Due to the trinity teaching, it is believed by the majority of churches that Jesus Christ is not the literal begotten Son of God, but instead an equal, co-eternal God alongside the Father. The trinity teaching says that Jesus had no beginning and the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three co-equal, co-eternal beings that are playing a ‘family role’. In other words, they are just play acting these roles of Father and Son. The Bible states that there is assuredly a Father and a Son, but are they a literal Father and Son, or are they just playing the roles?
The vast majority of Christian churches (including my own) in order to uphold the co-eternal co-equal nature of the Godhead must share the following as an official belief of sorts….”the father-son image cannot be literally applied to the divine Father-Son relationship within the Godhead. The Son is not the natural, literal Son of the Father … The term ‘Son’ is used metaphorically when applied to the Godhead.” A co-eternal relationship between the Son and the Father is neither possible nor logical unless the familial relationship is metaphorical.
And what does the main authority, the Word of God have to say on this? Does the Bible suggest in any way that Jesus is just playing a role as the Son of God? Or is He the literal Son? Let us look at some Bible texts to see if we can get some understanding as to who Christ really is.
John 3:16 …’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.’
1Co 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
So far so good. In the above two verses there is loads of information. We have firmly established several things concerning which there can be no argument.
There is but ONE God, and that one God, is clearly identified as the Father.
That one God has a Son.
The Father according to the second verse is the absolute source for all things. Everything in existence owes that existence to the Father. This of necessity must include His Son, which is attested to by the Son Himself when on the earth. John 17:7-8 …’Now they have known that all things whatsoever you have given me are of you. For I have given unto them the words which you gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from you, and they have believed that you did send me.’ See also John chapters 10 and 14.
While all things begin and owe their existence to the Father, it is through the Son all things came, including us.
Romans 8:3 …’God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.’
John 16:27-28 …’For the Father himself loveth you, because you have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.’
Mt 3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Mt 17:5 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.
A further point is established beyond doubt, the Son is here identified as Jesus.
Proverbs 8:23-25 …’I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth.’
Proverbs 30:4 …’Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?’
The Son’s existence began before the world was. Before creation, in eternity, the Son was ‘begotten’, or ‘brought forth’.
John 20:17 …’Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.’
Here we have Jesus Himself not only calling God His Father, but also calling His Father God. His God. In context with all the other verses above, this cannot be attributed to just the human nature of Jesus. Even in heaven before the incarnation, the Son honored the Father as God.
Remember, God is our ‘Father’ by adoption. God is Christ’s Father by birth!
1 John 5:5 …’Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?’
So the question is…Is John the apostle admonishing us to believe in a literal Son of God, or a metaphorical Son of God?