WHEN DID JESUS BECOME THE SON OF GOD?

The  exact moment in time when Jesus became the Son of God  is  a subject that has perplexed many people throughout the  centuries.  We know that Jesus came from God the  Father (Jn.3:13; 6:44; 16:28) and that he qualified to be our Savior by living a  sinless life and freely giving his life as the perfect  sacrifice to pay the penalty for our sins. However, when did  he become the Son of the One he called Father?

In order to answer this question there are four events that must be analyzed: Jesus' conception, birth, baptism, and  resurrection from the dead.

THE CONCEPTION OF JESUS

Matthew 1:18-23

"These are the facts concerning the birth of Jesus Christ:  His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph.  But   while she  was still a virgin she became pregnant by the holy spirit. Then Joseph, her fiancé, being a man of stern principle,  decided to  break the engagement but to do it quietly, as he didn't  want to  publicly disgrace her." As he lay awake considering this, he fell into a dream, and saw an angel standing beside  him.  "Joseph, son of David", the angel said, "don't hesitate to take Mary as your wife!  For the child within her has been conceived by the holy spirit' (vs.18-20 LBP).

In verse 20, the  word conceived is a translation of the Greek word 'gennao'; which can  mean to 'regenerate', 'bear', 'beget', 'be born', 'bring forth', 'conceive', 'be delivered of', 'engender', 'make' and 'spring'.  

"And she shall bring forth [Greek, 'tikto'. English, 'bear'] a son, and you shall  call his name Jesus:  for he shall save his  people  from their  sins.  Now all this was done,  that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet,  saying, Behold,  a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall  call  his name Immanuel, which being interpreted  is,  God with  us" (vs.21-23 KJV).

The Greek word for 'God' is 'theos'. In these verses, it  is 'ho-theos', which means a 'Deity', 'the Supreme Divinity'.

Notice  that  Jesus was also called 'God with us'. This scripture shows that  Jesus was unique. He was not just any man; he was God  in human flesh and he came to save humanity from the penalty of sin.

Luke 1:30-35 KJV

"And the angel said to her,  Fear not, Mary: for you have found favor with God. And, behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name Jesus" (vs.30-31).

Here, the word 'conceive' is the Greek word 'sullambano', which  literally means 'to conceive' as in conception of children.  The difference in the usage of this Greek word by  Matthew and Luke seems to be in the past and future tenses of the verb. In Matthew, the child had already  been conceived, in Luke, the child was yet to be conceived.

"He  shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the  Highest: and  the  Lord  God shall give to him the throne of  his  father David" (v32).

Jesus is called the Son of the Highest. The English word 'Highest' is translated from the Greek word 'Hupsistos'. In this case, 'Hupsistos' denotes the Sovereign of  the Universe,  the Most High, the Highest, the Supreme God. This  spirit-being  is  the Supreme Sovereign above all  that exists; this Sovereign God is the Father of Jesus Christ.

"And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of  his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary to the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" (vs.33-34).

The Power of the Highest

Mary asks the angel how she could give birth to the Savior, because she had  not  had intercourse with a man:

"And the angel answered and said to her, The holy spirit  shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: Therefore also the holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God" (v35).

Notice  that it was the power (i.e., holy spirit) that came  from the  HIGHEST that impregnated Mary and performed the  process  of conception.  We  are not told how this was accomplished;  we are just told it was performed by the Father's power.

Clearly,  the scripture says that Jesus was conceived by the  holy spirit; but, was the holy spirit  the father  of Jesus?

Nowhere in the Bible do we find Jesus or anyone  else referring to the holy spirit or the spirit of God as the  Father, a person, or an entity with a personality. Therefore, it  should be obvious that the holy spirit was not the father  of Jesus,  but that it was through God the Father's spirit-power and energy that the process  of conception was performed within Mary.

Physical Conception:

Both Matthew and Luke record the following facts about the  conception of Jesus:

THE HUMAN BIRTH OF JESUS

"Therefore  the  Lord  himself shall give you a  sign;  Behold  a virgin  shall  conceive, and bear a son and shall call  his   name Immanuel [God with us]" (Isa.7:14 KJV).  See also Isa.8:8-10.

How a physical human could be both God and  human is a question that many people ask.  The answer to this question is that Jesus  was  the Creator God who voluntarily gave up his immortality and power  to become a human being; therefore, he was both God and man.

As the God of Israel, Jesus inspired many prophesies that  foretold his human birth. The New Testament writers record that Jesus was in fact a human and the Creator God:

"And  the word [ the Creator God] was made flesh, and  dwelt among  us,  (and we beheld his glory, the glory as  of  the  only begotten  [only born] of the Father), full of grace  and truth" (Jn.1:14 KJV).

Evidence

The scriptural evidence shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that God the Father is the father of Jesus Christ and that the Father used his spirit-power and energy to cause the conception of Jesus within the womb of Mary. It is clearly evident that the holy spirit is not a  separate entity from God the Father and Jesus Christ,  but it is the force and power of the God family.

