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Who or what is a…
son of God

This term is used in various ways in the Bible.

  1. JESUS CHRIST—The “Son of God” occurs 37 in the New Testament as the distinctive title of our Savior. He does not bear this title because of his miraculous birth, nor of his incarnation, His resurrection, or exaltation to the Father’s right hand. This is a title of nature and not of office. The sonship of Christ denotes his equality with the Father. To call Christ the Son of God is to assert his true and proper divinity.

    The 2nd Person of the Trinity, because of his eternal relation to the 1st Person, is the Son of God. His divine nature is the Son of God, while his human nature is the Son of David (or Son of Man) (Romans 1:3-4.

    Verses such as Galatians 4:4; John 1:1-14; 5:18-25 and 10:30-38 prove that Christ was the Son of God BEFORE His incarnation, and that his claim to this title is a claim of equality with God.

    See: Trinity | Godhead | Virgin Birth | About Jesus Christ

  2. IN THE SINGULAR, it is always used of the 2nd Person of the Trinity, with the single exception of Luke 3:38, where it is used of the Adam because he was directly created by God, not the offspring of man and woman. So, Adam’s father is God; therefore Adam is a son of God.

  3. IN THE PLURAL—With the exception of of Adam, when used with reference to created beings, whether men or angels, this term is always in the plural (“sons of God”).

    For example, in the book of Job, this name is applied to angels.

    Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. —Job 1:6 KJV

    …all the sons of God shouted for joy… —Job 38:7 KJV

    Fallen angels (demons who possessed certain men)…

    …the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful [or “good”]; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. …The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. —Genesis 6:2, 4 NASB

    Hosea uses the phrase “sons of the living God” to designate the gracious relation in which men stand to God.

    Yet the number of the sons of Israel
    Will be like the sand of the sea,
    Which cannot be measured or numbered;
    And in the place
    Where it is said to them,

    “You are not My people,”

    It will be said to them,

    “You are the sons of the living God.” —Hosea 1:10 NASB

    In the New Testament this phrase frequently denotes the relation into which we are brought to God by adoption.

    so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” —Galatians 4:5-6 NASB

    …prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world… —Philippians 2:15 NASB

    For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. —Romans 8:14 NASB

    “And I will be a father to you,
    And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,”
    says the Lord Almighty. —2 Corinthians 6:18 NASB

    See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. —1 John 3:1-2 NASB

    For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. —Romans 8:19 NASB

Article Version: December 22, 2017

ALSO SEE:

  • What is the Trinity?
  • What does the term “Son of man” mean?
  • God
  • About Mary, mother of Jesus
  • Trinity—How can one God be three persons? Answer
  • Is Jesus Christ a man, or is he God? Answer
  • If Jesus is God, how could he die? If Jesus died on the cross, then how can he be alive today? Answer
  • Was Jesus God, manifest in human form? Answer
  • Is Jesus Christ really God?
  • If Jesus was the Son of God, why did He call Himself the Son of Man? Answer
  • Character—Is Christ's character consistent with his high claims? Answer
  • The Messiah—Was Jesus really him? Answer
  • What messianic prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus Christ? Answer
  • Answers to objections raised by some Jews
Article Version: September 14, 2017