Jesus – Son of God, not God the Son

Any discussion about Jesus Christ must be approached with reverence and awe. Jesus occupies a unique place in God’s plan. He is the source of salvation, and central to God’s plan of redemption for mankind. Unfortunately, much of Christianity has misunderstood who Jesus was and is. This misunderstanding does not exalt Jesus, as they might claim, but instead makes a mockery of his life and work. For, if Jesus was God, as many claim, then He didn’t really suffer or die, because God is immortal. Let’s look at some of the facts the Bible teaches us about Jesus Christ, then deal with some of the wrong thinking about Him.

Facts Concerning Jesus

2,000 years ago, in Israel, Mary and Joseph, both descended from King David, were engaged to each other. The angel Gabriel visited Mary and told her that “the power of the Most High” (Luke 1:35) would “overshadow” her, and that she would conceive a child. God’s power (the Holy Spirit) caused Mary to become pregnant. An angel also told Joseph about this great event, and instructed him to name the child “Jesus” (a Greek version of the Hebrew name “Joshua”, meaning “God will save”), because “he shall save his people from their sins”.(Matthew 1:21) Mary was a virgin, so the conception of Jesus was one of the great miracles of scripture. Mary and Joseph did as they were instructed, and the child was born in a manger (feed trough) in a stable in Bethlehem. (Luke 2:7)

Notice that Jesus was “born”. Scripture never describes His coming into human existence as “God turning into man,” or similar terms. Jesus had a very clear beginning of existence, at the point of his conception. So He was “born of a woman” (Galatians 4:4) , Mary, yet God was His Father. He is called “Son of Man” (Mark 10:45) and “Son of God,” (Matt 27:43, 54) but never “God the Son”.

Jesus grew up as an ordinary child in an ordinary household. By the age of twelve, He had an extraordinary grasp of the Hebrew scriptures (the Old Testament). He was able to confound the religious experts with His understanding of God’s word, yet at the same time He remained obedient to His parents.(Luke 2:41-52)

At the age of thirty, Jesus began His public ministry, teaching the good news (“gospel”) of the Kingdom of God. The ceremony that marked this beginning was His baptism, by His cousin John The Baptist.(Mark 1:1,9). John understood that Jesus was destined to great things, and initially thought that he was unworthy to baptize Jesus, but Jesus insisted that this was the appropriate manner for Him to “fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15) – in other words, to demonstrate His obedience to God.

Jesus conducted his ministry with the help of twelve hand-picked men called apostles. (Luke 6:13-16). After 3 ½ years He was put to death by crucifixion. (Luke 23:33). This was a form of criminal punishment used by the Romans. (Luke 23:39-41). The Bible is very clear in emphasizing that Jesus did nothing deserving of death. (Acts 2:23-24; Acts 4:10-12; 1 Peter 2:21-24; 1 Peter 3:18). In fact, he lived a completely sinless life. (Hebrews 4:15). By human standards, His execution was completely unjust. However, this was all part of God’s plan of redemption for mankind, and showed God’s complete righteousness. (Romans 3:21-26) We’ll explain
more about this in a later article, titled “The Role of Christ Today”.

After 3 days inside a tomb, Jesus was miraculously raised from the dead. Unlike others who had been raised before him, such as Lazarus (John 11:43-44), He was raised to immortality. After 40 days, He ascended to heaven, from the mount of Olives, which is a hillside overlooking the city of Jerusalem. His disciples watched His ascent, as two angels stood by and told them that, one day in the future, Jesus would return physically and visibly to that exact same spot, to establish the Kingdom of God on earth forever. (Acts 1:9-11).

Jesus is now an immortal, glorified being who sits at the right hand of God, as the head of the Church, and High Priest of all who believe in His name and follow Him. (Hebrews 4:14-16).

Summary of the facts

  • Jesus was born
  • Jesus lived a life of obedience to and dependence upon God
  • Jesus was tempted, in the same ways all of us are tempted, but He never sinned
  • Jesus died
  • Jesus was raised from the dead by God
  • Jesus was made immortal
  • Jesus now sits on the right hand of God in heaven, waiting for the appointed time to return to earth.

