Presented here are 9 different meditations the Jesus as God the Son
GOD THE SON (JESUS) Pt 1 of 3
According to the testimony of the Evangelists, Jesus Himself bore witness to His Divine Sonship. As Divine Ambassador He can not have borne false witness. Firstly, He asked the disciples, at Caesarea Philippi, "Whom do men say that the Son of man is?" (Matt., xvi, 13). This name Son of man was commonly used by the Saviour in regard to Himself; it bore testimony to His human nature and oneness with us. The disciples made answer that others said He was one of the prophets. Christ pressed them. "But whom do you say that I am? "(ibid., 15). Peter, as spokesman, replied: "Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God" (ibid., 16). Jesus was satisfied with this answer; it set Him above all the prophets who were the adopted sons of God; it made Him the natural Son of God. The adopted Divine sonship of all the prophets Peter had no need of special revelation to know. This natural Divine Sonship was made known to the leader of the Apostles only by a special revelation. "Flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven" (ibid., 17). Jesus clearly assumes this important title in the specially revealed and altogether new sense. He admits that He is the Son of God in the real sense of the word.
Secondly, we find that He allowed others to give Him this title and to show by the act of real adoration that they meant real Sonship. The possessed fell down and adored Him, and the unclean spirits cried out: "Thou art the Son of God" (Mark, iii, 12). After the stilling of the storm at sea, His disciples adored Him and said: "Indeed thou art the Son of God "(Matt., xiv, 33). Nor did He suggest that they erred in that they gave Him the homage due to God alone. The centurion on Calvary (Matt., xxvii, 54; Mark, xv, 39), the Evangelist St. Mark (i, 1), the hypothetical testimony of Satan (Matt., iv, 3) and of the enemies of Christ (Matt., xxvii, 40) all go to show that Jesus was called and esteemed the Son of God. Jesus Himself clearly assumed the title. He constantly spoke of God as "My Father" (Matt., vii, 21; x, 32; xi, 27; xv, 13; xvi, 17, etc.).
Thirdly, the witness of Jesus to His Divine Sonship is clear enough in the Synoptics (Matthew, Mark & Luke), as we see from the foregoing argument and shall see by the exegesis of other texts; but is perhaps even more evident in John. Jesus indirectly but clearly assumes the title when He says: "Do you say of him whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world: Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Son of God? . . . the Father is in me and I in the Father." (John, x, 36, 38.) An even clearer witness is given in the narrative of the cure of the blind man in Jerusalem. Jesus said: "Dost thou believe in the Son of God?" He answered, and said: "Who is he, Lord, that I may believe in him? And Jesus said to him: Thou hast both seen him; and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said: I believe, Lord. And falling down, he adored him." (John, ix, 35-38.) Here as elsewhere, the act of adoration is allowed, and the implicit assent is in this wise given to the assertion of the Divine Sonship of Jesus.
Pt 2 will examine one further aspect of Jesus as God the Son. This excerpt is taken from The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VII Copyright © 1910 by Robert Appleton Company
GOD THE SON (JESUS) Pt 2 of 3
Fourthly, likewise to His enemies, Jesus made undoubted profession of His Divine Sonship in the real and not the figurative sense of the word; and the Jews understood Him to say that He was really God. His way of speaking had been somewhat esoteric. He spoke often in parables. He willed then, as He wills now, that faith be "the evidence of things that appear not" (Heb., xi, 1). The Jews tried to catch Him, to make Him speak openly. They met Him in the portico of Solomon and said: "How long dost thou hold our souls in suspense? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly" (John, x, 24). The answer of Jesus is typical. He puts them off for a while; and in the end tells them the tremendous truth: "I and the Father are one" (John, x, 30). They take up stones to kill Him. He asks why. He makes them admit that they have understood Him aright. They answer: "For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man makest thyself God" (ibid., 33). These same enemies had clear statement of the claim of Jesus on the last night that He spent on earth. Twice He appeared before the Sanhedrim, the highest authority of the enslaved Jewish nation. The first times the high priest, Caiphas, stood up and demanded: "I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us if thou be the Christ the Son of God " (Matt., xxvi, 63). Jesus had before held His peace. Now His mission calls for a reply. "Thou hast said it" (ibid., 64). The answer was likely--in Semitic fashion--a repetition of the question with a tone of affirmation rather than of interrogation. St. Matthew reports that answer in a way that might leave some doubt in our minds, had we not St. Mark's report of the very same answer. According to St. Mark, Jesus replies simply and clearly: "I am" (Mark, xiv, 62). The context of St. Matthew clears up the difficulty as to the meaning of the reply of Jesus. The Jews understood Him to make Himself the equal of God. They probably laughed and jeered at His claim. He went on: 'Nevertheless I say to you, hereafter you shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of the power of God, and coming in the clouds of heaven" (Matt., xxvi, 64). Caiphas rent his garments and accused Jesus of blasphemy. All joined in