Jesus - Only Begotten Son Of God

by Harold Hancock


Scripture: Jn 3:16 Oct 1, 2023

Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, the sole divine representative sent by God to declare His righteousness, grace, and glory. Jesus came as a sacrifice to show God's love for us, and we must accept and obey Him or be guilty of trampling underfoot the precious blood of the Son of God. We must love and obey Jesus as the only begotten Son if we want to receive salvation.


If you have your Bibles, you may be opening them to the book of John in the third chapter. That's where we'll start our lesson in just a moment. While you're opening your Bible to that opening, let me take just a moment to express my word of appreciation for the presence of each of you. You're visiting with us.

We thank you for being here. You're visiting with us online. We thank you for, for that. And I'm grateful for the opportunity of speaking to you this morning. I found it amusing Wednesday night sitting in my pew and Josh talking about how the people had stepped all over his material. And then he introduced his lesson with John 3:16, and I knew that was my text this morning. If you have your Bibles, open to the book of John in the third chapter in verse 16. I suspect we all know it, but you can open it there. We'll be in the vicinity of John 3:16 several times during the lesson. We know that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

I think every one of us probably... Knows that that verse when he talks about the only begotten son is talking about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I suspect that I, and Reagan and others have spoken on this enough and pointed out the intent and purpose of this passage and have emphasized how important that word so is.

God so loved the world, not just that he loved us. But he so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. But I wonder how many of us really know and understand what is meant by the only begotten son of God. I'm kind of on a mission or a journey, I guess. A little before Easter, someone knocked at my door and was inviting me to a special service that that religious group was having.

And as we talked, it became evident that he had a high opinion of Jesus, but he didn't think Jesus was God. And so we set up an arrangement where we would study some by email, and that got laid aside for quite a while because of Bev's condition. But since that time, I've come back and I've studied the scriptures to show Jesus is God.

And several weeks ago, a month or so ago now, maybe longer. I preached a sermon called Jesus is God. Well, that demanded that I study a lot in John 1. That's the battle verse, I guess. Because that religious group doesn't translate that verse and say, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

They say, Was a God, and a little g. So, in studying that, I kept focusing on that passage, the Word. In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God. The Word was God. And so I preached a sermon not too long ago called Jesus is the Word. But as it dug deeper into the book of John, the first chapter, when you get down to verse 14, he begins to talk about the only begotten.

And in verse 18, he talks about the only begotten. And in John 3 and 16, he talks about the only begotten Son. And in John 3, 18, he talks about the only begotten Son. And in 1 John 4, in verse 9, he talks about the only begotten Son. And so I want to know more about what that means, the only begotten Son of God.

I want as we talk this morning, to just give you a little bit of information about this phrase, the only begotten Son. And I want you to notice that this word, only begotten, while it's two words in the English, it really comes from just one single Greek word, monogenes. It's not used exclusively of Jesus Christ.

I think it's only used by John of Christ, and I think it's translated only begotten every time in view of Christ. But that passage is actually used in Luke 7 in verse 12 when Jesus came into the city of Nain and saw the widow's son. And we're told in that verse that she was he was her only son. But it's that word only begotten.

If you look in the book of Luke... In verse 42, you would see that he uses this word again, describing Jeriash's daughter. And again, pointing out, not in calling her the only begotten, but saying that she was the only child. In the book of Luke, in the ninth chapter, in verse 38, it talks about one that was possessed by a demon.

And then, and this man. His father wanted him healed, or the demon cast out, but he points out it was his only son again, and he uses this word again in the book of Hebrews chapter in verse 17. The relationship between Abraham and Isaac is described as him being his only begotten son, or his begotten son.

But it's this word, only begotten again. And that's interesting because this shows us that it's not always about the order of birth. Because you and I know that Isaac was not really Abraham's firstborn. That he had a child by Hagar. And then years later, according to the promise, he had Isaac. But Isaac was the promised child and the prominent one.

And he became known as the only begotten.

Now, as I pointed out, the word... Only begotten, this word is used of Jesus five times, and every time it's used by John the Apostle in his writings.

