Series in Christology Part 2: The Preincarnate Son of God -- By: John F. Walvoord

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 104:414 (Apr 1947)
Article: Series in Christology Part 2: The Preincarnate Son of God
Author: John F. Walvoord

Series in Christology
Part 2: The Preincarnate Son of God

John F. Walvoord

[Author’s note: This second article in the series concludes the consideration of the preincarnate Person of the Son of God. Having previously treated the historical setting of the doctrine of Christ and His eternity and pre-existence, we present here His divine attributes, His titles, and the contribution of the doctrine of the Trinity to the subject.]

{Editor’s note: Footnotes in the original printed version were numbered from 8–13, but in this electronic version are numbered 1–6, respectively.}

The Divine Attributes of the Son of God

The divine attributes of the Son of God present a clear revelation that in Him “dwells the whole fullness of deity bodily” (R.S.V., Col 2:9). Every attribute of importance which can be attributed to the Father or the Holy Spirit can be attributed to Christ. The testimony of the Scriptures on this point has been so clear that since the Council of Nicea in 325 when the deity of Christ was stated as the doctrine of the church and of the Scriptures there has been no denial of the deity of Christ which did not also deny the infallibility of the Scriptures. In other words, it has been generally conceded that the literal interpretation of Scripture gives a firm basis for the deity of Christ.

It is the purpose of this discussion to present briefly the testimony of the Scriptures concerning the divine attributes of Christ. It will be assumed that the deity of Christ in His preincarnate state was the same as in His incarnate state. Hence, for the revelation of His divine attributes we may appeal to any Scripture in the Old or New Testament which may apply. The arguments of the kenotic theologians to the point that Christ surrendered some of His divine attributes in the incarnation will be discussed and refuted in its proper place. It is held here that His deity is constant from eternity to eternity, with the same divine attributes.

There is unusual significance to most of the divine attributes. Their individual character is such that if it be proved that Christ possessed certain divine attributes it

necessarily follows that He possessed all devine attributes. Hence if Christ is omniscient He must be also omnipotent. If He is infinite, He must be also omnipresent. If He is eternal, He must be self-existent. The evidence is, however, complete and does not need to rest on this rational argument.

Eternity and pre-existence. As previously shown, Christ is declared by the Scriptures to be eternal (Mic 5:2

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