a person, but a nature, Christ assumed; and the clause is added, not so much to distinguish this manifestation of Christ from a spiritual manifestation of him to his people, as in distinction from all other manifestations of him in the Old Testament, in an human form for a time, and in the cloud, both in the tabernacle and temple. John Gill Commentary
  2. Old Testament descriptions of God are applied to him.
    1. This application to Christ of titles and names exclusively appropriated to God is inexplicable, if Christ was not regarded as being himself God. The peculiar awe with which the term 'Jehovah' was set apart by a nation of strenuous monotheists as the sacred and incommunicable name of the one self-existent and covenant-keeping God forbids the belief that the Scripture writers could have used it as the designation of a subordinate and created being. Strong's Systematic Theology
    2. Matthew 3:3 -- "Make ye ready the way of the Lord" is a quotation from Isaiah 40:3 -- "Prepare ye… the way of Jehovah."
    3. John 12:41 -- "These things said Isaiah, because he saw his glory; and he spake of him" [i.e., Christ] -- refers to Isaiah 6:1 -- "In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne."
    4. Ephesians 4:7, 8 -- "measure of the gift of Christ… led captivity captive" -- is an application to Christ of what is said of Jehovah in Psalm 68:18.
    5. In 1 Peter 3:15, moreover, we read, with all the great uncials, several of the Fathers, and all the best versions: "sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord"; here the apostle borrows his language from Isaiah 8:13, where we read: "Jehovah of hosts, him shall ye sanctify."
  3. He possesses the attributes of God.
    1. Life: John 1:4 -- "In him was life"; 14:6 -- "I am… the life."
    2. Self-existence John 5:26 -- "have life in himself"; Hebrews 7:16 -- "power of an endless life."
    3. Immutability: Hebrews 13:8 -- "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yea and forever."
    4. Truth: John 14:6 -- "I am… the truth"; Revelations 3:7 -- "he that is true".
    5. Love 1 John 3:16 -- "Hereby know we love" = the personal Love, as the personal Truth) "because he laid down his life forus."
    6. Holiness: Luke 1:35 -- "that which is to be born shall be called holy, the Son of God"; John 6:69 -- "thou art the Holy One of God"; Hebrews 7:26 -- "holy, guileless, undefiled, separated from sinners."
    7. Eternity:
      1. John 1: -- "In the beginning was the Word."
      2. John 8:58 -- "Before Abraham was born, I am";
      3. Colossians 1:17 -- "he is before all things";
      4. Hebrews 1:11-- the heavens "shall perish; but thou continuest";
      5. Revelation 21:6 -- "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end."
    8. Omnipresence:
      1. Matthew 28:20 -- "I am with you always";
      2. Ephesians 1:23 -- the fullness of him that filleth all in all"
    9. Omniscience:
      1. Matthew 9:4 -- "Jesus knowing their thoughts";
      2. John 2:24, 25 -- "knew all men… knew what was in man"; 16:30 --"knowest all things";
      3. Acts 1:24 -- "Thou, Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men" -- a prayer offered before the day of Pentecost and showing the attitude of the disciples toward their Master;
      4. 1 Corinthians 4:5 -- "until the Lord come, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make manifest the counsels of the hearts";
      5. Colossians 2:3 -- "in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden."
    10. Omnipotence:
      1. Matthew 27:18 -- "All authority has been given unto me in heaven and on earth";
      2. Revelation 1:8 -- "the Lord God, which is and which was and which is to come, the Almighty."
  4. The works of God are ascribed to him.
    1. Creation:
      1. 1 Corinthians 8:6 -- "one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things";
      2. Colossians 1:6 -- "all things have been created through him, and unto him";
      3. Hebrews 1:10 -- "Thou, Lord, in the beginning didst lay the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the works of thy hands";
      4. 3:3, 4 -- "he that built all things is God" Christ, the builder of the house of Israel, is the God who made all things;
      5. Revelations 3:14 -- "the beginning of the creation of God"
    2. Upholding:
      1. Colossians 1:17 -- "in him all things consist" (margin "hold together");
      2. Hebrews 1:3 -- "upholding all things by the word of his power."
    3. Raising the dead and judging the world:
      1. John 5:27-29 -- "authority to execute judgment… all that are in the tombs shall hear his voice, and shall come forth";
      2. Matthew 25:31, 32 -- "sit on the throne of his glory; and before him shall he gathered all the nations."
  5. He receives honor and worship due only to God.
