God the Son
Lesson Three from
Those Things Most Surely Believed by Us
Text: John 1:1-3, 14; Hebrews 1:1-3
Concerning the triune nature of God, John wrote in his epistle, “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” (1st John 5:7). While God the Father is most prominently revealed in the Old Testament, God the Son (the second person of the Trinity) is most prominently revealed in the Gospels. Having studied about God the Father (Paterology), you will now study the Doctrine of Christ. This study is called Christology.
This doctrine is one of the most important doctrines of the Bible. It is this doctrine which distinguishes true Believers from cults. Of this doctrine, John wrote, “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is a partaker of his evil deeds” (2nd John 9-11). Some deny the deity of Christ. This doctrine which denied Christ’s deity was called Arianism. It began in the days of the early Church. From the roots of Arianism came the false teaching of the Jehovah Witnesses and the Mormons. Both of these groups deny the deity of Christ.
In order for you to understand the Doctrine of God the Son, you need to understand the answers to four important questions about Him. These answers reveal who He is, what He has done, what He will do, and what He is doing.
Who He Is
First, you will consider who He is. Of His identity, John wrote, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1-2). Three main truths reveal who He is.
Existence of God the Son
You will first examine the truth about the existence of God the Son. While the other gospels tell you about the physical birth of Christ as a man, John’s gospel records some supernatural facts about the existence of God the Son. Two wonderful truths are revealed in his opening verses of his gospel.
- Coeternal with the Father: First, he revealed that Jesus had a coeternal existence with the Father. Of this coeternal existence, he wrote, “In the beginning was the Word.” These words can be restated as “When time begin, He was.” He was in existence long before He was born as a man on earth. He is the eternal Son of the eternal Father. Like His Father, He has no beginning nor will He have an end. He was in existence before time began, and He will continue to exist when time is no more. He is coeternal with the Father.
- Coequal with the Father: Secondly, he informs you that the Son was coequal with the Father. Not only was Jesus with God before time began, but also “the Word was God” (John 1:1). The Son is God. That is why Paul wrote of Him, “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God” (Philippians 2:6). He is God, the second person of the Godhead.
Essence of God the Son
Secondly, you will examine the truth about the essence of God the Son. In his gospel, John reveals to you the essence of or the nature of God the Son. John recorded the dual nature of the Son of God.
- Eternal Nature: First, John revealed the eternal nature of God the Son. While other gospel writers emphasized the humanity of Christ, John emphasized the divine nature of God the Son. He tells of Christ’s power in creation. Of Him, he wrote, “All things were made by him . . .” (John 1:3). He links God the Son in creation with the God of creation in Genesis 1:1. While He walked on earth as a man, He was one hundred percent God. Of this divine nature of Christ, Matthew wrote, “and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matthew 1:23).
- Earthly Nature: Secondly, he revealed the earthly nature of God the Son. Of His earthly nature, John wrote, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). There are two important facts about the earthly nature of Christ which are to be kept in mind. The first important fact is the fact of His virgin birth. Of this birth, Matthew wrote, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 1:18). Again, he wrote, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son” (Matthew 1:23). Jesus was the virgin-born Son of Mary, His earthly Mother. While He was man, He was God-man by His virgin birth. The second important fact is His sinless life. Even though Jesus was born of the flesh of man, He lived a sinless life. Paul wrote of this, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2nd Corinthians 5:21). Again, this sinless life is verified in Hebrews which states, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Because Jesus was man, He could be tempted. But because Jesus was God, He could not sin!
Embodiment of God the Son
The third main truth of which John wrote is the embodiment of God the Son. This truth is called the incarnation . This word, Latin in origin, means “in flesh.” It means that Jesus who “was with God” and “was God” took upon Himself the human body of a man. Of the incarnation, John wrote, “And the Word was made 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). Jesus was God manifested in the flesh.
What He Has Done
In order to comprehend what the Son has done, you must first have comprehended who He is. As important as who He is, it is equally important to recognize what He has done.
That which Christ has done is the very message of the gospel. Of the gospel, Paul wrote, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 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” (1st Corinthians 15:1-4). It is this gospel which reveals what Jesus has done.
There are four things which He has done you will consider in this chapter.
Death of God the Son
Paul wrote of “how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures. . . .” This death was officially verified as John wrote, “Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe” (John 19:32-35).
