Why Jesus Was Called The Son Of God And The Only Begotten Son -- By: Christopher G. Hazard
BSac 81:326 (April 1925) p. 169
Why Jesus Was Called The Son Of God And The Only Begotten Son
The subject of the begetting of the Son of God is the most holy place of human thought. It may be entered upon only with a priestly purpose. Here we are dependent upon the Shekinah for light; our natural reasonings are darkness; in God’s light we see light; in God we praise His Word.
We confess the sacred mystery. Of all questions this is the least open to discussion. But the discussion is forced upon us. It is forced upon us, not only by the objections and arguments of reasoners, but also by the exceedingly important nature of the question at issue.
The truth of the incarnation as given by the evangelists has been regarded by the Church as of so vital a character that the whole Christian scheme has been staked upon it. It has been the doctrine of a standing or falling Christianity. For in the incarnation God united Himself to humanity and humanity to Himself. God’s eternal self-expression, that Word who was with God, and who was God, became flesh, and dwelt among men; the eternal became the temporal manifestation. The only begotten Son declared the hitherto unseen God. Men who had beheld God’s glory in the heavens now saw it in the face and in the fullness of Jesus Christ.
Men have struck thrice at the very life of Christ and His Church; once in His crucifixion, once in the denial of His resurrection, and again in the denial of His incarnation. The thrust at the incarnation has been held to be the deadliest of all because it has been an attempt to kill Christianity at its very inception.
The singularity of Christ as the only begotten Son of God is dependent upon His descent from the divine Father and the human mother, and His divine-human nature. Let us examine this three-fold cord of truth.
As to the divine Fatherhood, it is evident from the Gospels that Christ was conscious that God was His Father in an immediate and peculiar sense. He does not
BSac 81:326 (April 1925) p. 170
regard Himself as a Son of God but as the Son of God. He did not think of Himself as son in the sense of being God’s son as Adam was. He did not regard Himself merely as one of God’s offspring, according to the poetical idea adopted by Paul in speaking of human relationship to God in general. After the divine attestation of His Sonship at His baptism, at least, He is not recorded as acknowledging an earthly father. In His references to Himself as the Son of Man there is no more than an emphasis upon His true humanity and office. When His enemies sought to kill Him, it is stated that it was because “He called God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.” Bu...
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