Purpose of Guarding the Treasure

The purpose of this blog is to encourage readers to invest their time into the Word of God and "Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you." Paul wrote these words to Timothy (2 Timothy 1:14) in his presumed last letter before his execution. May we be those who see the word of God as a treasure, guarding it with our lives, investing in it with our hearts and minds, and reaping the fruit of an abundant life while getting to know the God who loves us and created us for His marvelous pleasure and glory.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Begotten Not Made

Begotten is a word that seems to have lost its meaning and significance in today's culture. So what exactly does this word mean? Webster's dictionary defines beget as "to procreate as the father." Human beings beget fellow human beings. All of creation, plants and animals beget after their own kind. Thus, through procreation, we each beget our own kind.

When it comes to God, the same is true. The begotten of God is also God. God begets God after His own kind. When speaking of Jesus, He is described in Scripture as the only begotten Son of God. In Psalm 2:7, God says this about His Son, "I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, 'Thou art My Son, Today I have begotten Thee." Jesus is described in the gospel of John as "the only begotten from the Father" (1:14) and "the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father." (1:18) Thus, Jesus as the only begotten Son of God is God Himself.

At the birth of Christ, it is clear that Jesus was begotten, not made. The angel of the Lord visited Joseph in a dream and told him, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit." (Matthew 1:20) The word translated "conceived" is literally begotten in the Greek, meaning "that which was [begotten] in [Mary] is of the Holy Spirit." God the Father beget Jesus the Son of God through the Holy Spirit of God. God begets God. Jesus is our Immanuel, "God with us." (Matthew 1:23)

The use of the word "begotten" to describe Jesus' birth is a very important distinction to be made because it affirms the deity of Jesus Christ. As human beings we are God's creation and are not begotten of God. Genesis 1:27 says, "And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." Thus, while we bear the image of God, we are not God, but rather His "very good" creation. (Genesis 1:31) God created human beings, but He begot Jesus, the one and only Son of God.

There are numerous false religions that teach that Jesus was the greatest created being of God, but not God Himself. For example, both Mormonism and Jehovah's Witness make this claim. We must be careful to know the Jesus who is as revealed in Scripture, not the Jesus we craft in our own image. Jesus is the only begotten Son of God and the fullness of deity dwells in Him (John 3:16, Colossians 1:15-16,2:9. "And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power." (Hebrews 1:3a)

The Nicene Creed reads, "I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made."

In this season where we celebrate the birth of Jesus, let's remember who He is and celebrate the greatest gift the world as ever seen -- God's gift of Himself, His only begotten Son, for the salvation of the world!