As Son of God the Lord Jesus represents that side of truth in which God Himself was manifested in flesh. After the fall God never again entrusted His work to man. “God was in Christ.” Christ was Immanuel, God is with us. The title Son of Man shows us another side of Christ: God is recovering in the form of man and for man what he has lost. It means God has come down to this earth as man; He has identified Himself with man in order to redeem him. But that title ‘Son of Man’ goes far beyond the ordinary human level. Our Lord Jesus Christ stands far above all other men in His nature. He is the Son of Man from heaven, or, as the Scriptures say, “who is in heaven”. That could not be said of any other man. They all were from the earth. Christ alone was from heaven as “the only begotten Son”. It is important to understand the meaning of this.
The Lord Jesus was not altogether the only begotten Son. That expression has nothing to do with begetting, for the Scriptures tell us that every believer is begotten of God. Now it does not mean that. That expression has to do with the kind of birth. The Lord Jesus was uniquely begotten; He was the only one of this kind. He stood alone as such. All of us have been begotten through the Word of Christ and the Spirit. But all of us are sinners by nature, because “that which is born of the flesh is flesh”. Therefore Paul says of us who are “in Christ” that “the body is dead because of sin; but the spirit is life because of righteousness”. Over against that the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in flesh was something unique. There was no sin in Him who had come in the likeness of sinful flesh. The Son of God was once for all and in a unique way born. That is the meaning of “the only begotten Son”. He is the Son of Man out from heaven. Both His titles are divine and belong to heaven. As Son of Man and Son of God He is different from all other men. We must not separate these two titles.
As to the practical application, a very great deal is being bound up with the fact that the Lord Jesus was the Son of God. Notice how often the Lord Jesus refers to His sonship, how much depended upon that for Him. It meant everything to Him. If He had not known it He would have been without the main strength which characterized His life. He lived triumphantly and worked mightily and effectively, because He knew that He was in that essential relationship with His Father.
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