condemning Him to death for the blasphemy whereof they accused Him. They clearly understood Him to make claim to be the real Son of God; and He allowed them so to understand Him, and to put Him to death for this understanding and rejection of His claim. It were to blind one's self to evident truth to deny the force of this testimony in favor of the thesis that Jesus made claim to be the real Son of God. The second appearance of Jesus before the Sanhedrim was like to the first; a second time He was asked to say clearly: "Art thou then the Son of God? " He made reply: "You say that I am." They understood Him to lay claim to Divinity. " What need we any further testimony? for we ourselves have heard it from his own mouth" (Luke, xxii, 70, 71). This twofold witness is especially important, in that it is made before the great Sanhedrim, and in that it is the cause of the sentence of death. Before Pilate, the Jews put forward a mere pretext at first. "We have found this man perverting our nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he is Christ the king" (Luke, xxiii, 2). What was the result? Pilate found no cause of death in Him! The Jews seek another pretext. "He stirreth up the people . . . from Galilee to this place" (ibid., 5). This pretext fails. Pilate refers the case of sedition to Herod. Herod finds the charge of sedition not worth his serious consideration. Over and again the Jews come to the front with a new subterfuge. Over and again Pilate finds no cause in Him. At last the Jews give their real cause against Jesus. In that they said He made Himself a king and stirred up sedition and refused tribute to Caesar, they strove to make it out that he violated Roman law. Their real cause of complaint was not that Jesus violated Roman law; but that they branded Him as a violator of the Jewish law. How? "We have a law; and according to that law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God (John, xix, 7). The charge was most serious; it caused even the Roman governor "to fear the more." What law is here referred to? There can be no doubt. It is the dread law of Leviticus: "He that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, dying let him die: all the multitude shall stone him, whether he be a native or a stranger. He that blasphemeth the name of the Lord dying let him die " (Lev., xxiv, 17). By virtue of this law, the Jews were often on the very point of stoning Jesus; by virtue of this law, they often took Him to task for blasphemy whensoever He made Himself the Son of God; by virtue of this same law, they now call for His death. It is simply out of the question that these Jews had any intention of accusing Jesus of the assumption of that adopted sonship of God which every Jew had by blood and every prophet had had by special free gift of God's grace.
Pt 3 will examine two further aspects of Jesus as God the Son. This excerpt is taken from The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VII Copyright © 1910 by Robert Appleton Company
GOD THE SON (JESUS) Pt 3 of 3
Fifthly, we may only give a summary of the other uses of the title Son of God in regard to Jesus. The angel Gabriel proclaims to Mary that her son will "be called the Son of the most High" (Luke, i, 32); "the Son of God" (Luke, i, 35); St. John speaks of Him as "the only begotten of the Father" (John, i, 14); at the Baptism of Jesus and at His Transfiguration, a voice from heaven cries: "This is my beloved son" (Matt., iii, 17; Mark, i, 11; Luke, iii, 22; Matt., xvii., 3); St. John gives it as his very set purpose, in his Gospel, "that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God" (John, xx, 31).
Sixthly, in the testimony of John, Jesus identifies Himself absolutely with the Divine Father. According to John, Jesus says: "he that seeth me seeth the Father" (ibid., xiv, 9). St. Athanasius links this clear testimony to the other witness of John "I and the Father are one" (ibid., x, 30); and thereby establishes the consubstantiality of the Father and the Son. St. John Chrysostom interprets the text in the same sense. A last proof from John is in the words that bring his first Epistle to a close: "We know that the Son of God is come: and He hath given us understanding that we may know the true God, and may be in his true Son. This is the true God and life eternal" (I John, v, 20). No one denies that "the Son of God" who is come is Jesus Christ. This Son of God is the "true Son" of "the true God"; in fact, this true son of the True God, i. e. Jesus, is the true God and is life eternal. Such is the exegesis of this text given by all the Fathers that have interpreted it (see Corluy, "Spicilegium Dogmatico-Biblicum", ed. Gandavi, 1884, II, 48). All the Fathers that have either interpreted or cited this text, refer outos to Jesus, and interpret "Jesus is the true God and life eternal." The objection is raised that the phrase "true God" (ho alethisnos theos) always refers, in John, to the Father. Yes, the phrase is consecrated to the Father, and is here used precisely on that account, to show that the Father who is, in this very verse, first called "the true God", is one with the Son Who is second called "the true God" in the very same verse. This interpretation is carried out by the grammatical analysis of the phrase; the pronoun this (outos) refers of necessity to the noun near by, i. e. His true Son Jesus Christ. Moreover, the Father is never called "life eternal" by John; whereas the term is often given by him to the Son (John, xi, 25; xiv, 6: I John, i, 2; v, 11-12). These citations prove beyond a doubt that the Evangelists bear witness to the real and natural Divine Sonship of Jesus Christ.
