I Believe in God’s Only Begotten Son


Daily Devotions - Faith Lutheran Church

I Believe in God’s Only Begotten Son

“And (I Believe) in Jesus Christ, His (the Father’s) only Son…”
 
“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.” – John 3:16

How important is a person’s identity?

At Faith, a while back, we had a sermon series on identity. Discovering how to find our identity and then what God reveals about who we are is life-changing. Identity gives purpose, confidence, a better ability to form relationships with people, and much more. You can watch the sermon series here on YouTube, if you’d like.

In this part of the Apostles’ Creed, we talk about who Jesus is, His identity.

We don’t just say we believe in Jesus, we identify Him according to what He has revealed to us through the Bible. Jesus is the Son of God.

Much has been said and written about Jesus, some correct and some incorrect. In fact, each of the ecumenical* creeds addresses more and more of who Jesus is in order to correct some of the incorrect ideas about Jesus (*ecumenical means that they are widely accepted by various Christian groups/denominations).

The Nicene Creed expands on what it means that Jesus is the Son of God, saying,

“And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of His 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;”

Jesus is the only Son of God. He didn’t have any brothers or sisters from the Father as some have claimed, though He did have earthly siblings from Mary and Joseph. He is begotten, not made. And He is one substance with the Father, meaning He is God and He and the Father are one.

The word, “begotten,” is a little strange to us. We don’t really use it much outside of church. It speaks to the uniqueness of Jesus and His relationship with the Father. He is not a creation of God, He is one with the Father and Spirit. Also, He is the only one like Him. This distinguishes us, who the Bible also calls sons and daughters of God, from Jesus. We are adopted sons and daughters.
The Athanasian Creed takes this even further as it works to explain the Trinity nature of God (3 in 1). I’m not going to go through the Athanasian Creed here because it’s long, but you can download and read a copy here, if you’d like.
 
This may all seem a bit trivial like it’s a bunch of theological jargon that doesn’t really pertain to your life, but it’s actually important. We live in a society where there are many different religions. Many people say they believe in “God,” but the identity of that God matters. How God describes Himself in the Bible is different from the Islamic or Hindu beliefs of God.
 
Even within groups who claim to be “Christian”, people have come up with some different ideas of who Jesus is.
 
  • Is Jesus truly God?
  • Is He human?
  • Was He a created being who ascended to some near-god status?
  • Did He have a brother from God?
  • Do we eventually become like Jesus?
We aren’t actually free to answer these questions however we want. There are true and false answers to these questions. When we allow the Bible to inform us on who Jesus is, we discover His true identity, the person Jesus revealed Himself to be. That is who we believe in.
Dear Jesus, 
 
You are the only begotten Son of God. Help us to know You as You truly are. Help us to accept You and You have described Yourself. Help us to believe in You.
 
Amen.

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Kurt

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