The Eternal Son Declared in Time

The Lord Jesus has many names and titles but concerning His person He is the unchanging Son of God (Heb 13:8).

His Sonship Established

First, His Sonship is revealed through His eternal relationship with the other members of the Trinity. The Father and Son are mentioned in the Old Testament (Ps. 2:7; Prov. 30:4) as well as the Holy Spirit (Gen 1:2). Furthermore the Godhead has a relationship among them that has no reference to time (Gen 1:1; John 1:1).

Secondly, our eternal God designed the church through His infinite wisdom. It was an eternal plan (Eph 3:11; 2 Tim 1:9; Titus 1:2) which involved all members of the Godhead (Matt 3:16-17; John 3:16, 34).

Thirdly, He was the sent One (John 3:16; Gal 4:4). Isaiah states that a child was born yet a Son was given (Isaiah 9:6). Concerning Christ's humanity He was a child born into the world but regarding His deity He was eternally a Son when He was given.

Fourthly, a son has an honor and authority that a servant will never have (Heb 3:1-6). Being a Son does not imply submission or inferiority (John 5:17-18). Yet when Christ came into this world He learned obedience by the things He suffered (Heb 5:8). It was a new experience for Him and was related to becoming man.

Finally, there is an order and priority suggested in Hebrews 1:2 which says that He is Son, heir and creator. All things were created through the Son and for the Son (Col 1:16). His creative work took place in time but His Sonship is rooted in eternity.

His Sonship Declared

In the Psalms Christ reveals a declaration the Father made to Him.

"I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee." (Psalms 2:7)

In scripture the word beget normally refers to birth and suggests manifesting or bringing someone forth. It can also be used for the new birth (Phile. 1:10; 1 John 5:1). In another passage the psalmist compares the mother's womb to the lowest parts of the earth (Psalms 139:15).

In Romans 1:3-4 we read,

"Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead."

The eternally begotten One (John 3:16; 1 John 4:9), was also begotten from the womb during His incarnation (Rom 1:3) and from the earth during His resurrection (Rom 1:4).

However it was on resurrection day that the Lord Jesus was powerfully revealed to be the Son of God and His Father gladly proclaimed it.


His Sonship Manifested

This declaration is repeated three times in the New Testament and reveals the Son in three positions.

The Prophet Manifested as the Son of God

"And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee." (Acts 13:32-33)

A prophet represented God to man and a genuine one could be recognized (Deut 18:22). There was no prophet in Israel like Moses (Deut 34:10) yet one like Moses was promised (Deut 18:18; John 5:46). The Lord Jesus would distinguish Himself as the greatest prophet because He would speak the very words of God (John 3:34).

When the Jewish leaders asked the Lord for a sign they were promised only one - His resurrection. (Matt 12:40; John 2:19).

The idea of a suffering Messiah was a stumbling-block to the Jews (1 Cor 1:23). Consequently when they saw the Lord Jesus hanging on the cross they believed he was forever a cursed impostor (Deut 21:23; Gal 3:13).

Conversely the Gentiles considered the idea of a god dying for his people foolish (1 Cor 1:23).

Yet God revealed His wisdom and power (1 Cor 2:5) by resurrecting Christ and showing believers that Christ is the wisdom and power of God (1 Cor 1:24).

On that day God declared that the greatest prophet is the eternal Son of God.

The Priest Manifested as the Son of God

"So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." (Heb 5:5-6)

A priest represented man to God and according to the law he had to be from the tribe of Levi. The Lord Jesus was born into the tribe of Judah so legally He did not qualify. Consequently the One who fulfilled all righteousness did not act in the capacity of priest before the cross (Heb 7:13-14).

However the priesthood, sacrifices and feasts in the Old Testament were pictures that pointed to Christ. When He died on the cross He was both priest and offering and revealed the truth shown in these types. He was the last High Priest and the final offering and His sacrifice ended the Aaronic priesthood (Heb 7:27; 10:12).

The Lord's priesthood, after the order of Melchizedek is based on His finished work (Psalms 110:4; 1 John 2:1-2) and was proved acceptable by His resurrection. Melchizedek was the priest-king of Salem who brought bread and wine when he met Abram (Gen 14:18). He was a type of the Lord Jesus not only because he was a priest-king, but also in that there was no record of his genealogy (Heb 7:1-3).

He received tithes from Abraham and blessed him (Gen 14:19-20) proving that His priesthood was greater than the one that would come from Abraham's offspring - Levi (Heb 7:5-10).

The Lord Jesus is the sinless high priest (Heb 7:26) that was appointed by God (Heb 7:20-21). His priesthood replaced Aaron's (Heb 7:11-12) and continues forever (Heb 7:24).

He ensures our salvation (Heb 7:25; Jude 24), makes our worship acceptable to the Father (Heb 2:12; 1 Peter 2:5), prays for us (John 17), defends us against the accuser (Rom 8:33-34) and is our advocate (1 John 2:1-2). In all these things He is our mediator (1 Tim 2:5) and intercessor (Heb 7:25).

On that day God declared that our great High Priest is the eternal Son of God.

The King Manifested as the Son of God

"For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?" (Heb 1:5)

This refers to the promise made to David known as the Davidic covenant which unconditionally promised that his throne and kingdom would last forever (2 Sam 7:14-16; Ps 89:26-29).

The Son of David (Rom 1:3) is the promised King and someday will fill that vacant seat and rule forever (Dan 2:34-35; 7:27; Luke 1:32-33).

When He came into the world the first time the Lord Jesus presented His credentials to the nation of Israel. Incredibly, they concluded that He didn't meet their qualifications and rejected Him as their king (John 19:15).

God had a different view. He brought Him forth in resurrection so that He could highly exalt Him (Phil 2:9-11) and after His ascension He authenticated Christ's kingship by seating Him at His right hand. He is now waiting until it is time to come back and take the throne that is rightfully His (Psalms 2:8; 110:1; Rev 11:15).

It was forbidden under the law for someone to act as priest and king. King Uzziah came under immediate judgment for entering into the temple and officiating as a priest (2 Chronicles 26:16-23). Someday there will be a Priest-King on the throne (Zech 6:12-13) and He will be there with God's full approval.

On that day God declared that the King of Kings is the eternal Son of God.

Hear Him

We sense the Father's joy as He manifested the greatest prophet, our great High Priest and the King of Kings to be His eternal Son. As we hear Him proclaim it may it fill our hearts with worship.