Not only do you find the word only begotten, but we'd have to consider the phrase the Son of God. As you study this subject and that word or those words, son of God is really made up of a word son and then the word God. But that appears some 46 times in the New Testament in 45 verses. And if you're going to study the subject, you're not only got to study the phrase son of God, but you have to realize that there are times that.

Jesus speaks of Himself as being Son, or somebody else speaks of Him as being Son, and, and meaning He is the only begotten Son of God, but they just don't fill that out, and I didn't count the number of times for that, because the only thing you can do is run a concordance of all the times the word Son is used, and that's like 400 and something times, and then you go through and pick out.

Which ones are talking about Jesus to really understand more what son is talking about. And then I'd suggest to you that you need to remember that there are times when Jesus didn't call himself son, but he would refer to God as his father. For instance, when he prayed before the crucifixion, Father, if it'd be possible, let this cup pass from me.

And so he addresses God as Father. I told you in the beginning that I think all of us probably know that John 3, 16, the only begotten Son, is talking about Jesus. But I want for just a moment just to show you some affirmations of the fact that this is talking about Jesus when he talks about the only begotten Son.

First of all, in the book of Mark, I just want you to notice how Mark begins his gospel. He says, the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and our version says, comma, the Son of God. In other words, I'm going to tell you the good news about Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God. That's, that's it. And so right off in Mark's gospel, he affirms to us that the Son of God is Jesus Christ.

I find it interesting that the angel that announced the birth to Mary. And telling her that she would have a son, she says in Luke 1 and verse 32, he will be great. And will be called the Son of the Highest, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father, David. Notice this angel said, he will be called the Son of the Highest, talking about God.

And so this is an angel affirming Jesus is the Son of God. You have the testimony of John the Baptist. We're taking our text really from John. And I mentioned how this started really in John 1, but in John 1 verse 34, John the Baptist is mentioned, and he says, I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.

And, and when he made that statement, Jesus was approaching and he had seen him and he talked about, this is the one that I've come to, to witness, bear witness to that. This is the one that Isaiah was talking about that I should bear witness to as a voice in the wilderness. And he said, I testify that this, that is, Jesus is the Son of God.

And then you find Jesus himself affirms that he's the Son of God. If you're familiar with John the ninth chapter, you know that that's the occasion when Jesus saw a man that was blind and told him to go wash in the pool of Siloam and put the water in his eyes and, and be healed. And he did so. And later, the ones that saw him and who knew he had been blind, they cast him out because they didn't, they didn't Know how it had happened and why it had happened.

And so this man later comes in contact with Jesus. Now, he before was blind, but now he can see. And verse 35 of John 9 says, Jesus heard that they had cast him out. And when he found him, he said to him, Do you believe in the Son of God? Now listen, Jesus asked him, Do you believe in the Son of God? And he said to him, or he answered him and said, Who is he, Lord, that I may believe in him?

This man, even having been healed, still didn't realize he'd been healed by someone such as Jesus. He knew he'd been healed by him, but, but who was he? But now Jesus said, Do you believe in the Son of God? And he says, Who is he? And Jesus said to him, You have both seen him, and it is he who is talking with you.

In essence, Jesus is saying, I am the Son of God. And so by his own testimony, Jesus says, I am the Son of God. And what's so interesting about this is that there are some people That will affirm that Jesus never said that he was deity, or that he never said and claimed to be the Son of God. And yet, he's claiming to be the Son of God.

Not only that, but in the book of Matthew, in the 27th chapter, this is when Jesus is on the cross. And people are standing around and watching it. And some of those that are watching are the chief priests, and it says, That He said, this is their words, He said, I am the Son of God. We may not have, well we do really have the, the occasion where when He was before the council and the, and the chief priest, that they asked Him, tell us plainly, are you the Son of God?

And He says, thou sayest, which was in essence to affirm. And now He, they say, He said, He is the Son of God. And so this is not something that. That Jesus doesn't know that he's the Son of God. It's not something that he's got to rely upon the other people's testimony. He knows, and he says, I am the only begotten Son of God.

I am the Son of God. But not only that. And God Himself affirms that Jesus is the Son of God. In John the third chapter, you have the occasion where Jesus comes and He seeks to be baptized by John the Baptist. And John of course says, I ought to be baptized of you. We've already noted that he knew that Jesus was the one that Isaiah had talked about in saying that He was going to come and that He was preparing the way for the Lord and that was Jesus.