These facts demonstrate the clear, simple truth of the Bible: Jesus was God’s son – a very special person, completely unique in mankind’s history- not only because of His family tree, but also because of His total obedience to God. But, Jesus was NOT God ! In fact, scripture is emphatic that He was a separate and distinct person from God:

“There is one God, and one mediator between man and God, the man Christ Jesus” – 1 Timothy 2:5

Why Jesus Cannot Be God

The table below shows why Jesus cannot be God:

Jesus Reference God Reference
Is called ‘Son of God’ Luke 1:35 Is called ‘God the Father’ John 6:27
Was born Luke 2:11 Is from everlasting to everlasting Psalm 90:2
Was tempted Matthew 4:1-25 Cannot be tempted James 1:13-14
Overcame sin Hebrews 4:15 Cannot sin Matthew 5:48
Was obedient to God Philippians 2:9 Is supreme Psalm 24:1
Was seen 1 John 1:1 God cannot be seen 1 Timothy 6:16
Had limited knowledge Matthew 24:36 Knows everything 1 John 3:20
Died Acts 2:23 God is immortal – cannot die 1 Timothy 6:16
Was raised from the dead Acts 2:24 God raised Him ! Acts 2:24
Now sits at God’s right hand Acts 2:33 God’s throne always in heaven Psalm 103:19
Will return to earth Acts 1:11 Is everywhere present Psalm 139:7-16

Jesus Christ Glorified

Jesus Christ is worthy of our praise and devotion because of His life of total obedience to God, and because of the great sacrifice He made on our behalf. Jesus opened the way to salvation for all mankind because He submitted even to the point of death on the cross. (Philippians 2:8).

The Bible explains that this is the reason that Jesus was glorified, and is to be worshipped by us – not because He was God, but because He overcame sin by His sinless life, and so conquered death.(Acts 2:24) Examine these passages closely:

Hebrews 2:9 – But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.”
Acts 2:32-33 – “This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.”
Acts 3:13-15 – “The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.”
Hebrews 5:8-9 – “Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.”

Jesus Is Our Example

While it is true that Jesus was NOT God, He did show us, by His perfect life and character, what God is truly like. Before Jesus was born, people could know and understand God to a certain degree, but it required a completely obedient Son to fully demonstrate God’s character. (Hebrews 1:1-3). This is what John meant when he wrote “No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” (John 1:18 AV). The Bible also speaks of Jesus being the “likeness” of God, (2 Corinthians 4:4-6) just as Adam and Eve had been created prior to their sinning in the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 1:27). He is a true and perfect representation of God’s character. As such, Jesus teaches us by His example how we can be like God – not just by the things He said, but by the way He behaved. And while none of us will ever be able to live completely sinless lives as Jesus did, it does not mean we should stop trying. God has provided us the best example we could possibly have to follow by giving His only Son. This is God’s ultimate expression of love to us,(John 3:16) and we should return that love by trying to live faithful lives of obedience to Christ’s commandments, for God’s glory.


God’s Promises To Abraham, David, Jesus and You

The whole of the Bible, not just the New Testament by itself, is important for providing instruction concerning God’s Truth. In fact, most of New Testament teaching is based heavily on Old Testament principles. Nowhere is this more evident than in the promises that God has made in His Word. We have already learned about the first promise of a Savior, made to Adam and Eve after their transgression in Eden. Here’s a summary of the rest of the promises we will be considering in this section:

  1. Promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
  2. Promises to King David
  3. Promises to Jesus Christ
  4. Promises to Believers in Christ

We’ll look at each set in more detail:

Promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

Four thousand years ago God put into motion a major phase of his plan in calling out a people for his name. (Deut 28:9-10; Numbers 6:27. See also Acts 15:14). He did this by selecting a man, Abram (later named Abraham), and a woman, Sarai (later, Sarah), from Ur of the Chaldees, who were to be the father and mother of this nation. God spoke with Abram and told him to leave his country and go to a land that he would show him. (Genesis 12:1). He also promised Abram that he would be a great nation, and that not only would he be blessed, but that he would be a source of blessing for all the families of the earth. (Genesis 12:2-3). Abram and Sarai moved with other members of their family from Ur to Haran in Mesopotamia. It was here that Abram’s father Terah died. After this Abram and his relatives moved on to a land that was named after Noah’s grandson Canaan,(Genesis 9:18; Genesis 12:5) the son of Ham . This is the land we know today as Israel or Palestine.

