3.4 God, the Son

Professing Jesus Christ as the Son of God is one of the fundamentals of Christian faith.


The statement in the Second Article of Faith–"I believe in Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, our Lord"–expresses this belief in a few brief words. The Creed of Nicaea-Constantinople (see 2.2.2→) further develops the content of this belief: "We believe ... in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds (æons), God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made."


When we talk about "God, the Son", we are referring to the second person of the trinity of God, who lives and reigns from eternity to eternity in fellowship with God, the Father and God, the Holy Spirit. The term "begotten" is not to be understood in biological terms, but rather as an attempt to capture in words the mysterious relationship between God, the Father and God, the Son.


There is absolutely no hierarchical difference between God, the Father and God, the Son–although the terms "Father" and "Son" might suggest an order of precedence. Father and Son are equally true God. They are of the same essence. This is expressed in Hebrews 1: 3: The Son is "... the express image of His [the Father's] person."


In Jesus Christ, God, the Son became human, and at the same time remained God: God entered into, and became active in, historical reality. Belief in God, the Son, is inseparably bound to faith in Jesus Christ as a person who was present and active in history. The creed makes this clear by pointing out essential events in the life of the incarnate Son of God, and shows them to be, at the same time, the basis of the events of the history of salvation: "I believe in Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried, entered the realm of the dead, rose again from the dead on the third day, and ascended into heaven. He is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty, from where He will return."


Jesus Christ is true Man and true God. He has two natures, a human one and a divine one, which are both present in Him in a pure, unchangeable, inseparable, and indivisible state.


In His human nature He is like other human beings. What distinguishes Him from them is that He came into the world without sin, never sinned, and remained obedient to God, the Father until his death on the cross (Philippians 2: 8).


In His divine nature, He remained the unchanged true God in omnipotence and perfection, even in His state of abasement on earth. In many ways, Jesus Himself revealed the mystery of His person. For example, in Matthew 11: 27, He said: "All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him." The knowledge that Jesus Christ is the Son of God is a divine revelation: "And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life" (1 John 5: 20).