And so he says, I should be baptized of you. Jesus says no, righteousness must be fulfilled or that we might fulfill all righteousness by baptism. And so we John the Baptist baptized him and when he came up out of the water, it tells us that the voice from heaven spoke and said, this is my beloved son or my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.

And so God himself says, this is my son. And then later in Jesus's ministry, in the book of Matthew in the 17th chapter. Jesus takes some of his disciples, a few of them, goes up and he's transfigured. And you remember he's shown like life for a while. The glory of Jesus was shining through. And Peter was the one that said, you know, Moses and Elijah appeared on in the scene too.

Peter said, we ought to build three tabernacles, one for Moses, one for Elijah, and one for Jesus. And then again, that voice from heaven spoke. He said, this is my beloved son. Not Moses, not Elijah, Jesus. He is my beloved son. He is the son of God. And there's so many more that we could look at. Notice Nathanael, when God spoke to him, and remember, Nathanael Wanted to know if anything good could come out of Nazareth, but then he met Jesus, and Jesus told him about what he had been doing.

He said, Thou art the Son of God. You remember Peter in Matthew 16th chapter, when Jesus said, Who do you say that I am? He says, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And you would find the centurion that watched all the happenings at his crucifixion. And talks particularly about how the veil of the temple was rent and how the sun was darkened.

And it says, when he saw these things, he said, truly, this is the Son of God. No doubt anymore, this one hanging on the cross, he is the Son of God. And Martha, when... Jesus comes to raise Lazarus, says, I know you're the Son of God. And even demons were occasions would be cast out, and they would say, why have you come here, thou Son of God?

And so the spirit world knew that he was God, as well as the human people. Thou art the Son of God. But what does this mean? Thou art the Son of God. Well, I think most, perhaps, startling to people is sometimes is The phrase only begotten does not describe any part of the birthing process. When Jesus said he was the, or when John said he was the only begotten of God, he is not referencing his virgin birth.

Let me give you some quotes that I think will help us and, and show this. Let me just point out first of all, that only begotten is really not a good translation. That... I told you earlier that begotten is made up of, of a compound Greek word, mono, which means only, and then that just, and that doesn't even mean begot.

That's a different word than our normal word for begotten. And it really carries with it the idea of just singleness, or onlyness. And so, it's trying to get across to us the onlyness of Jesus. It's not that. His virgin birth. He was the only one born by virgin birth, but that's not what he's talking about.

He's the only son of God. Let me share with you some comments, and, and most of these are coming from Vines. And I, I'll tell you that I, I find it interesting. I think there's some people that overreach on this. I've got a book that I have enjoyed reading and learned a lot from, but, but he states, he says, the, the very term, only begotten proof that Jesus is deity.

Well, I'm thinking, what about all these other passages where that word's used talking about other people? Are they deity? And the answer's no. It doesn't, in and of itself, suggest deity. The term indicates that as the Son of God, He was the sole representative of the being and character of the one who sent Him.

That's what only means. He's the only begotten. Not the only one born of a virgin. He is that, but that's not the point. It is that He is the Son of God. He's the only Son of God. He's the one that is representing that God. It's a suggested, or a term suggested, of a unique relationship. And that's the reason you find like with Abraham in Hebrews 11.

It's not talking about the birth processes specifically. And he wasn't the first One born of Abraham, but he was a special because he was the child of promise and Jesus, of course, is Messiah. And he's the one that God sent as his sole representative. of who he was. The term does not imply the beginning of his sonship.

It is not generational as with mankind. In other words we take a look at me, and, and I'm a father, and I have children, and, and we think of the fact that I was here first, and I'm more mature and older than my sons, but they came, and, and they are growing in, in, in a way. And he's trying to tell us, that's not what this passage means.

It's not saying that, that he was at some time lesser than God the Father, and has grown. You remember that Jesus on occasion said, I'm equal to the Father. John 5 and verse 18, he says, Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the sabbath, he had healed a person on that occasion.

But also said he was, that God was his father, making himself equal with God. So, somehow with this term, Son of God, it's suggesting quality. Here's some comments by Vines on just the term Son, as we talk about the Son of God. An eternal relationship subsisting between the Son and the Father in the Godhead is to be understood.