After the journey from Haran, Abram and his family arrived in the town of Shechem where God promised Abram, that his descendants would inherit the land of Canaan. (Genesis 12:7; Genesis 13:14-17; Genesis 15:18-20; Genesis 17:7-8). This promise was repeated to him several times. In due time Sarai conceived and gave birth to a son who was named Isaac, in accordance with God’s will. Genesis 17:19; Genesis 21:1-3). He was to be the son through whom the promises that God had made to Abram would be fulfilled. Shortly before the birth of Isaac Abram’s name was changed from Abram (meaning “exalted father”) to Abraham (meaning “father of a multitude”) to symbolize the role that he was to play as the father of many peoples. (Genesis 17:5-6. Abraham was also the father of other nations through his second wife Keturah. See Genesis 25:1-4).

The first major event recorded in the life of Isaac involved a request that God made of Abraham concerning him. God asked Abraham to take Isaac to mount Moriah, which is close to Jerusalem, (Genesis 22:1-2; 2 Chronicles 3:18), and offer him there as a burnt offering. Abraham showed great faith in determining to comply with God’s request, although an angel prevented him from actually carrying it out. It was after he had proved his faith in this way that God gave him the promise that his descendants would have dominion over their enemies.(Genesis 22:16-17). Abraham becomes the father of the Jewish nation (the term “Hebrew” is first used of him,) – see Genesis 14:13. He becomes father of the faithful: all those who live by faith in God.

Here’s a sample of the passages that concern God’s promises to Abraham:

“Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.…”. Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” – Genesis 12:1-3, 7
“The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever. I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted.” – Genesis 13:14-16
“And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness” – Genesis 15:5-6
“When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, 2that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” 3Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, 4″Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. 5No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. 6I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. 7And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. 8And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.” – Genesis 17:1-8
“(God) said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, 18and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” – Genesis 22:16-18

From these texts, we can summarize these important promises God made to Abraham:

  • God promised the Land of Canaan (Israel) to Abraham and his offspring (descendants) forever.
  • Abraham would be the father of many nations
  • Abraham would have a great many descendants
  • Those who bless Abraham and his descendants would be blessed, those who curse him would be cursed.
  • Abraham and his descendants would be God’s people, and He would be their God, forever. (See also Revelation 21:3)

God is faithful, and does not break His word, so although these promises have yet to be fulfilled, they will be at some time in the future, and they can include us! We’ll see how later on.

Promises To King David

David was a faithful Israelite who was described as “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22). He was also King of Israel for many years, and unlike many of the kings, he was considered righteous. David wanted to build a house in which to worship God, but instead God told him that He would make David’s lineage (his “house”) continue on forever.
This promise to David became an extension of the promises to Abraham, and introduced the notion of a future King and a Kingdom:

“When your days are fulfilled to walk with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. (Psalm 89:26-27). I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from him who was before you, but I will confirm him in my house and in my kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever.” – 1 Chronicles 17:11-14

David had a son, Solomon, who did build a house, or temple, to God. However, Solomon’s reign did not last forever. Nor did his descendant’s. Even though aspects of this prophecy could be applied to Solomon, it has a more complete fulfillment in the Lord Jesus Christ, as we shall see next.

Promises To Christ

Jesus was to be the subject of God’s promises to David. He would be the true Son of God, in a very real and special way, as He would be conceived by means of the Holy Spirit, the power of God, overshadowing Mary. (Luke 1:35).

The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to bless her, and to explain how her Son would be the greater Son of David, spoken of in that prophecy to David 1,000 years before:

“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” – Luke 1:31-33

Clearly, Gabriel is echoing the words of 1 Chronicles 17:11-14. Another New Testament passage also makes reference to this promise directly, when describing Christ’s superior position in the order of creation when compared to that of angels:

”having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say,
“You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? (see Psalm 2:7)
Or again,
“I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”? – Hebrews 1:4-5

The promises to Abraham also have their primary fulfillment in Christ. You may recall how we learned that the promises were made to Abraham and his offspring (Genesis 13:15, for example). The apostle Paul explains the use of this word “offspring” in this way:

“Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ.” – Galatians 3:16

So God’s promises to Abraham involved Christ – they pointed to Christ, and they were made for Him! To summarize, then, God promises Jesus Christ that he will:

  • Be the true Son of God
  • Sit on the throne of David
  • Reign over a never-ending Kingdom
  • Inherit the land promised to Abraham forever. (See Romans 4:13, where Paul identifies the “land” as encompassing the whole world.)

Although Christ was expected to come as a triumphant King during His ministry, instead He was subject to a humiliating death on the cross. But one day He will return from
heaven to claim what is rightfully His, what has been promised Him by His Father, and He will reign with the saints on earth forever.18 Concerning this Kingdom, the prophet Daniel writes:

“And in the days of those kings (at the end of human history) the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever,” – Daniel 2:44

Promises To Believers in Christ

Many of the promises that were given to Abraham and Christ also apply to believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Earlier in Chapter 3 of Galatians, Paul writes about the association of those who live by faith, whether Jew or non-Jew, with Abraham:

“just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”- Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.” – Galatians 3:6-9.