This excerpt is taken from The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VII Copyright © 1910 by Robert Appleton Company
Christ The Redeemer- The Atonement (Pt 1)
At the very heart of the Christian system lies the all-important doctrine of the Atonement. The Apostle Paul, himself an advocate of “sound doctrine,” in a condensed statement of what the Christian Church believes, said,
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures (I Corinthians 15:3, 4).
Though the Gospel according to Paul included a sinless and a bodily-resurrected Christ, he gives first place to the fundamental fact that “Christ died for our sins.”
The word “atonement” in the Authorized Version of the Bible is an Old Testament term. It appears only once in the New Testament (Romans 5:11) where it is translated “reconciliation” in the Revised Version. "To atone for" means to make amends. In the Bible atonement is associated with man’s sin. God commanded Israel to set aside one day each year, the tenth day of the seventh month, which He called “the day of atonement” (Leviticus 16:29-30; 23:27-28). The people were to bring a sin offering, an innocent animal sacrifice “whose blood was brought in to make atonement” (Leviticus 16:27). God had said, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11) “. . . and without shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22).
The death of Christ and the shedding of His blood atones for man’s sin. The Death of Jesus Christ on the Cross at Calvary is a historical fact. In the New Testament alone, we find almost two hundred references to Christ’s Death.
Men are regenerated, redeemed, reconciled to God, justified, forgiven, and adopted by the Atonement itself, by the sacrificial and substitutional death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Many Scriptures teach clearly that the Atonement of Christ is an expiation of human sin, so that sin is that which made the Atonement necessary. Christ became incarnate in order that He should die for human sin.
The Bible reveals and emphasizes sin’s true nature and penalty. Ever since the transgression of Adam, the whole human race has groaned under the awful weight and bitter penalty of sin. The experiences of daily life testify that there is something wrong with man. God is not to be blamed for the terrible evil in the world. He simply made man a free agent, and man has abused his privileges. … Freedom is one of God’s great blessings to man, and sin entered into the world when man abused his privilege of freedom.
-excerpt taken & abridged from Lehman Strauss, The Atonement of Christ (Pt 2 will examine the Problem of Sin and the Need for Atonement)
Christ The Redeemer- The Atonement (Pt 2)
The Problem of Evil
The problem of evil has engaged the attention of thinking people for a long time. With every war, famine, epidemic of disease, great loss of life, has come the question, “If there is a God of love and mercy, why does He allow so much human suffering?” In Holy Scripture Satan is shown to be the cause of evil and its continuance in the earth. The warfare against evil is not with flesh and blood but against principalities and powers, against the spirit hosts of wickedness in the spirit world (Ephesians 6:12). The morals and moral judgments of us humans show that man is under the control of an evil power.
All sin is the result of Satan’s evil plan and purpose to get men to live and act independently of God. The Devil sinned from the beginning (I John 3:8), and since he is the god of this world (II Corinthians 4:3-4), he has held the world system in control. All who disobey God are said to be the children of disobedience in whom Satan works (Ephesians 2:2). Satan is the greatest hindrance in the church, attacking the servant of the Lord (I Thessalonians 2:17-18), and limiting the effectiveness of the Word of God (Mark 4:15). Believers are warned to resist the Devil (James 4:7), and to exercise great care and caution lest they fall into reproach and the snare of the evil one (I Timothy 3:6). The Devil controlled Cain when he murdered his brother Abel (I John 3:12); he tempted David to sin in numbering the children of Israel (I Chronicles 21:1); he fired the passion of Judas Iscariot when he betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver (John 13:2, 27); he blinded the mind of Peter to the necessity of the atoning Death of Christ (Matthew 16:22-23); he sought to shake Paul’s faith by inflicting bodily suffering upon the great Apostle (II Corinthians 12:17). These are but a few examples which show the immense burden of sin and suffering caused by the Devil.
