The Only Begotten

When pondering the mystery of the Trinity, one might ask: Is Christ eternally pre-existent, one with God the Father from eternity past, or was He created at a moment in time?

Since we have no concept of time or sequence apart from Creation, there’s no way to describe “before” Creation, or to fathom what “eternity past” actually means, though Christ Himself declares He was there, having glory with the Father before Creation. (Jn 17:5)

So, unless we ignore the Word and propose Christ was created at or after the beginning of time and space, the question requires speculation where words are inadequate, so we might dismiss this as a foolish or unlearned question (2Ti 2:23), one which cannot be rightly articulated if Christ actually had a beginning.

Yet Christ was already God at the instant of the beginning. (Jn 1:1-2) Since all was made by Christ (Col 1:16), and  nothing was created apart from Him, (Jn 1:3), Christ Himself cannot be created.

God is perfect, complete, and therefore immutable (Ja 1:17): God’s essential nature cannot change or improve. (Mal 3:6) Christ being divine yet not pre-existing along with the Father outside time and space implies a fundamental change in God’s nature when Christ arrives, proving (by contradiction) Christ has no beginning.

Christ is begotten, brought forth from the Father, revealing Him. (Mt 11:27) This does not imply Christ had a beginning any more than God the Father had a beginning. The Father has always been one with the Son, part of the same nature and being (De 6:4), having neither beginning nor end. (He 7:3)

The eternal Father ever emanates Christ; they cannot be distinguished or separated from one another (Jn 14:9), and we’re to honor them both together in the same way, as One. (Jn 5:23)

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She Loved Much

As Christ is dining in the home of Simon the Pharisee, reclining at the table (Lk 7:36), a woman known for her sin approaches Him from behind, weeping. She pours some very expensive perfume onto His feet, and begins washing them with her tears, kissing them and wiping them with her hair. (Lk 7:37-38) Simon’s taken aback at Christ’s willingness to tolerate her touch, and sees it as proof that Christ isn’t a prophet. (Lk 7:39)

Christ picks up on this and offers Simon a little challenge: a creditor has two debtors — one owes him $1000, the other only $100. But since neither can repay him, he forgives them both. (Lk 7:41-42a) Christ asks Simon which of the two will love the creditor most, and Simon supposes it’s the one whose been forgiven more. Christ agrees. (Lk 7:42b-43)

Then Christ begins to explain why the woman is acting as she is: Christ has forgiven her of all of her many offenses, as they are all against Himself, and she is overwhelmed with gratitude. But Simon hasn’t shown Christ any love at all, failing even in the normal courtesies commonly offered to guests, so it appears he’s not been forgiven of anything by Christ. (Lk 7:44-47) Christ then turns to the woman, reassuring her that all of her sins are completely forgiven (Lk 7:48), that she’s now saved by faith, and bids her go in peace. (Lk 7:50)

This explanation of the woman’s behavior alarms everyone else present, as they begin to realize what Christ is saying about Himself: ultimately, only God can forgive sin. (Lk 7:49) If His words are considered carefully there can be no mistake here: Christ is actually claiming to be God, the very One against Whom all sins are primarily committed, something this sinful woman has somehow come to cherish.

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Now, it is so wildly preposterous for a mere human being to make such a claim that one may only conclude from this that Christ is either Who He says He is, God Almighty incarnate in human flesh, or He is insanely delusional, on par with one who claims to be an orange. In truth, Christ leaves us no middle ground, and apart from such fantastic claims regarding His identity, there is zero indication that Jesus Christ is delusional.

We can worship Christ as this precious woman did, loving Him and living worthy of His name in grateful wonder, or continue to hold Him at arm’s length and remain at enmity with Him. These are our choices; there are no other.

And such love cannot be pretended — if we’re not overwhelmed with the free gift of righteousness, amazed at the amount and degree of sin that we’ve been forgiven by God, then perhaps we’re yet as Simon, on the outside peering in, proud, judging those whose sins are much more visible than our own, ignorant of the depth of our own depravity, and the vast treasure we’ve been offered in Christ.

Anyone who does not love Jesus Christ — as we look carefully at this dear woman’s example — remains accursed. (1Co 16:22)

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Kiss the Son

Once we see Yeshua Messiah as fully God, equal in divinity with the Father (Php 2:6) but lower in rank and submitted to Him (1Co 11:3), we begin to see it everywhere, as in the last of Psalm 2:12: “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.”

We compare this with: “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.” (Ps 118:8-9), “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.” (Ps 146:3), and “Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.” (Jer 17:5-7)

We can’t have it both ways: either Christ is fully God and worthy of our implicit trust, or He’s a mere man and shouldn’t be ultimately trusted. If God says that all those who put their ultimate trust in Christ are blessed, Jesus Christ must be the omnipotent, infinite, eternal God.

Kiss the Son, acknowledge His majesty, giving Him honor, reverence and glory. (Re 5:13)

Jehovah is angry when we don’t glorify Him as God. (Ro 1:18, 20) God’s Son is just like His Father; we can either trust, serve and respect Him as Almighty God or perish from the way; He’s a consuming fire. (He 12:29)

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