THE GOD WHO BECAME HUMAN

Although many scriptures show that Jesus is a member of  the God family, many people still feel that Jesus did not exist before his birth as  a human. The following  are some of the many clear statements made  by Jesus  and others about his pre-existence and his return  to  the place that he came from.

Jesus the Creator God

John records Jesus telling the Jews of his pre-existence:  

"Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say  to you,  before Abraham was, I AM" (Jn.8:58 KJV).

Jesus  told  these Jews very bluntly that he  had  existed before Abraham. By using the term 'I Am', he indicated to them that he was the Creator God of Abraham. This made the  Jews so angry that they  immediately tried to kill him for speaking what they  considered to be blasphemy.

Jesus Came From God

"I came forth from the Father and am come into the world:  again, I leave the world, and go to the Father" (Jn.16:28; 3:13 KJV).

Jesus  said that he came forth from the Father into the  world and would leave it 'again', but what did he mean by 'again'? If it is understood that Jesus is the  Creator,  this statement will not be a mystery. 'Again'  is translated  from  the Greek word 'palin', which means  'once  more', 'repetition', or 'again'. As the Creator God, Jesus came to this planet many times. Remember that the Biblical record shows that Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and many others saw, talked with, ate with, and communicated face-to-face with the Creator.

The Word Was God

"In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All  things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that  was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light  shined in the darkness; and the darkness  comprehended  it not. . ..  He was in the world, and the world was made by  him,  and the world knew him not" (Jn.1:1-5,10 KJV).

There can be no  doubt that prior to his human birth, Jesus was the Creator God.

The Word Made Flesh

"And  the Word was made 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" (Jn.1:14 KJV). See also Matthew chapters 1 through 4; 1.Jn.4:14-15; Heb.1:1-6.

God in the Flesh

"And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was  manifest  in  the flesh, justified in the  spirit,  seen  of angels,  preached  to the gentiles, believed on in  the  world, received up into glory" (1.Tim.3:16 KJV).

In verse 16, the word  'manifest'  is translated from the Greek word 'phaneroo', which means  'appear', 'declare', or 'show'.

Here,  Paul speaks of the multitude of witnesses of the fact  that Christ  who  was the Creator God became a flesh and  blood  human being. But when did God manifest himself in the flesh?

Only in the New Testament do we find the conditions that fit all the  descriptive terms used in 1.Timothy 3:16, and the only person in the Bible who claims to represent and come from the Father is Jesus. So, logic tells us that God (the Creator/ Jesus) manifested himself  in the flesh at his physical birth. Moreover, at the time of his  physical conception, Jesus became the Son of God.

Two very important things happened at the time of the physical manifestation of God (the Creator/Jesus):

1. Jesus became a Son of God at physical conception.

2. Jesus became a physical Son of God at birth.

THE BAPTISM OF JESUS: A SPIRITUAL CONCEPTION AND BIRTH

Before his baptism, Jesus was a physical human, just like any  other human.  Jesus was a physical son of God the Father before  his baptism  with  water and the spirit (Matt.1:18-20;  Lk.1:34-35) after  which  he became the first human to be transformed from  a human being,  with  only the spirit of man into a human being with both  the spirit of man and the spirit of the Father. After this transformation,  Jesus  became the first son of the  Father's  New  Creation (Rom.8:29; Col.1:15-18).

The prophet Isaiah foretold the spiritual conception, birth, and empowerment of  Jesus as a son of God:

"And  the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the  spirit  of wisdom  and understanding, the spirit of counsel and  might,  the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord" (Isa.11:2 KJV).

At the time of Jesus' physical conception he  received the genetic imprint of the human family and upon receiving the spirit  of God, Jesus received the genetic imprint of God the Father:

"And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in the Jordan. And  straightaway coming  up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened,  and the spirit  like a dove descending upon him: And there came  a  voice from  heaven, saying, You are my beloved son, in whom I  am  well pleased"  (Mk.1:9-11 KJV).  See  also  Matt.3:16-18; Jn.3:1-10; Heb.1:1-6.

As  the  spirit of God descended on Jesus, God the Father declared that Jesus is his Son.

The  apostle  Paul was inspired to record that, when a  person  is converted from the original human creation into the New Creation through God's spirit, that person becomes a son of God:

"For as many as are led by the spirit of God, these are the  sons of God.  For you did not receive a spirit of  slavery again  to fear, but you received a spirit of adoption by  which  we cry, Abba! Father!" (Rom.8:14-15 KJV). See also Col.1:15-18.

God the Father's First-born

"For to which of the angels did he say, You are my Son; today  I have  begotten You? And again I will be a Father to him, and  he shall  be a Son to me. And again when he brought  the firstborn into the world, he said let the angels worship  him"  (Heb.1:5-6 Para.). Quoted from Psalm 2:7. See also Heb.5:5.