We become associated with Abraham if we believe God’s promises. We become “blessed with faithful Abraham”. We are also closely related to Christ through these same promises:

“for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ… And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.” – Galatians 3:26-27, 29

By belonging to Christ, through baptism (see article 8 ) and continued faith, we become the heirs of the promises made to Abraham, and will share in the rulership of God’s kingdom with Christ. This is the promise of eternal life, for all those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. What a wonderful promise!


Why You Need Salvation

Life Without God is Empty

Without faith in God, our life is futile. We simply live, grow old and die. Despite all the accomplishments we may achieve in this life, the end is the same for rich and poor, wicked and righteous: death. The Bible describes life “under the sun,” or without God, (Ecclesiastes 1:2-3) as “vanity,” or “emptiness”. You have probably felt that sense of emptiness at one time or another, and felt that there must be more to life than a series of fleeting moments of joy and sadness.

Continue reading


The Bible is Source of Salvation

In our previous article we stated our belief that the Bible is the wholly inspired word of God. In this article we show how the Bible is the only source of information for us to have a relationship with God, and how it is the source of salvation.

Source of Salvation and Faith

Because the Bible is a result of divine inspiration, it is like no other written text. It possesses qualities that make it unique and it changes the lives of those who believe  its message. The following passages provide examples of these qualities and effects:

“… and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:15-17)

The scriptures instruct us concerning salvation and provide us with the necessary doctrine, reproof and instruction in righteousness to ensure that we bring forth the fruit of faith, good works. Salvation comes through faith in Christ Jesus and it is the word of God that produces faith:

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)

Being Born Again

In Jesus’ parable of the sower, the seed represents the word of God (Matthew 13:19) and it is this word that has the power to transform our lives. The beginning of this transformation is referred to in the Bible as being “born again”.  The word of God plays an essential part in this new birth:

“…since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God.” (1 Peter 1:23)
“Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” (James 1:18)

Jesus spoke about being born again in John 3 where he says to Nicodemus:

“Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”” (John 3:5-6)

Later on, Jesus explains what he means by “the spirit”:

“The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit[a] and life.” (John 6:63)

In other words, the word of God and ‘spirit’ are the same thing here!  Once we have been born again by believing the gospel message and by being baptized into the name of Jesus, the word of God will continue to work in our lives if we continue to read and meditate upon it. It will help us to overcome sin, it will sanctify us and cleanse us. (See Psalm 119:9,11, John 17:17, John 15:3).


When the apostle Paul said goodbye to the new believers in Ephesus, he warned them about false teachers and he directed them to the word of God to ensure that they would not be lead astray, that they would grow in their faith, and that finally they would receive the inheritance of eternal life:

I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. (Acts 20:29-32)

In the next article we will look at why we all need salvation. Thanks for reading!



Welcome! Thank you for this opportunity to present you with the true message of hope from the Bible, God’s word. God wants a better life for you, and for you to live forever. This is a series of articles on Bible Truths and Your Salvation. It explains several essential Bible teachings that directly affect your life now, and your future salvation. Our prayer is that after you have read all the articles you will understand more clearly what God requires of you, and of the next steps you can take to benefit from God’s personal offer of salvation to you.

(All Bible references are taken from the English Standard Version (ESV) of the Bible.)

An Essential Basis of Understanding

We hope you share our belief that the Bible is inspired by God, and is infallible, because this series is written based on acceptance of this essential premise. Belief in the inspiration of the Bible provides us the foundation for all other Bible teachings. While there are many different translations or interpretations of the Bible available to us, the original texts were written by men who were inspired by God. That is, God’s power, the Holy Spirit, worked directly on their minds to shape the words and thoughts they recorded (2 Peter 1:21). There may be errors in translation or transcription, but God Himself is infallible, and so is the expression of His will, which is contained in the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16).

Our Attitude to God’s Word

Our attitude to God’s word is important and we need to come humbly to its pages and recognize God’s spirit in its message. God reveals what pleases Him and what frame of mind is necessary on our part for His blessing to be upon us and for the word of God to work in our lives. Both Isaiah and James illustrate these principles:

Thus says the LORD: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest?
All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the LORD. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.(Isaiah 66:1-2)
Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)