Part 6 of 8
The “Only Begotten of the Father” is the “Firstbegotten”
John 1:14 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.
The “Only Begotten of the Father” (John 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18, etc.) speaks of Jesus being eternally the only Son of God the Father. “Begotten” here is the Greek, “monogenes.” “Monogenes” is drawn from these two roots; “mono,” meaning “the original, the sole, the only one (Son)” and “ginomai,” a prolonged and middle form of a primary verb; “to cause to be (to “gen”-erate).”
The “Only Begotten of the Father” is the eternal only Son “of” God; generated “of” God the Father. “Of” can mean “from” but here in John 1:14, the word “of” in “the only Begotten OF the Father” is the Greek “para,” meaning “one who exist and comes from along side” the Father. Being along side, then the Son and Father are two. But they also are literally one at the very same time. Do we believe Isaiah 9:6 which says; the “child” who is “a Son,” is also “the mighty God” and “the everlasting Father.”
Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Yet, the “Son of God” came to earth as “the Son of man,” in the human body of “Jesus of
.” Jesus came to earth from along side the Father with whom He is one – this is a mystery for us to accept… by faith. Nazareth
Today, the resurrected “Spirit of life in Jesus Christ” is the fullness of God as the “One Spirit” of Eph 4:4. He as the “Spirit of life” is now available as the only source “of” the eternal Godhead’s One life for all men who would “receive Him (Jesus)” (John 1:12), and thereby become regenerated as “the sons of God.”
As we saw in the last installment, the term “the Son” obviously speaks of the life relationship Jesus had with the Father. Jesus as “the Son” is the Father’s “Seed” (1Pet 1:23, Gal 3:16, Gk., sperma), who bears the one life of the Father to all genuine believers. Jesus today, as “both Lord and Christ” (Act 2:26), organically bears the Father’s life to those who are born of Him as the Father’s “Seed, which is Christ” (Gal 3:16, 1Pet 1:23) – simply by them believing to receive Him. Each believer today then is a participant in the One Son of God, as members of the invisible “church, which is His body” (Eph 1:22b-23a).
God has only “One Son” as the expression and Seed of His life and all believers in Jesus Christ are born of God’s One Son-Seed. This One “Seed, which is Christ” (Gal 3:16) in the believer makes each of them “joint heirs” of God “with Christ.” Romans 8:17-18 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ…
The One “Son of God” first had to become the incarnated “Son of Man,” and then after His death on the cross He, with His humanity, was raised and “declared to be the Son of God out of resurrection” (Rom 1:4 below). This declaration of God on resurrection day is the very moment God the Father said “This day have I begotten thee” (Heb 1:5). God the Father “begot” Jesus out of death. It was the Spirit of God the Father that raised Jesus from the dead.
Romans 1:3-4 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4 And DECLARED TO BE THE SON OF GOD with power, according to the spirit of holiness, BY THE RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD:
Heb 1:4-6 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. 5 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? 6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith…
Below we see that Jesus was with God and was eternally God from eternity past, by whom the creation of the world came to be and now subsist (
1:16). The Son of God is referred to below as “the Word.” Jesus His self is “the Word of God” (1Pet 1:23). God’s Son is “the express image” of the “person” of God (Heb 1:3). Jesus of Nazareth, as the incarnated “Word of God” gave expression of the Father to all who saw and heard Him, just as our “words” are used to give expression to our person. Col
John 1:1-4 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
Hebrews 1:1-2 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days SPOKEN UNTO US BY HIS SON, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and THE EXPRESS IMAGE OF HIS (God’s) 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;
If Jesus is eternally the Son of God, then why, some would logically ask, do we read in Heb 1:5; “Thou art my Son, THIS DAY HAVE I BEGOTTEN THEE.” “Begotten” here is not the same Greek, “monogenes,” that we found in John 1:14. “Monogenes” means the “one” eternally existent original life. But here in Rom 1:4 and Hebrews 1:5, “begotten” is the Greek word, “gennao,” meaning, “procreate or REgenerate.” Why would Jesus need to be regenerated, and how was Jesus to be regenerated? As with all humans, the “spirit” of Jesus as “the Son of Man,” returned to the Lord. “And JESUS cried with a loud voice, and GAVE UP THE GHOST (SPIRIT).” (Mark 15:37). Ecclesiastes 12:7 says when any man physically dies his “spirit returneth to the Lord who gave it.” “Begotten” in Rom 1:4, Heb 1:5 and Paul, here in Acts 13:33 below, speaks of the Father raising and REgenerating Jesus from the dead in the form of His glorious incorruptible Spirit-body… with His humanity intact, and without bodily decay.
Acts 13:33-37 GOD… HATH RAISED UP JESUS AGAIN; as it is also written in the second psalm, THOU ART MY SON, THIS DAY HAVE I BEGOTTEN THEE. 34 And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David. 35 … Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 36 For David, … saw corruption: 37 But HE, (JESUS) WHOM GOD RAISED AGAIN, SAW NO CORRUPTION.
