The Bible frequently mentions the “Son of God.” But how can God have a “son,” and what should that mean to us?
Let us keep in mind that Jesus is the Son not in the sense of having been created, but because He partakes of the same divine nature as God the Father. Adventists embrace the belief that Jesus is the eternal Son of God, and is also fully God Himself and part of the Godhead. He was sent to earth to minister to us, live as our example, and ultimately bear the eternal punishment of our sins. He is now our advocate, our High Priest, the relatable link between us and God the Father.
Let’s take a deeper look at:
- The identity of God the Son
- Jesus Christ as our creator
- Jesus’ ministry on earth
- Jesus as our savior from sin
- Jesus’ death and what it means
- Jesus’ return (Second Coming)
- Jesus as our advocate in heaven
Learning about the Son of God and the depth of His love for us can be riveting. To think about a holy, perfect being that is willing to go through the ultimate level of pain in order that we can be redeemed from our selfishness and reconciled to God.
Belief 4: The Son
God the eternal Son became incarnate in Jesus Christ. Through Him all things were created, the character of God is revealed, the salvation of humanity is accomplished, and the world is judged. Forever truly God, He became also truly human, Jesus the Christ. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived and experienced temptation as a human being, but perfectly exemplified the righteousness and love of God. By His miracles He manifested God’s power and was attested as God’s promised Messiah. He suffered and died voluntarily on the cross for our sins and in our place, was raised from the dead, and ascended to heaven to minister in the heavenly sanctuary in our behalf. He will come again in glory for the final deliverance of His people and the restoration of all things. (Isa. 53:4-6; Dan. 9:25-27; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-3, 14; 5:22; 10:30; 14:1–3, 9, 13; Rom. 6:23; 1 Cor. 15:3, 4; 2 Cor. 3:18; 5:17-19; Phil. 2:5–11; Col. 1:15-19; Heb. 2:9-18; 8:1, 2.)
Who is God the Son?
Jesus loves each of us and wants to know us, and for us to grow through knowing and loving Him.
In the New Testament book of Mark, the very first words are, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mark 1:1, NKJV).
Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, is the Son of God. He is one of the three eternal members of the Godhead. Jesus affirmed this when He commanded His disciples to preach the gospel, “Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19, NKJV).
Referring to Jesus, Paul writes, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9, NKJV). Jesus Christ was the physical manifestation of the eternal God, sent to us to redeem us from the curse of sin.
John, the disciple, says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1, 2, NKJV).
Adventists believe Jesus was co-existent with God from “everlasting to everlasting” (Psalm 90:2). Jesus, the same “Word” that “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14), is the eternal God who “inhabits eternity” (Isaiah 57:15, NKJV).
At the beginning of His earthly ministry, Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. As He walked out of the water, God’s voice spoke from Heaven: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17, NKJV). These words, in front of many witnesses, confirmed Jesus was God’s Son.
At the end of His earthly ministry, during the trial before His crucifixion, the High Priest asked, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”
Up to this point, Jesus had been mostly silent. Jesus had taken the physical torture and verbal insults without comment. Now, His gaze turned towards the High Priest.
He said simply, “I am.” Then He gave this promise, “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven” (Mark 14:61-62, NKJV).
Revelation talks of the fulfillment of this promise, “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him” (Revelation 1:7, NKJV).
Jesus Christ Is Our Creator
The Godhead worked together on a plan to create our world and mankind. Their conversation is recorded in the Old Testament book of Genesis, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…” (Genesis 1:26, NKJV).
John, the New Testament disciple, confirms Jesus Christ was the acting member of the Godhead in creation.
“All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:3, NKJV).
A few verses later John clarifies the “Him” in this verse is Jesus Christ.
“And the Word became 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” (John 1:14, NKJV).
In speaking of Jesus Christ, Paul writes, “By Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth” (Colossians 1:16, NKJV).
His hands formed mankind. “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground” (Genesis 2:7, NKJV). His mouth breathed into man’s “nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7, NKJV).
Jesus Christ Came to Earth
God the Father worked with and through Jesus Christ in creation. Paul tells us, “God … has in these last days spoken to us by His Son … through whom also He made the worlds” (Hebrews 1:1,2, NKJV).
