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|The UNIQUE SON 2
|Following is a listing of the 110 times (by my count) in the New Testament that Jesus is called the Son of God: Matthew 2:15; 3:17; 4:3, 6; 8:
29;11:27; 14:33; 16:16; 17:5; 26:63; 27:40, 43, 54; 28:19; Mark 1:1, 11; 3:11; 5:7; 9:7; 13:32; 14:61; 15:39; Luke 1:32, 35; 3:22; 4:3, 9, 41; 8:
28; 9:35; 10:22; 22:70; John 1:18, 34, 49, 51; 3:16, 17, 18, 35, 36; 5:19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26; 6:40, 69; 9:35; 10:36; 11:4, 27; 14:13; 17:1; 19:
7; 20:31; Acts 8:37; 9:20; 13:33; Romans 1:4, 9; 5:10; 4:4 6; Ephesians 4:13; Colossians 1:13; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; Hebrews 1:2, 5, 8; 4:
14; 5:5, 8; 6:6; 7:3, 28; 10:29; 2 Peter 1:17; 1 John 1:3, 7; 2:22, 23, 24; 3:8, 23; 4:9, 10, 11, 14, 15; 5:5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 20; 2 John 3:9;
Revelation 2:18; Acts 3:13, 26.
Now, what is there in the context of these 110 verses that demands a figurative interpretation of the word Son? Does Peter's confession
demand a figurative interpretation? Does the confession of faith by the Ethiopian eunuch demand a figurative interpretation? Does the
voice from heaven either at the baptism of Jesus, or at the mount of transfiguration demand a figurative interpretation? Or more
appropriately, why do all of these verses demand figurative interpretation?
When Peter made his confession of faith in Matthew 16:16, he said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." That would have been a
perfect time for Jesus to set Peter and the rest of the disciples straight as to the fact that he was not literally, or actually, the Son of God. This
would have been a most appropriate time for Jesus to tell Peter and the apostles that he was merely represented as the Son of God -- It
was not meant to be taken literally. But, what did Jesus say? "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto
thee, but my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 16:17). Does that demand a figurative interpretation? By what standard?
God, the Father, Himself, has stated in the voice from heaven upon two different occasions: "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well
pleased" (Matthew 3:17; 17:5). 110 times in His written revelation unto mankind of salvation in Jesus Christ, God has referred to Jesus of
Nazareth as His Son. Who has the right to say, "No, He isn't, not really?" Who can, speaking as the oracles of God, relegate this language
to the realm of the figurative in each and every occasion?
Brethren, if we can accept the Sonship of Jesus as figurative in scripture, upon what basis can we accept anything the scriptures say as
literal? Do not object to a figurative interpretation of creation; do not object to a figurative interpretation of the flood; do not object to a
figurative interpretation of the crossing of the Red Sea; do not object to a figurative interpretation of the virgin birth; do not object to a
figurative interpretation of any historical and/or miraculous event if you accept a figurative interpretation of Jesus as the Son of God. If you
can accept Jesus as the figurative Son of God, you can accept any figurative interpretation of scripture, and you might as well. For if Jesus is
not actually the Son of God, "you faith is vain; ye are yet in your sinsl. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished" (1
Corinthians 15:17,18). The entire gospel is based upon the fact that Jesus is the Son of God (Matthew 16:16-18; 1 Corinthians 3:11).
The August 15, 1988 issue of TIME magazine ran cover stories on Jesus because of the oontrovery that was raging over Martin Scorsese's
film adaption of Nikos Kazantzakis' best-selling novel, The Last Temptation of Christ. One of the articles ("Who Was Jesus? The debate
among scholars is as heated as the one in Hollywood." by Richard N. Ostling) refers to the weird and unorthodox views the "higher
criticism" of Rationalism (better known to us as Liberalism or Modernism) which radiated out from Germany in the last century. Among
these are: 1) Jesus did not claim to be the Messiah; 2) the Gospel of Thomas is authentic and of equal or greater authority than Matthew,
Mark, Luke or John; 3) Jesus did not rebuke the Pharisees; and, 4) Jesus may have been crucified by mistake. However, what is important,
and revealing, concerning our present discussion is the following point, placed between number 1) and 2) above n Ostling's article: "When
Jesus said he was the 'Son of God,' he did not mean to be taken literally. New Testament language of this kind, as in reference to Jesus as
the 'Lamb' or 'Word' of God, is metaphorical."
This position is liberal and modernistic. It is the position of those who deny the Bible. It brings to mind the statement of the apostle Peter:
"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in
damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their
pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make
merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not" (1 Peter 2:1-3).
"Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing"
(Revelation 5:12). All of the words at the command of the English language sould not, and would not, adequately assign and ascribe
praise to the Savior of the world, Jesus of Nazareth.
Jesus said, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But
whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 10:32,33).
The confession of the Ethiopian eunuch which Philip required of him was, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God" (Acts 8:37).
John wrote: "And many other signs truly did Jesus int he presence of his disciples, which are not written inthis book: but these are
written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name" (John
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have
everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved" (John 3:
Every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess; but, some do not and will not do it willingly prior to Jesus' return.
He who believes Jesus is not literally the Son of God cannot make the confession of the eunuch without qualification, for he denies (by
implication) that Jesus is literally, or actually, the Son of God. Neither can he any longer, in good conscience, quote or preach the KJV
rendering of John 3:16, for he believes it to teach serious error. All of the words of praise of the characteristics of Christ he may write does
not change the fact that he denies that Jesus is literally THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD. He denies he is only begotten; and, he
denies he is the Son of God.