The Berean Expositor
Volume 32 - Page 127 of 246
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#21. The Testimony in Jerusalem, Judaea and Samaria (2: 13-4: 42).
Aionian Life (3: 13 - 21).
pp. 198 - 203
In our last article on John 3: 16 we considered the bearing of the casual conjunction
"For", the meaning of the adverb "So", and the very exclusive character of God's love,
which, even though directed to the "world", was nevertheless mediated only through the
sacrifice of His beloved Son, His "Gift". We now continue our study of this wonderful
verse, and our first consideration is the specific title here given to Christ, "His only
begotten Son".
Many and rich are the titles that belong to the Saviour. Some belong to the period
prior to His birth at Bethlehem, such as "The Word" and "The Image", and some to the
post-natal period. Among others are the three which follow:--
"JESUS" (Matt. 1: 21).
"EMMANUEL" (Matt. 1: 23).
"SON OF MAN" (Matt. 8: 20).
To which period shall we ascribe the title, "His only begotten Son"? Had there been
no theological controversy in connection with the person of the Lord, reasonable men
would never have tried to believe the unintelligible phrase, "The eternal generations of
the Son", for to do so either the word "eternal" or the word "generations" must lose its
meaning and be changed. Readers of this magazine know that we believe the doctrine of
the Deity of Christ. But while this has been our testimony from the beginning, and is
held as firmly as ever to-day, we have no warrant for spoiling the teaching of the
Scripture regarding the glorious person of the Lord merely because we want to emphasize
His Deity. The Scripture is equally emphatic upon the doctrines of His sinless humanity,
and of His coming in flesh, and ever, and essentially, associated with His coming in flesh
is the dominating purpose of His sacrificial death, which necessitated the possession of a
human body. This is so vital both to all truth and to the testimony of John 3: 16 that we
must prove each statement.
"Forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise
took part of the same, that through death He might destroy him that had the power of
death, that is the devil, and deliver them who through fear of death, were all their lifetime
subject to bondage" (Heb. 2: 14, 15).
"Wherefore when He cometh into the world, He saith, Sacrifice and offering thou
wouldest not, but a body hast Thou prepared Me . . . . . we are sanctified by the offering
of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (Heb. 10: 5, 10).
The testimony of Hebrews is clear. One passage speaks of flesh and blood, and
another of a body, but in both the object is an offering. In the epistle to the Colossians
we read:
"In the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and unblameable, and
unreproveable in His sight" (Col. 1: 22).