In this study, we look at how Jesus became the Son of God. How He became the Son of God is essential to understanding how we can be a glorious son or daughter of God as He intended.
having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,Ephesians 1:5
God’s intention was always to have sons and daughters through Jesus Christ. So to do that, He had to become the Son of God and the Son of Man.
2. Jesus the Word of God
Before Jesus became the Son of God, He was the Word of God.
A. From the beginning, Jesus was the Word of God.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.John 1:1-2
- The Word was there at the beginning.
- And the Word was God (not a God as Jehovah’s Witness teach).
- The Word with God, meaning He was Separate from God. This is the Essence of the Trinity. That three are one, but three are separate.
B. The Word Spoke Creation into Being.
- We see the Word of God when He spoke into being the face of the earth in:
Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.Genesis 1:3
Then the Word (Pre-incarnate Jesus) spoke the sun and the moon into existence:
Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also.Genesis 1:14-16
C. The Word Became Flesh.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.John 1:14
D. Jesus is Still the Word of God.
His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.Revelation 19:12-13
3. Jesus, the Lamb of God
Jesus was and will always be the slain Lamb of God.
A. Before Creation, Jesus the Slain Lamb of God Existed:
… in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.Revelation 13:8
God, the creator of all things, has free will. Therefore when He made man in His image, He wanted to give Him free will. Having free will meant that man could make his own choices, either good or evil.
Knowing that humankind would sin, even before Adam and Eve fell, Jesus was the slain Lamb of God.
B. He was the Lamb of God Before His Baptism.
As John saw Jesus coming for water baptism, he recognised Jesus as the Lamb of God. Jesus was not yet the justified Son of God.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!John 1:29
Then as He was being water baptised, the Father confirmed His Sonship:
And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”Matthew 3:17
C. He is Still the Lamb of God.
Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!'” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”Revelation 19:9
We are the Bride of Jesus, and our marriage is in the future.
4. Jesus is the Only Begotten Son of God.
Jesus pre-existed as the Word and the Lamb. He is not part of the creation because He existed before creation started.
We become sons of God through belief in Jesus Christ. God created humanity and all of creation through the Word of God.
We never become part of God, even though we abide in Him, and He abides in us. The Nicene Creed (381AD) teaches we do not become part of God, and Awakening impact Ministries believes likewise in its Statement of Faith.
In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.1 John 4:9
In the passage in 1 John 4:9, Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, we are newly created sons of God.
Like us, the angels were created – but Jesus Is different, He was begotten.
For to which of the angels did He ever say: “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You”? And again: “I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son”?Hebrews 1:5
5. The Holy Spirit’s Work in Bringing Forth the Son of God
A. Jesus was Conceived of the Holy Spirit.
And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.Luke 1:35
There are two essential parts the Holy Spirit plays in Jesus’ incarnation:
- The Holy Spirit Himself will come upon; the word come means to superimpose Himself, upon Mary
- The Power of the Holy Spirit will overshadow
Coming upon and overshadowing is a compelling duo of language. If you remember back to man being made in the image of God, here we see the same pair of languages!
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”Genesis 1:26
6. The Father’s Work in Bringing Forth the Son
Begotten in Hebrew gives us a clue. Begotten is not a reference to the sexual side of conception. It is the actual giving birth and means to act as a midwife:
“I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.Psalm 2:7-8
The word begotten is:
יָלַד yâlaḏ; a primitive root; to bear young; causatively, to beget; medically, to act as midwife; specifically, to show lineage: — bear, beget, birth((-day)), born, (make to) bring forth (children, young), bring up, calve, child, come, be delivered (of a child), time of delivery, gender, hatch, labour, (do the office of a) midwife
The Father was present at Jesus’ birth, the Son of God, ensuring His safe arrival like a midwife.
7. The Woman Who Bears Jesus the Son of God
A. Israel, the Mother of Jesus.
We will now turn to the book of Revelation for insight into who bore Jesus. Obviously, Mary is the mother of Jesus. However, Revelation teaches us that it is Israel of whom she is a citizen. Israel is the woman who bears the child.
Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars.Revelation 12:1
We know this because she has twelve stars on her head representing the twelve tribes of Israel.
Israel is often referred to as the wife of God in the Old Testament, even though they were often unfaithful to God.
“Bring charges against your mother, bring charges;Hosea 2:2
For she is not My wife, nor am I her Husband!
Let her put away her harlotries from her sight,
And her adulteries from between her breasts;
B. Born of a Virgin.
We find this prophesied in Isaiah:
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.Isaiah 7:14
The word for Son in Hebrew is:
בֵּן ḇên; a son (as a builder of the family name)
The purpose of Jesus coming as a Son is to build the Father’s name and be a Son over His own house that the Father gives Him.
but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.Hebrews 3:6
C. Pregnant with a Child.
His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born.Revelation 12:4
Even though his purpose was to be a son who would build the family name, the Greek word for child here is teknon:
τέκνον teknon; a child (as produced): — child, daughter, son.
