WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BELIEVE THAT JESUS WAS THE SON OF GOD?
When we hear the term “Son of God,” we are inclined to think of male offspring. Aren’t we all familiar with congratulating people on the birth of a son? I recall a time when someone I knew was anticipating his wife giving birth. One day he came up to me and handed me a blue bubble gum cigar. He spoke no words, but I got the message; his wife had given birth to a son!
In Galatians 4:4, we read that “God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” This of course refers to Jesus Christ, who is continually referred to as the Son of God in the New Testament.
We must not think of Jesus, however, as the offspring of God the Father. Because according to Galatians 4:4, when the Father sent Jesus into the world, He already was the Son of God. The Father sent forth His Son! If He already was the Son of God, then He did not become the Son of God through conception and birth. Rather, the Son of God became a true human being in the conception.
Prior to His incarnation, Jesus existed as the eternal Son of God. Then through the miraculous conception caused by the miraculous act of the Holy Spirit, the eternal Son of God became the Son of Man-a genuine human being.
The Son of God is not a term of procreation but a term of deity. This is illustrated by the reaction of the Jews to Jesus’ claim to be the Son of God. In John 5:18, the Jews sought to kill Jesus, because He said that God was His Father, “making Himself equal with God.” For Jesus to claim that He was the Son of God was the same as saying that He was divine just like His Father.
When Jesus stood before Pilate, the Jews demanded that He be put to death, because “He made Himself the Son of God” (John 19:7). They regarded this claim as bogus and blasphemous, because it was a claim of deity. It was not blasphemous or bogus. It was true!
Today there are many who say they believe that Jesus was the Son of God, but what do they mean?
To truly believe in Jesus as the Son of God requires that you believe that Jesus is divine-equal with God! It requires that you believe that God became a man in order to die for our sins and grant us forgiveness as a free gift on the basis of faith, not works. (See Ephesians 2:8,9.)
Anyone that does not believe that Jesus is deity-equal with the Father-simply does not believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and therefore, does not have forgiveness and eternal salvation.
The Apostle John summed it up succinctly in John 20:31, “…that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”
The title “the Son of God” is no trivial thing. It communicates who Jesus really was-God in human flesh! The Son of God is the divine bridge from eternal death to eternal life. If you do not see deity in the term “Son of God,” the bridge is out for you!