    1. John 20:28, which we have already cited among the proofs that Jesus is expressly called God, and in which divine honor is paid to him, we may refer to the prayer and worship offered by the apostolic and post-apostolic church.
      1. John 5:23 -- "that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father";
      2. Acts 7:59 -- "Stephen, calling upon the Lord, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit" (cf. Luke 23:46 -- Jesus' words: "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit);
      3. Romans 10:9 -- "confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord" 13 -- "whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall he saved" (cf. Genesis 4:26 --"Then began men to call upon the name of Jehovah");
      4. 1 Corinthians 11:24, 25 -- "this do in remembrance of me" = worship of Christ;
      5. Hebrews 1:6 -- "let all the angels of God worship him"
      6. Philippians 2:10, 11 -- "in the name of Jesus every knee should how… every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord"
      7. Revelations 5:12-14 -- "Worthy is the Lamb that hath been slain to receive the power;
      8. 2 Peter 3:18 -- "Lord and Savior Jesus Christ To him be the glory";
      9. 2 Timothy 4:18 and Hebrews 13:21 -- "to whom be the glory for ever and ever -- "these ascription's of eternal glory to Christ imply his deity. See also 1 Peter 3.15 -- "Sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord," and Ephesians 5:21 -- "subjecting yourselves one to another in the fear of Christ."
      10. John 5:23 -- "that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father";
      11. John 14:1 "believe in God, believe also in me" -- double imperative (so Westcott, Bible Com., in loco);
      12. 17:3 -- "this is life eternal, that they should know thee the only true God, and him whom thou didst send, even Jesus Christ";
      13. Matthew 11:27 -- "no one knoweth the Son save the Father; neither doth any know the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son willeth to reveal him";
      14. 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 -- "the same Spirit… the same Lord [Christ]… the same God" [the Father] I bestow spiritual gifts, e. g., faith:
      15. Romans 10:17 -- "belief cometh of hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ";
  6. Equality with God is expressly claimed.
    1. John 5:18 -- "called God his own Father, making himself equal with God";
    2. Philippians 2:6 -- "who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped"
    3. Colossians 1:15 -- "the image of the invisible God";
    4. Hebrews 1:3 -- "the effulgence of his [the Father's] glory, and the very image of his substance";
    5. John 10:30 -- "I and the Father are one"; 14:9 -- "he that hath seen me hath seen the Father"; 17:11, 22 -- "that they may be one, even as we are"
    6. Colossians 2:9 -- "in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily"; cf. 1:19 -- "for it was the pleasure of the Father that in him should all the fullness dwell;" or (margin) "for the whole fullness of God was pleased to dwell in him."
    7. John 16:15 -- "all things whatsoever the Father hath are mine"; 17:10 -- "all things that are mine are thine, and thine are mine."
  7. But what difference does it make?
    1. If Jesus was not God in flesh, then He was a sinner and could die for only His own sin.
    2. Then the "Searching for Jesus" people are correct and Jesus was probably not even buried let alone resurrected from the dead.
    3. And the world is right because every religion is only man's feudal attempt to find out the secrets of the cosmos.
    4. If Jesus is not the Son of God, God in the flesh then our religion is vain and we are of all people most miserable.
    5. But there are some results that Scripture ascribes to not accepting Jesus as the Son of God.
      1. John 8:24 "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." (NKJ)
      2. Mark 16:16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. (NKJ)
      3. John 3:18 "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (NKJ)
      4. John 3:36 "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (NKJ)
      5. Acts 4:12 "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (NKJ)
      6. Heb 2:3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, (NKJ)
      7. Heb 10:26-29 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? (NKJ)
      8. Heb 12:24-26 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, "Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven." (NKJ)

If you do not believe in God's Son you will never see heaven. Jesus is the only way to God. John 14:6

 

This message was preached at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at http://toulonbaptist.com