God has decreed from the beginning that death must follow sin, not only physical death which is the separation of the soul from the body, but also spiritual death, or the eternal separation of the whole man from God (Geneses 2:16-17; cf. Romans 6:23). Since all men have sinned (Romans 3:23, 5:12), it follows that all must die because the righteousness of God demands that sin’s penalty be paid. Sin is offensive to the holiness of God, so much so, that it excites His holy wrath. Where there is sin, the wrath of God can never be turned away.
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life: but the wrath of God abideth on him (John 3:36). For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18).
. . . because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience (Ephesians 5:6).
-excerpt taken & abridged from Lehman Strauss, The Atonement of Christ (Pt 3 will examine the Holiness of God and the Need for Atonement)
Christ The Redeemer- The Atonement (Pt 3)
The Holiness of God & the Need for Justice
Because of two great facts, the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man, Atonement is made an absolute necessity if sinners are to be pardoned and brought to God. When we have the true conception of the holiness of God, we will have the true conception of sin, and when we have the correct view of sin, we will have an adequate view of the Atonement. The only reason that men are offended at the preaching of the Cross is because they have no adequate sense of sin and the holiness of our Lord. When a man refuses to face sin, he will find it easy to dispense with what the Bible teaches about the Atoning Death of Christ.
In defining sin, the Westminster Confession says that “Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God.” This is perhaps the best known of man’s definitions of sin. The Bible says that “whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Romans 14:23), that is, whatever a man does or thinks which is not an act or a thought proceeding from faith in God and guided by God, is sin. The sin may be committed in ignorance, but it is no less a sin. Sin committed in ignorance may not receive as great a punishment as sin committed willfully and deliberately, nevertheless all sin is punishable and must be punished. …
The love and mercy of God are infinite and matchless, still the penalty for sin must be paid. Thus it was, in the eternal past, before the foundation of the world, that God determined and planned that atonement should be provided for His fallen creatures who would be deceived by Satan. If no plan of atonement had been proposed and perpetuated by the Godhead, all would be hopeless for mankind. And so, in the counsels of the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, it was decreed that One should come and offer Himself as a Divine Substitute in the sinner’s place. This necessitated the Substitute taking upon Himself a human body. The eternal Son of God was that Substitute. And so “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John l:14).
While the work of Atonement, which includes the bearing of sin, is the work of the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit (I John 3:16; 4:10; Hebrews 9:14), nevertheless it was the Son who left Heaven’s glory, and “took upon Himself the form of a Servant, and was made in the likeness of man, and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross” (Philippians 2:5-8). There is no explanation of the Atonement apart from the fact that the eternal Son of God, without spot or blemish, Who knew no sin and did not sin, was made to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (II Corinthians 5:21). As His Blood was shed upon the Cross, a merciful and loving God was able to cleanse and pardon guilty sinners, because the Divine Substitute took upon Himself the penalty for sin. God hates and punishes sin, but He loves the sinner, and in order to redeem those whom He loved, “the LORD laid on Him (Jesus) the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). There is no satisfactory explanation of the Atonement apart from the fact that Christ came into this world in order that He should die in the sinner’s place. He said,
The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28).
He foretold His death and fully explained its object. It was an essential part of the Divine plan to justify condemned sinners. Christ was “delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23). This is the heart of the New Testament.
-excerpt taken & abridged from Lehman Strauss, The Atonement of Christ (Pt 4 will examine the Holiness of God and the Need for Atonement)
Christ The Redeemer- The Atonement (Pt 4)
Atonement for Sin Is For All
The provision of the Atonement for sin is for all men everywhere. It is true that the Atonement, having been planned and worked out by God Himself, is His own personal property, and that He is absolutely sovereign in the use He chooses to make of it. Through the Atonement the way is now open for God to forgive and redeem as many as He chooses to call to Himself. It is His divine prerogative to save few, many, or all of the human race as He deems best. God alone is the Savior of men. From the Scripture, and from what is evident in the world, He does not save all.
In His sovereignty God claims the right to dispose of His creatures as He will, but it is unthinkable and unscriptural that divine sovereignty arbitrarily condemns some men and in hard despotism sends them into the lake of fire.
God’s foreknowledge, that is, that future events are foreknown to God, and that history will follow that foreknown course of future events is perfect. He knows the destiny of every person from eternity. But this does not in any wise rule out the biblical truth of free agency in man. Foreknowledge is an arbitrary God saying: “I know what I will do.” To be sure He does know what He will do, but in the matter of an individual’s acceptance or rejection of Jesus Christ as Saviour, God knows what that individual will do.
