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Who is God the Son?

God the Son

Understanding the nature of the Trinity is a difficult and challenging task. However, the church father Augustine once said, “There is no subject where error is more dangerous, research more laborious, and discovery more fruitful than the oneness of the Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” (On the Trinity, 1.3.5.).

When discussing the Trinity, it’s important to remember that there is one God (Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Corinthians 8:6) who eternally exists in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; Luke 3:21–22; 2 Corinthians 13:14). Each Person of the Trinity is coequal and coeternal—no one of them is inferior to another (John 1:1–2). Each member is distinct in Personhood and function.

With that foundation, we can look at who God the Son is.

God the Son is the second Person of the Trinity. He is revealed to creation as the only and eternally begotten Son of God the Father (John 3:16). God the Son is of the same essence as God the Father and God the Spirit but distinct from them in Personhood and function. God the Son is fully God and has eternally existed as such (John 1:1–2). He is one with God the Father but submits Himself to the Father in function and work (John 6:57; 10:30; 1 Corinthians 15:28). In fact, the primary work of God the Son is to fulfill the will of God the Father (John 6:38), for He is the full and complete image of God—the firstborn over all creation (Colossians 1:15).

Though God the Son is fully God, He became fully human and lived as the historical figure of Jesus Christ from Nazareth. Through His incarnation, God the Son took on flesh and experienced humanity in all of its temptations, trials, weaknesses, and emotions (Philippians 2:5–11; Hebrews 2:17). In doing this, He did not lose His divinity or any of His divine attributes. Rather, He voluntarily limited His divine privileges in order to perfectly obey the will of God the Father.

As Jesus, God the Son was conceived through God the Spirit (Matthew 1:18), born of the virgin Mary (Luke 2:5–7), and lived a perfect life without sin (Hebrews 4:15). As a child, He grew in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and humanity (Luke 2:40, 52). After growing up, Jesus launched a public ministry where He taught the world the ways and truths of God (Matthew 5—7; Luke 6:17–49). Large crowds followed Him, and He healed many people of sicknesses, diseases, and deformities (Matthew 4:25; Mark 6:13). Over time, many religious leaders felt threatened by Jesus and sought to have Him killed (Matthew 12:14). Eventually, Jesus was arrested and put on trial before the Jewish and Roman authorities, who ultimately sentenced Him to death. He died on a cross to pay for the sins of the world (Mark 15:37; 1 John 2:2). He was buried in a tomb for three days (Mark 15:46), rose from the dead by the power of God the Spirit (Luke 24:6; Romans 8:11), appeared to many of His disciples (John 20:19), and ascended to heaven (Luke 24:51). Through His life, death, and resurrection, Jesus fulfilled the Mosaic Law and reconciled God’s people to Himself (Matthew 5:17; Titus 2:14; Romans 5:10).

Through His substitutionary death on the cross and resurrection from the dead (Isaiah 52:13—53:12), God the Son purchased eternal salvation for all those who receive Him by faith (Titus 2:11). His resurrection serves as the firstfruits of the new creation promised by God and guarantees the future resurrection of believers upon His return (1 Corinthians 15:20–23).

Currently, God the Son rules and reigns as the Great High Priest at the right hand of God the Father (Acts 7:55). He is exalted above all things and intercedes before God the Father on behalf of His people (Philippians 2:9–11; Romans 8:34). One day, God the Son will visibly return to earth, vanquish the enemies of God, and establish the kingdom of heaven where He will rule with His saints for all eternity (Acts 1:11; Revelation 20—22).

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This page last updated: March 5, 2024