The death of Jesus Christ satisfied the sin debt of all who would trust in Him. He died as a sacrifice for sins and as the substitute for the sinner. The bad news is that because of sin, man must die. The good news is that Jesus died for sinners so that those who believe in Him can have eternal life.
Burial of God the Son
Then Paul wrote, “he was buried. . . .” His burial is important because some would later deny His humanity. Lest any man doubt the humanity of Jesus, the Scriptures recorded the burial of His body. The burial of His body refuted the claim of others that He was not really dead. Even for us, the reality of one’s death is finalized as we come to the grave side service of a friend or loved one. Because He experienced physical death for man’s sins, Jesus was buried.
Resurrection of God the Son
Finally, Paul wrote, “he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” Having defined the gospel in the first verses of the book of 1st Corinthians 15, Paul then emphasizes the importance of the resurrection of Christ. Of this, he wrote, “And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” (1st Corinthians 15:17-19). While His death paid your sin debt, His resurrection assured us that this payment was accepted by a holy and righteous God. It was not the Old Testament’s High Priest’s entrance into the Holy of Holies that assured the Israelites that God had accepted his sacrifice for their sins. Rather, it was his coming forth from the Holy of Holies which assured them their sins were taken care of. Christ’s resurrection also assures you He is indeed the very Son of God.
Ascension of God the Son
Having completed His work of redemption for mankind, the Son of God then ascended back to His Father in heaven. Of His ascension, the writer of Hebrews stated, “when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3). Recording his ascension, Luke wrote, “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9). His earthly work of redemption had been finished.
What He Will Do
As His disciples watched, Jesus ascended back unto the Father. Unto them, the angels said, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). The angels announced that Christ will return.
In fact, the Bible teaches that there are two distinct and separate comings of the Lord Jesus.
Rapture of the Church
The first coming of the Lord is commonly called the Rapture of the Church. Of this coming, Paul wrote, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first” (1st Thessalonians 4:16). At the Rapture, He is coming in the clouds to catch away His Church.
Return of Christ
The second coming of the Lord is the Return of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ shall return to the earth at the close of the Tribulation Period. This will occur seven years after the Rapture of the Church. Of this coming, Jude wrote, “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his Saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him” (Jude 14-15). Christ will come for His Saints in the Rapture; He will come with His Saints at this coming. This coming is also known as the Second Coming of the Lord.
What He is Doing
Finally, you will consider what He is doing. The writer of Hebrews wrote, “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3). Having completed His work on earth, God the Son is now seated in the Heavens. Even seated in the Heavens, He is ministering to you and me. There are two things Jesus is doing now for Believers.
Praying for You
The Bible reveals to you that Christ is praying for you. Of this activity of Christ, the writer of Hebrews wrote, “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25). Again, he wrote, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet with out sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16). As your high priest, God the Son is praying for you. As you pray, Jesus intercedes before the Father on your behalf. God the Son is your intercessor!
Pleading for You
Secondly, as your advocate He is pleading for you. Of this work as advocate, John wrote, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1st John 2:1). At the time you got saved, all your sins were forgiven and even forgotten. However, you and I have sinned since we got saved. Because of our sins, Christ represents us before the heavenly Father. Knowing that you and I would sin, we have an advocate with the Father. Though you are guilty, Jesus stands before the High Court of Heaven as a reminder your sin debt (past and present) has been forever settled. He pleads for you!
In this study, you have examined who He is, what He has done, what He will do, and what He is doing. He who rejects this Doctrine of God the Son “has not the Father.”
God the Son
- The study of the Doctrine of Christ is called ______________.
- Three main truths which reveal who Christ is are the ________________, the _________________, and the __________________ of God the Son.
- First, Christ exists as _________________ with the Father which means that He has always existed.
- Secondly, Christ exists as _________________ with the Father which means that He is God.
- Christ has a ________________ nature and He has a _____________ nature.
- As a man, Jesus could be tempted. But as God, Jesus could not ___________.
- The truth that Jesus took upon Himself a human body is called the __________________.
- Jesus has done four things for you. The Gospel tells us three of these are He has ____________, He was ____________, and He was _________________. After His resurrection, He_____________ back into heaven.
- The two comings of Christ are known as the _____________ of the Church and the _____________ of Christ.
- The two things Jesus is doing now is He is ______________ for you and He is ________________ for you.