The New Testament books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the synoptic gospels, and the book of John, refer to Jesus Christ as the “Son of Man.”
Matthew records a conversation between Jesus and His disciples. Jesus asked, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” (Matthew 16:13, NKJV). Peter answered this question, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:16, NKJV). His faith warmed Jesus’ heart. (Matthew 16:17, NKJV).
Jesus was God in human flesh. Jesus, our Savior, was fully God, yet fully man. God, His Father, and Mary, His mother, brought together divinity and humanity for the purpose of saving the human race.
When the angel Gabriel appeared to the virgin Mary, he told her the good news of being chosen to be the mother of God’s only Son. “How can this be,” she asked. “since I do not know a man?” (Luke 1:34, NKJV).
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,” answered Gabriel, “and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God (Luke 1:35, NKJV).
Isaiah prophesied of Jesus’ birth when he wrote:
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6, NKJV).
Paul calls this the “mystery of godliness.” “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed in the world, received up in glory” (1 Timothy 3:16, NKJV).
Adventists believe Jesus Christ was God “manifested in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16, NKJV). He was born on earth to Mary and Joseph. He grew up as a child and youth working with His earthly father.
“And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him” (Luke 2:40, NKJV).
Jesus Christ is our Savior, the Messiah
The word Messiah comes from the Hebrew word Mashiach, meaning “the anointed one.” He was anointed to save us from the penalty of our sins. The Messiah, our Savior, lived and died to bring us salvation. Andrew, when telling Peter about meeting Jesus said, “We have found the Messiah” (John 1:41, NKJV).
After many years of working in His father’s carpenter shop, Jesus was prepared for public ministry. He began His ministry when He went to the Jordan River and was baptized by His cousin, John.
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?’ But Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he allowed Him” (Matthew 3:13-15, NKJV).
As He came up from the water, the Spirit of God, in the form of a dove, spoke, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:22, NKJV). This was divine confirmation of Jesus’ mission and calling.
Directly after His baptism, Jesus “was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (Matthew 4:1, NKJV). He passed the test of the Devil’s temptations. Paul writes that Jesus “was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15, NKJV). His victory made it possible for us to “resist the devil” (James 4:7, NKJV) and have confidence that he will flee from us.
Jesus walked the earth as a man. He was anointed of God to bring us salvation. His divine character was covered in the garb of a humble carpenter. Our Savior came to live as a man among men so that He could give us hope. He came to our lost planet to bridge the chasm between us and heaven. [Hyperlink to 7.09 Life Death and Resurrection]
He was the Redeemer of the world, both the Son of God and the Son of man.
“For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost” (Matthew 18:11, NKJV).
It is through Jesus’ death that we are saved
“The wages of sin is death,” writes Paul in the book of Romans, “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23, NKJV).
In Genesis, God told Adam and Eve not to eat from one tree in the garden, because they would die if they ate it. (Genesis 2:17, NKJV). Adam and Eve chose to eat of the tree anyway. In doing this, they brought the curse of sin and death upon mankind.
“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22, NKJV).
Jesus came to pay the penalty of transgression, and to offer mankind a way of salvation. God loved humanity so much that He could not leave us to suffer the consequences of sin. In His great love for us, Jesus volunteered to give His life so we could be reunited with God, and have eternal life.
During His life, Jesus experienced the hatred of the Devil and those whom the Devil could influence. As a young child, Herod tried to destroy Him (Matthew 2:13). During His ministry, people tried to stone Him (John 8:59; 10:31). The Bible records, “Therefore they sought to take Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come” (John 7:30, NKJV).
After eating the Passover supper with His twelve disciples, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane. He prayed, and agonized over what He knew was just before Him.
“Father,” He pleaded, “if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42, NKJV).
As He settled the great debate of whether He would follow through with the salvation of man, He asked His disciples to watch and pray with Him (Mark 14:38). Sleep overcame them. Jesus came to where they were sleeping and told them, “The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners” (Mark 14:41, NKJV).
Judas, one of His disciples, betrayed Him into the hands of those who wanted to kill Him. An unjust trial, and the demands of an angry mob led to His death. As He stood silently, the crowds cried out, “Crucify Him.”
