Luke 1:35:
And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

The term, “son of God,” occurs 48 times in the KJV. All of them are found in the New Testament, except the one in Daniel 3:25 (the use of which refers to an angel, Daniel 3:28; see also Job 1:6; 2:1). Jesus is God’s Son in that he was conceived in Mary by the Holy Spirit. God placed seed in her from which she conceived. This was explained to Mary in Luke 1:35 (above) before it ever happened. It’s the seed of the father that produces a son, and Jesus Christ is identified as “the Son of God” frequently in the Bible both by God in the narrative (Mark 1:1) and by others who recognized the truth from what he did (Matthew 14:33; 27:54) or how God revealed it to them (Matthew 16:16 & 17).

“Son of God” occurs 10 times in the Gospel of John which is the most of any book. John declared the purpose of the writing of his gospel was so that “we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.” The term refers to the majesty, position, and power of Jesus. The Greek word for son is huios, which emphasizes one’s legal standing. A “huios” is a son old enough and mature enough to take on adult family privileges and responsibilities. All Christians are dear children (teknon) of God, but those who are led by the Spirit (Romans 8:14) are mature enough to be called “sons” (huios, legal heirs; Galatians 4:7) and to have more privileges and responsibilities. Jesus demonstrated this from the very beginning of his ministry (Luke 4:1). It is like coming of legal age.

“Son of God” was a much more cogent and powerful term in the biblical culture than it is in our modern culture. In the “patron and client” culture of the Bible, the son of a powerful person had power and authority simply by virtue of who he was. However, as any honorable and devout child, Jesus did not abuse or take undue advantage of his position but obeyed his Father and did what God asked of him, even though it meant terrible suffering and even his death. “Though he were a Son, yet he learned obedience by the things which he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8). Having been obedient even unto death, His Father recognized his maturity, raised him to His own right hand (Ephesians 1:20) and gave him “all authority in heaven and on earth…” (Matthew 28:18).

Jesus Christ lived his life in such a way that God saw fit to make him the very foundation of the Church, the body of Christ today. The relationship that God had with His beloved son is held forth as the standard for every Father/son relationship.

Ephesians 1:3:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

The relationship God had with Jesus is available to each of us today. Indeed we have Christ in us the hope of glory so we can walk as he did (I John 2:6). As “sons of God” via the new birth, we should learn from his example. It is one thing to be happy to have the privileges of being born into the family of God enjoying our righteousness which was imputed by faith and our authority to use the name of Jesus Christ. However, it is another thing to have those family privileges established and flourishing in a life of obedience and sacrifice. Jesus showed us how to walk as children of God. We need to honestly evaluate our lives, and if we are not serving as we should, make the necessary changes to “live a life worthy” of our family name (Ephesians 3:15; 4:1). If we serve and sacrifice here and now, we will reign with Jesus in the future (II Timothy 2:12).

During his trial before the Jewish leaders, the High Priest demanded that Jesus tell him if he were the Christ, the son of God (Matthew 26:63). When Jesus replied, however, he referred to himself and his dominion as the “son of man” instead of his legal standing as the “son of God” (Matthew 26:64). The Jewish leaders responded by accusing Jesus of blasphemy (Matthew 26:65-66) and besought Pilate to put him to death because he claimed to be the Son of God” (John 19:7). Such a claim hardly goes unnoticed. Have you made such a claim?

By Wayne Clapp