This is to say, the Son of God. And his eternal relationship with the Father is not so entitled because he at any time began to derive his being from the Father, in which case he would not be co eternal with the Father. In other words, my son arrives or gets his being somewhat from me and he grows, but that's not the case with Jesus.

And that's not what he's trying to show in Only Begotten. If he was after God, he wouldn't be eternal, but you remember John 1, in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. So from all time, Jesus has been there, and he's, he's eternal. And so it's not a case of, of him growing into it. He says, but because he is ever has been the expression of what the Father is.

And he gives John 14, 19, He that has seen me has seen the Father. The words of Hebrews 1, 13, or 1, 3, Who being the fulgence of His, that is, God's glory, and every image of His, God's substance, are a definition of what is meant by Son of God, the absolute Godhead. Not Godhead, and secondary, that is again, lesser form derived sense, is intended in the title.

In other words, he's equal to God, and that's what this phrase, the Son of God, and the only begotten Son of God, really is trying to get across to us. That he is God, and deity, and he is equal with God the Father. And he came as a representative, the only representative God has of him here on this earth.

We do need to point out, there is a point in time that the Son of God, already the Son, even before he came here, because he was the representative of God and the relationship he bore with God, but he did become flesh. And that's mentioned in John 1, verse 3. 14 one of the places that, that's there, and, and talks about the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and He beheld, and we beheld His glory.

And so He says, yes, this sole One did come to this earth and was made flesh, and that's talking about the virgin birth. But just the term Son of God is not referring to the birth process that we have. But the question is, why did the only begotten Son come? And I suspect that somebody could study it and talk a lot longer than I'm going to talk about as to why Jesus came and why God sent Him as the only begotten Son of God.

And we're going to be brief. I, I, I want to suggest to you four things that He... We know that he came in order to declare God. One of the passages that we talked about are mentioned in John 1 and verse 18. It says, No one has seen God. Talking about God the Father. The only begotten Son of God, becoming flesh, living among mankind, and then returning to Heaven.

Or, or says, excuse me, No one has ever seen God. But the only begotten Son declares the Father to us. And so that's, that's what He does. He came to declare God to us. You remember, and we've, we've hinted at some of this already, John 10 and verse 30. Jesus said, I and the Father are one. He's capable of declaring the Son or the Father to us because He and the Father are one, He says.

He would even say in John 14 verse 9, He who has seen me has seen the Father. He doesn't mean you've looked upon the Father and, and seen him in person. But he says, you look at me and you see everything God the Father is. All of the characteristics and qualities that he has, you see that. Think about for a minute, what has God, or what has Jesus declared to us about God?

Well, he's declared to us, one, his righteousness, by, first of all, just living a righteous life without sin. And, and suggesting to us that God can't accept unrighteousness, that he's got to have and be, he is righteous and, and everybody that he has in contact with is going to be righteous if they're accepted of him.

A second thing, and this even in our texts, and for in John one, he declared his glory to us. Go back again to the Book of John in the first chapter in verse. 14, if you would.

He says,

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. So he says, we beheld Him, and what did we see? Well, we saw His glory, and that can include a lot of things. And we saw that He was full of grace and truth, and that's, that's part of what He's showing us.

His glory, how did He do that? Well, there's a passage in John 2, in verse 11, where Jesus works His miracle at At Cana, the first miracle, and he said, and his glory was seen. And so he showed us his glory by showing us his power and his might. And that he could do these miracles. He showed us this grace because he could take somebody and say, Thy sins are forgiven.

And because he showed us how to be forgiven. So he's showing us the righteousness of God. And he's showing us the grace.

Not only did he come to declare Jesus, that is, to show us, or not to show Jesus, but to declare God, the Father, to us. He was sent so we might hear Him. Go back in thought to the Transfiguration in John 17, 5, and And as I said, you have Moses and Elijah appearing and Jesus are all there together and Peter comes up with this idea, let's build three tabernacles.

One for Moses, one for Elijah, one for God. And God in essence said, that's not the way it's going to be. The voice is heard from heaven again and he says, this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. And different from the baptism, this time he says, Hear ye him. He came to speak for God. That's why God sent him.