Between the two extreme views of a "selected few" and "universalism" is a sound biblical view on the extent of the Atonement. The teaching of Scripture regarding the satisfaction and propitiation made through the Death of the Son of God means that He died for all. The provision of the Atonement is for all.
He (Jesus) is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world (I John 2: 2).
The message of the Gospel is that Christ died for all.
For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave Himself a ransom for all . . .
(I Timothy 2:5-6).
The Atonement is unlimited in scope, available for all. The love of God displayed in Christ on the Cross at Calvary reached out to the whole world, and when God gave His only begotten Son, it was “that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). God’s desire is to save all men.
This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth (I Timothy 2:3-4).
Since God’s will and wish is that all men be saved, He has made ample provision for the salvation of all.
The Lord . . . is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (II Peter 3:9).
That the Atonement is universal in its offer and provision is clear from the following Scriptures,
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men (Titus 2:11).
Again we must accept this statement on its face value and concede that the grace of God has brought salvation within the reach of all men. The Apostle John sounds the same note when he says,
And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world (I John 4:14).
Scriptures could be multiplied that show the universality of the provision of the Atonement, but these will suffice to make it clear
“that He (Christ) died for all” (II Corinthians 5:15).
The opportunity of being born again, of beginning again in this life, is given to all men, for when Christ died as our substitute, universal Atonement was provided. The risen Christ said to His disciples,
Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15).
The Gospel call to the entire world is a sincere one. Our Lord had a wider outlook than Judaism. It is true that He was sent especially to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, nevertheless He taught His disciples that they were to be witnesses unto Him “both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
The Atonement is sufficient for all men, but it is efficient only for those who believe! The effectiveness of the Atonement in any one’s life is conditioned by faith. When one refuses to believe, his unbelief does not suggest a non-existence of the provision of salvation. God provided for the salvation of all men entirely apart from, and independent of, faith. Christ died for all men whether all men believe it or not. There is universal provision in the universal offer, and the fault is man’s if it be not universal in point of effect.
-excerpt taken & abridged from Lehman Strauss, The Atonement of Christ
Justification by Grace
Christianity is unique because of its teaching of justification by grace (Romans 3:24). Justification is God's declaration that the demands of His Law have been fulfilled in the righteousness of His Son. The basis for this justification is the death of Christ. Paul tells us that: "God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them" 2 (Corinthians 5:19). This reconciliation covers all sin: "For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified" (Hebrews 10:14). Justification, then is based on the work of Christ, accomplished through His blood (Romans 5:9) and brought to His people through His resurrection (Romans 4:25)
When God justifies, He charges the sin of man to Christ and credits the righteousness of Christ to the believer (2 Corinthians 5:21). Thus, "through one Man's righteous act, the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life" (Romans 5:18). Because this righteousness is "the righteousness of God" which is "apart from the law" (Romans 3:31), it is thorough; a believer is "justified from all things" (Acts 13:39). God is "just" because His holy standard of perfect righteousness has been fulfilled in Christ, and He is the "justifier," because this righteousness is freely given to the believer (Romans 3:26; 5:16).
-excerpt taken from the Illustrated Bible Dictionary, p610
Justification by Faith
Although the Lord Jesus has paid the price for our justification, it is through our faith that He is received and His righteousness is experienced and enjoyed (Romans 3:25-30). Faith is considered righteousness (Romans 4:3, 9), not as the work of man (Romans 4:5), but as the gift and work of God (John 6: 28-29; Philippians 1:29)
The New Testament sometimes seems to speak of justification by works. For example, Jesus spoke of justification (and condemnation) "by your words" (Matthew 12:37). Paul said, "the doers of the law will be justified" (Romans 2:13). And James concluded that "a man is justified by works, and not by faith only" (James 2:24)
These statements seem to conflict with Paul's many warnings that "by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight" (Romans 3:20), and that the attempt to be justified through law is equivalent to being "estranged from Christ" and "Fallen from grace" (Galatians 5:4)
The solution to this problem lies in the distinction between the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5: 16-25). not only is Christ's righteousness legally accounted to the believer, but Christ also dwells in the believer through the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:10), creating works of faith (Ephesians 2:10). Certainly God's works may be declared righteous (Isaiah 26:12). If this is true, then the order of events in justification by grace, though faith, resulting in works (Ephesians 2: 8-10).
-excerpt taken from the Illustrated Bible Dictionary, p610