The Only-begotten Son

Underived - Eternally Existing

A. J. Pollock

God has sent his only-begotten Son into the world (1. John 4:9).

He was the only-begotten Son before being sent, or else he could not, as such, have been sent INTO THE WORLD. But clearly the expression 'only-begotten' does not refer to derivation, nor does it denote inferiority.

It does not, and cannot denote derivation, for Scripture plainly asserts the Eternal Being of the Lord Jesus in such a passage as

"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." (John 1:1-3).

The Son of God was God, the Son, underived, eternally existing.

Then again we read,

"Unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever." (Hebrews 1:8).

[...] He, the Son, is addressed as God. Can God be derived? Can there be an inferior God? There can be only one God, and if the Godhead has been pleased to reveal itself in eternal relationships, the Persons sustaining those relationships must in the nature of things be underived and co-equal. What then is the meaning of the expression, "only-begotten"?

If the Son is underived, as Scripture states, what is the meaning of "only begotten"? There is a passage that greatly helps to an understanding: -

"By faith Abraham, when He was tried, offered up Isaac: and He that had received the promises offered up His 'ONLY-BEGOTTEN SON." (Hebrews 11:17).

Here is the very expression in this Scripture. We know that Isaac was not Abraham's only, or even his first, begotten son. Ishmael was that. It is evidently used as a term of strong endearment, and as setting forth a unique and pre-eminent position. Scripture forbids its being used in the case of the Son of God in the sense of derivation, or generation.

[...]

MELCHISEDEC LIKE UNTO THE SON OF GOD

A very plain assertion of the Eternal Sonship is found in Hebrews 7:3:

"Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually."

[...] Melchisedek was not the Son of God, for He was "made LIKE unto the Son of God." Doubtless he was a man who lived and died, and who appeared mysteriously on the scene, and as mysteriously disappeared, so as to fill out the type.

[...] We say with the utmost reverence that the blessed Lord in His condescending grace in coming into the world had a mother. He had "beginning of days" and "end of life" as a Man down here. Who has not felt the pathos of the Scripture,

"He was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgression of My people was He stricken" (Isa.53:8).

But as the Son presented to us in John's Gospel, the Eternal Son of God, the description fits exactly. There is no mention in that gospel of reputed father or of His mother, for as the Eternal son of God He was underived "In the beginning was the Word." There could be no genealogy there, as in Matthew and Luke; no mention of father or mother, "no beginning of days nor end of life." There was the affirmation of eternal underived existence.

So if our Lord is to be a permanent satisfying priest He must be a Divine Person, "the Son of God," as well as Man, who made atonement, and this is guarded in this very striking way. He lives for ever

"After the power of an endless life" (Hebrews 7:16).

Extracted from "The Eternal Son..." by Algernon James Pollock