Soteriology -- By: Lewis Sperry Chafer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 102:407 (Jul 1945)
Article: Soteriology
Author: Lewis Sperry Chafer


Soteriology

Lewis Sperry Chafer

(Continued from the April-June Number, 1945)

The Savior

A. The Person of the Savior

III. Christ’s Sonships

As a further step in the general investigation as to who the Savior is, consideration should be given to the sonships which He sustained while here on earth. There are four.

1. The Son of God.

Various theories which contend that Christ was: (a) the Son of God by virtue of His incarnation—a Being comprising in Himself both Deity and humanity and who could not have merited the title either as God alone or as man alone; (b) that He was Son of God by virtue of His resurrection; or (c) that He was Son of God by mere title or official position, break down before the volume of Biblical testimony which asserts that He was Son of God from all eternity. It is not a question of the eternal existence of the Second Person, but rather as to whether the sonship feature was a reality in all eternity past. Not all that enters into the human conception of father and son relationship is represented between the First and Second Persons of the Godhead. In no sense is the Second Person inferior to the First Person. They are One as to eternal existence, and as to every attribute and capacity. It is almost wholly in the sphere of manifestation—the Logos character—that the sonship of the Second Person is exercised. It is true that He, for the purposes of incarnation and redemption, assumed

while here on earth a place of subjection to the First Person, and that He was pleased to work in the power of the Third Person; but this subordination enters in no way into the truth of His Sonship. The theological term eternal generation implies that without beginning or ending, the Second Person is the manifestation of the Godhead. It is thus that the “only begotten Son” hath declared God to man (John 1:18). The Son said, “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world” (cosmosJohn 17:6. Cf. 1 John 1:2; 4:9). He was Only Begotten in the uniqueness of His begetting. In like manner, He was First Begotten, being first in point of time, as well as in His essential Being, above all others begotten. God gave to the world for its salvation Him who ever was His Son. The One who was given did not become a son by the process of being given; but was a son before and when He was given. Isaiah declares, “For unto us a child is born,” which relates to His humanity; and “Unto us a son is given,” which not o...

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