Isaiah, the Old Testament prophet, prophesied of this time, “He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth” (Isaiah 53:7, NKJV).
As we see Him willingly give His life, the words of John ring out across the ages, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, NKJV).
Even the Roman soldiers, who had officiated at countless crucifixions, testified, “Truly this was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:54, NKJV).
Jesus Christ, our Messiah, our Savior, sacrificed His life so that we would have the choice of eternal life. What amazing love!
Jesus was lovingly laid in a borrowed tomb. (Matthew 27:57-61). He rested in the grave during the Sabbath hours (Matthew 28:1, John 19:30-42).
Early Sunday morning, the shackles of the grave were forever broken. “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Corinthians 15:20, NKJV).
Jesus Christ came forth from the grave a conqueror. His resurrection confirms His victory. Because of His sacrifice, every person has a chance to receive the gift of eternal life. “My sheep hear My voice,” says Jesus, “and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life” (John 10:27, 28, NKJV).
Jesus Christ is Our Advocate, Still Working in Heaven for Us
Jesus Christ, “suffered, being tempted,” so that “He is able to aid those who are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18, NKJV). Our Savior experienced life on this planet. He experienced the temptations of Satan (Matthew 4), and the fatigue of toil and suffering (Luke 8:22-25).
“We have an Advocate with the Father,” the apostle John writes, “Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world” (1 John 2:1,2, NKJV)
When our record of life comes up before the Father, Jesus pleads His sacrifice in our behalf. Revelation 1:5 tells us that Christ has “loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.”
We don’t have to be afraid of the judgment, because Jesus has already paid the price for our sins. If you make the choice to accept His sacrifice for your sins and claim His power to live for Him, you have an Advocate. He has never lost a case!
God the Father is also on your side. The Bible tells us, “The Father Himself loves you” (John 16:27, NKJV). Both the Father and the Son want you to be saved. The choice is ours. [Hyperlink to Judgment]
Jesus Christ Will Return to Earth
“I go to prepare a place for you,” Jesus promised. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2, 3, NKJV).
Paul writes of the glorious day when Jesus will return as a King. “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God” (1 Thessalonians 4:16, NKJV).
Paul’s words of hope continue, “And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17, NKJV). Those who have chosen Christ from all ages of history will receive the promise of eternal life at His second coming. [Hyperlink to Second Coming]
Seventh-day Adventists have faith that Jesus Christ will come again. He has promised He is preparing a place for those who follow Him. A place where there is no more death, no more suffering, no more sin. [Hyperlink to Heaven] He has promised He will come again and “…receive you to Himself” (John 14:3, NKJV).
When He returns to claim His own, we will “be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52, NKJV.)
At that happy reunion, we will shout, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:55, NKJV). We will give thanks “to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57, NKJV).
How does the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus affect me?
Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25, NKJV). His death paid sins’ penalty, and gives you the opportunity to be saved from your sins.
As you study Jesus’ teaching, you will find that those who have faith and believe in Him will have their name written in the Book of Life. (Hebrews 11:6, Revelation 3:5). This is the assurance that you have a place prepared for you in Heaven.
Jesus lived a perfect life. He is our sinless Example of the power we can claim through faith in Him.
John writes, “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (John 1:12, NKJV).
Jesus died for our sins, paying the penalty required to reconcile us to God. He rose as a victor over sin, the devil, and evil.
His sacrifice gives us hope. His sacrifice gives us the opportunity for healing. His sacrifice gives us freedom to choose eternal life.
Adventists believe the Son of God, who humbled Himself to become the Son of Man, stands at the door of our hearts. He is knocking today (Revelation 3:20). He wants to be our Savior, our Messiah. He wants us all to accept His free gift of salvation.
Our belief in Jesus Christ is central to our religious experience. Without Him, life is not worth living. The desire to serve Him more deeply led to the formation of the Adventist Church. Christ, and His amazing sacrifice is the theme of all that we do and all that we stand for.
Throughout eternity, we will learn more and more of His amazing love and the precious gifts He has given us. His love sustains us. His strength empowers us. He is the reason we live, and He is our only hope.