Paul writes that Jesus was “raised by the glory of the Father (Rom 6:4b). Jesus was raised in His newly glorified body that He possesses to this very day in the third heaven. We will one day see Him as He is (1John 3:2). At the moment of His resurrection, “Son of Man” was elevated and “declared to be the Son of God.” This is significant because Jesus humanity was now elevated and included in His eternal Godhead, being then “declared to be Son of God.” This is “the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” that indwells all believers.
Hebrews 1:6a And again, when he (God the Father) bringeth in the FIRSTBEGOTTEN (Jesus as the “PROTOTYPE” of the sons of God) into the world…
The word “firstbegotten” here refers to Jesus. In the Greek the word is “prototokos,” meaning Jesus is “the prototype, as “the first begotten of the dead” (Rev 1:5a).” Through His resurrection from the dead, Jesus not only achieved our justification, but He also was RE-generated and raised “by the glory of the Father” in resurrection (Rom 6:4). Jesus’ resurrection is the prototype for our resurrection; He is the “firstbegotten” from the dead. His resurrection from the dead is the evidence and the assurance that His sacrifice for us was accepted; thus “He (God) hath made us accepted in the beloved” (Eph 1:6).
Jesus was raised as “the life-giving Spirit” (1Cor 15:45b). Jesus today is in the form of the newly minted “Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:2a). That “Spirit of life” now includes Jesus’ humanity with His divinity. Jesus is raised as “The Son of Man,” the first “man” to be eternally raised from the dead. He is the “prototype” or “first of a kind” to bear both the human and divine life for eternity. Today, all regenerated (born-again) believers receive Jesus’ “Spirit of life” with His human soul elements intact along with His divinity. Thus today, Christ, by virtue of His yet retained humanity, can be “touched with the feeling of our (human) infirmities” (Heb 4:15). This is encouraging to me – He knows me well; He knows my human frame.
Many people ignorantly speak of the brotherhood of all men as if all men were automatically God’s children. This is WRONG! Created humans are not God’s literal children. They are created beings who are somewhat “as sons,” bearing only His image. They are not birthed sons of God. An image is an empty representation of the reality – the real thing. Created humans are not yet genuine “sons,” not yet born of God’s “One…Seed, which is Christ.” The only means of entrance into the literal eternal family of God, as His genuine sons, is by being organically “regenerated” (Titus 3:5) by receiving the “Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.”
The life of God the Father, in Christ, now as the Godhead’s Spirit/Seed, regenerates the believers human spirit (Zech 12:1). Christ comes to indwell their human spirit (
1:27). This then makes believers “one spirit” (1Cor 6:17) with Christ. Thus, believers gain the literal eternal “life” of the resurrected Christ into their spirit as He is today. Col
“He that hath the Son hath life (Zoë, Christ’s own “Spirit of life”); and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 John 5:12). Hereby know we that WE DWELL IN HIM (Christ), AND HE IN US, BECAUSE HE HATH GIVEN US OF HIS SPIRIT. (1 John 4:13)
As I’ve written in Part 2 of this series and here in Genesis 1:12 every life reproduces only after its own kind. “And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.” Jesus is the prototokos, the firstbegotten man of God. All human believers are new creatures “after His (Jesus’) kind.” We see the natural creation as a physical example or shadow of the spiritual reality – which is to be born of God the Father’s “Seed which is Christ.” One could not be called a child of God unless he first possesses the literal life of God the Father by His “seed (sperma)” The “only begotten” became the “firstbegotten” of men, and He, as the “Spirit of Christ,” now dwells in all the offspring of God’s spiritual loins – they are his literal children.
Every life has its inherent nature that is passed on in the DNA of its progenitor Father, whether the life of a dog, cat, or human. God also passes His Spiritual DNA to His offspring via the indwelling “Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.” The newly rebirthed spirit “nature” that believers have of God their Father by His Christ-Seed bears the Godhead’s DNA to them. All believers are the “… partakers of the divine nature…” (2 Peter 1:4) Paul says formerly we were “by nature, children of wrath” (Eph 2:3b), but we now as believers are the “children of God” (Gal 3:26).
Our heavenly Father has shared His One Son’s complete God/man life, and nature, with us to be our new life and nature; to be our overcoming life. Paul wrote, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but CHRIST LIVETH IN ME… (Galatians 2:20a). We are partakers of “his (Christ’s) Spirit in the inner man” (Ephesians 3:16).
This is why John could write of believers; “Herein is our love made perfect (complete)…AS HE (Christ) IS, SO ARE WE (right now) IN THIS WORLD.” (1 John 4:17). Every believer is “as He is” right now; there’s no need to wait for the future. As an acorn already bears the life of the whole oak tree, we bear the life of God, in Christ, now as “the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” completely, with all His attributes. We as believers today are currently fully endowed with all that Christ is in His life and His nature.
Christ in us is our life, peace (John 14:27), rest (Heb 4:3), righteousness, holiness, and wisdom.
3:4a …Christ who is our life… Col