Understanding The Bible
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BY THE AUTHOR
Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
THE PRE-EXISTENCE OF CHRIST
Jn. 1:1-3; 6:33,38,41,50-51,58,62; 8:58; 17:5,24; Phil. 2:6; Col. 1:13-17; Heb. 1:2,8; 2:10
As to God the Father, He is called "the only begotten
Son." Jn. 1:14,18; 3:16,18; 1 Jn. 4:9
He is not an emanation from God; He is the "ONLY begotten" or the unique Son of God. (One writer has given the translation "the-only-one-of-his-kind Son of God.") The term is not used as to His origin, for being of one nature with the Father, He is one with the Father from all eternity. The term "son" is an accommodation to human thinking by using a familiar earthly relationship to emphasize likeness, love, and closeness. He is both God and He is the eternal Son of God. This is neither Tri-theism nor Arianism.
Angels are "sons" of God by creation (Job 1:6; 38:7). But He is the eternal uncreated Son of God, fully sharing the nature of God with the Father and the Spirit. Believers are "placed as sons" ("adopted") by grace. Hence, the phrase "the eternal generation of the Son" conveys the infinite and positional relationship which He sustained to the other members of the Trinity, particularly the Father, from all eternity.
As to creation, He is the "first-born." Rom. 8:29; Col.
He has the right of the "first-born" (primogeniture). It does not mean He is the first or highest, but He is the Antecedent and Cause of all things (Col. 1:16-17; Jn. 1:3).
As to man, the theophanes of the Old Testament (most of them are Christophanies).
In form of material symbols (Ex. 3:1-6).
In angelic form (Gen. 16:10-13; 22:11-16; 31:11-13; Jud. 2:15; 6:12-16; 13:3-23). (Chafer, Vol. 5, pp. 31-33)
In human form (Dan. 3:25,28).
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