Here,  the writer to the Hebrews speaks of  Jesus' becoming a physical Son of God at conception and at birth, and a spiritual Son of God upon receiving the  spirit of the Father at baptism.

BEFORE CHRIST'S DEATH

"And now Father, glorify me with yourself, with the glory which I had  with You before the existence of the world" (Jn.17:52 Para.). See also Jn.17:24; 8:38-59.

When Jesus asks his Father to return  his  glory,  Jesus was no longer a human  with  only  the spirit of man. At this point in time, he was the first of humanity to have God the Father's spirit residing in him. He was the first Son of God the Father to be created out of the human race; he was the first of the New Creation.

THE GOD WHO DIED

Jesus Christ is the Creator of all things (Jn.1:1-3). Before becoming human, Jesus was an immortal spirit-being who inherently  possessed the  highest  form  of existence: life that  springs  forth  from itself, never dying or decaying. The Creator God emptied  himself of his glory, power, and immortality to become a mortal man who was subject  to  death. Then he allowed his creation to murder  him.  He voluntarily  gave  up his life and, for a short  time,  completely  ceased to exist as a living entity:

"Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation and took upon him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men: And being found  in  the fashion as a man, he humbled himself,  and  became obedient  to  death, even the death of the  cross"  (Phil.2:6-8 KJV).

Jesus died;  he ceased to exist. All that remained of him was the physical and spirit record of his existence, which could have been completely destroyed and erased if the Father had not resurrected him  from  the dead.  See Matt.10:28;  Lk.12:4-5;  Gal.1:1;  Acts 4:10; 5:30; 10:40; 13:30.

Alpha and Omega

In  the first chapter of the Book of  Revelation, the apostle John records  his encounter  with  Jesus Christ who says he is the  God  Alpha  and Omega:

"And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. and he laid  his right hand upon me, saying to me, fear not; I am the first  and the  last [Alpha and Omega];  I am he that lives, and was dead; and behold,  I  am alive for evermore, amen, and have the keys of hell and of death" (Rev.1:4,17-18 Para.).  See  also Rom.6:8-10; Acts 2:24-32;  3:15, 26; Heb.2:9; Rev.2:8.

The  Greek Interlinear Bible translates the phrase, 'was dead' in verse  18 as 'I became dead'. The Greek word used for 'dead' here is 'corpse', which means that the 'Alpha and Omega' says he was a dead body, but  now, he is alive forever. Jesus explains that he was totally dead, not only dead in the flesh as some people believe.

THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS

"Not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and  God the  Father, who raised him from the dead;" (Gal.1:1  KJV).  See also Acts 4:10; 5:30; 10:40; 13:30.

In  his letter to the Church at Corinth, the apostle Paul  records that Jesus was the first human to be resurrected from the dead as a spiritual Son of God. Moreover, in his letter to the Church at Colosse, he states the same thing and adds that it was Jesus  who created all things.

1.Corinthians 15:20, 22-23 KJV

"But  now  is Christ risen from the dead, and became  the  first-born of them that slept" (v20).

In  verse 20, Paul says that Christ is the first of  humanity   to have  passed from the human life-form to the spiritual;  then,  in verses 22-23, he says that others will follow:

"For  as  in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall  all  be  made alive.  But every man in his own order. Christ  the first-fruits, Afterwards, they that are Christ's at his coming" (vs.22-23).

The reason  Jesus was described as the first-born of the  dead and  the firstborn of many brothers is that he was  literally the first of his kind to be created. He was the first of the New Creation: the first-born spiritual Son of God the Father:

"Who  is  the image of the invisible God, the  firstborn  of  all creation—for all things were created in him, the  things  in the  heavens,  and the things on the earth; the visible  and  the invisible; whether thrones, or lordships, or rulers, or  authorities, all things have been created through him. And he is  before all things, and all things consist in him. And he is the Head  of the  body, the church; who is the beginning, the  firstborn  from the  dead,  that  he be preeminent in  all  things" (Col.1:15-18 Para.). See also Acts 13:33-35; Rev.1:5 KJV.

SUMMARY

It  seems logical from the scriptures which have been presented here, that Jesus became the Father's physical Son the instant he emptied himself of his immortality and allowed God the Father to perform the miracle of conception within the egg of the virgin Mary.

Jesus remained the Father's physical Son until he was baptized with water and with the holy spirit. After this baptism, Jesus  became the Father's first Son of the New  Creation. And he became God the Father's first Son to be made  immortal when he was resurrected from the dead.

Jesus first became the Son of God the instant he became a human being. Although he was the first to become a Son of God the Father, he will not be the last:

"For  as  in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall  all  be  made alive.  But every man in his own order. Christ  the  first-fruits, Afterwards,  they that are Christ's at his coming" (1.Cor.15:22-23).

By B.L. Cocherell, file b3w3 home.gif (1487 bytes)