D. Being a Son is Related to Ruling and Reigning.
She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron.Revelation 12:5
The word Child is here is not Teknon, it is Huios where we get the word Huiothesia from. A child does not reign, He is dependant on the father and mother. Huiothesia is a combination of huios (son) and a noun iteration of the verb tithemi (to put or to place). Huiothesia is one of 11 Greek words for adoption. The New Testament only uses one word – Huiothesia. So a son is different from a child, a son in God’s house rules and reigns. The culture of the time was a mixture of Hebrew, Greek and Roman world views. Adoption (Huiothesia) was a significant event. This word for adoption is for an adult, not a child. The huios would run the affairs of the Father’s house. We could therefore rephrase this scripture to read as:
She bore a Son with full authority to run the Father’s affairs, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron.Revelation 12:5
Specifically, it was the virgin Mary, according to her genealogy in Luke 3:23, a descendant of Jacob (the twelve stars of Rev 12:1), who bore Jesus, the Son of God, fulfilling prophecy:
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.Isaiah 7:14
8. Jesus Incarnation as a Male Child
Jesus was always God, as the Word of God and Lamb of God. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, from a woman of Israeli descent (Mary). The Father helped bring forth the Son, but did not conceive the child – there was no sexual act as some religions think Christianity teaches. The Father was like a midwife at His birth.
But there is more to being a Son of God than just being born as a son. In the same way, as we are born a son but have no authority or responsibility until we are an adult, it is the same with Jesus. He was born as a male infant, but in terms of the use of the word Huios, He was not yet a son.
And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”Matthew 1:21
9. Jesus the Child of God
Jesus is called an infant as a young Child:
And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.Matthew 2:11
The Greek word for an infant is paidion:
παιδίον paidion; neuter diminutive of 3816; a childling (of either sex), i.e. (properly), an infant, or (by extension) a half-grown boy or girl; figuratively, an immature Christian: — (little, young) child, damsel.
The same word is used for Jesus – as a child growing up in Nazareth, He grew in wisdom and stature.
And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.
B. Young Man.
And at the age of twelve, Jesus is a child – “teknon“, in the eyes of His parents.
So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.”Luke 2:48
The Apostle John uses a similar word to describe young Christians:
I write to you, little children,1 John 2:12
Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.
10. Jesus Acknowledged as the Father’s Son, Receiving Full Authority
A. Legal Acknowledgment.
We have already looked at Huiothesia, but let us look at it further.
The word Huiothesia not only applies to adoption. A son, who went through the Huiothesia legal process, became responsible for the inheritance. This meant that the son was responsible for the benefits and liabilities of the estate, no matter what age. This process was so legally binding that if a father went bankrupt, he could find someone to adopt his son under Roman law, which would result in the son no longer being responsible for the debts of the estate.
Someone who is already a son cannot be adopted! So for the son who went through this process, Huiothesia was an acknowledgment of sonship, not adoption.
B. The Father’s Public Acknowledgment of Jesus.
The Father publicly acknowledged Jesus His water and Spirit baptism:
And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Huios; in You I am well pleased.”Luke 3:22
In court, publicly stating “This is my son”, meant Huiothesia. Father is saying, “This is My Son, Jesus, He is the Son of God, He now has My authority”. Jesus never did any miracles or healings until such time as He received that authority.
11. Jesus is the First-Born Son
We have seen that Jesus is the ONLY Begotten. We as sons and daughters are not begotten. Now we will look at Jesus the First Born.
πρωτοτόκος prōtotokos; firstborn (usually as a noun, literally or figuratively): — first begotten(-born).
A. First-Born Over All Creation.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.Colossians 1:15-16
B. First-Born of the Resurrection.
And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.Colossians 1:18
C. First-Born Responsibility.
The firstborn son had to take responsibility for the rest of the sons and daughters when He reached the age of maturity. This is termed Huiothesia which we looked at as adoption and an acknowledgment as a son. So Jesus takes responsibility for all the sons and daughters in God’s house – His church.
D. Church of the First-Born.
We have seen Jesus is head of the church. Now we find that we are part of the church of the firstborn:
to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect,Hebrews 12:23
In Greek, it does not say church of the firstborn. It says church firstborn. ‘Of the’ is added for clarity.
Huiothesia means we are given the authority of the house. It means we are given the same authority as if we were the firstborn. That is why we are joint-heirs with Jesus Christ:
and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.Romans 8:17
And is also part of why we can do greater miracles than Jesus Christ:
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.John 14:12
- Jesus is the Lamb of God since the foundation of the World.
- He was the Word of God in the beginning, and is the living Word now.
- Jesus was Begotten, not Created.
- He Became a Son of God at His birth.
- The Holy Spirit conceived Him and the Father was present for His birth.
- The Father acknowledged Him as Son at His baptisms.
- The Father justified Him at His Transfiguration.
- He is the first-born Son of God.
© Use by Permission Awakening Impact Ministries / Dr Neville van Eerten 2022