He came to speak for God, and God says, Hear ye him. I'll just make a couple of points about why we should hear him. One, he is the son of God. That ought to settle the matter. But two, he spoke with authority. Matthew the seventh chapter, after he gets through with the Sermon on the Mount, they are amazed because he spoke with such authority.

And he spoke with such authority that he said, Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father. You're going to have to do it. Secondly, he spoke the words of salvation. Hebrews, the third chapter, he talks about the word of salvation. He said first spoken to us by his son.

We see that. Mark 16, 16. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. Or Matthew 28 28, about being baptized in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. He came to tell us words. Whereby we could be saved. And Peter would tell us in the book of Acts in the 4th chapter verse 12 that no one else has the words of salvation.

If we're going to learn how to be saved it's going to be because we have heard the words of Jesus. Maybe what's written by him or, or written and quoted by him or what is, his quotes or simply because John and other apostles are telling us his will. But it will be because we have heard His Word

and just hearing it's not enough. We've got to obey it. And that's in this hear ye Him, obey Him, if you want to be saved. A third thing I think you see is that He had to come for a sacrifice. I've thought about this for a little bit. It sounds to me kind of like, or my thinking is kind of like, and you can read the passage in Hebrews 10, 26 through 29, and it talks about the sacrifice of Jesus.

And then a little later, talking about some that reject that, talking about them trampling underfoot the Son of God. But this seems a little bit like the story of the hen and the pig that wanted to make supper for her family and He said, let's, let's make them supper, and the pig thought about it for a minute.

He wanted ham and eggs, and he said, that's just a contribution for you, talking to the hen. He said, but it's a sacrifice for me. Have you ever thought about how could Jesus, or how could God sacrifice for us, for salvation, and what He could give? I mean, He could speak anything into existence. If He said, you know, it's going to take, A king.

He could speak into existence. An earthly king? That's not, that's nothing for him. About the only thing that was really a sacrifice for God was giving up a son, a member of deity, and letting them come to the world, and die on the cross, and counting his blood as a propitiation for our sin. And that wouldn't have happened.

If Jesus hadn't come, and He is the only begotten Son of God. He is the only one that could serve as that sacrifice and, and so that it could be counted as a perpetuation for our sin. He's the only begotten Son. He's the only one that could do that. And then lastly, let me suggest to you that

He sent His Son so that we could see how much He loved us, and how much He wants us to be saved. And like we said before, when you read John the 3rd chapter and verse 16, God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Don't read it so fast and go through it so fast that you miss the soul. He loved us so, God so loved us that He gave His only begotten Son. He wanted us to be saved so much that He made that sacrifice of giving His Son to come and die on the cross so that we could be saved.

Go back and talk to Hebrews the 10th chapter where the writer of Hebrews talks about that Jesus is our sacrifice. And that if we accept that sacrifice, we can be saved. But then he talks about those who trample underfoot the precious blood of Jesus. Have you ever thought about the fact that if you turn your back on salvation, that you, in essence, are trampling underfoot the blood of the Son of God?

You are, in essence, if you're not seeking salvation, saying, So what, God? You gave up your only Son. I'm still going to do things my way.

So what if you died on the cross, God? I don't care. Doesn't mean anything to me. Didn't hurt me. Trampling underfoot, the Son of God. How would you like to stand before God and judge Him? And He'll point at you and say, You, my friend, are guilty of trampling underfoot, the Son of God. You might as well have been there at the cross, shouting, Crucify Him!

Crucify Him!

If you'd be the Son of God, come down off the cross. Not knowing that if you'd done that, you'd lost your salvation. But not caring that He is the Son of God.

Wonder what happened to that centurion that standing there watching all of these things and seeing Him on the cross came to the realization this was truly the Son.

And do we see Him truly? As the only begotten Son of God, realizing how precious He is, how great He is, and how that He is our only way of salvation. You have two choices this evening, or this morning. You can love Him and obey Him, and if you love Him, truly love Him, you will obey Him. Or you can ignore Him and be guilty of trampling the blood of Jesus underfoot.

You're here and haven't made the decision to serve Him and love Him. I hope that God's Word and God's Son will prick your heart and call you to come home today. As together we stand and sing.