Is the Son the Father?

Jesus is the Son of God, and Jesus is God. Jesus is the Son in his humanity, and Jesus is the Father in his Deity, but this is not the same thing as saying the Son is the Father. There are many distinctions between the Father and the Son. There is a difference in power, and a difference in knowledge. There is a definite distinction between the two. Just because there is a distinction, does this make them two ‘persons’ within the Godhead?

What the Father is

The Father is God. He is Spirit. He is Deity. He is the Creator. The Father is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient.

Deuteronomy 32:6  Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee?

Isaiah 63:16  Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O LORD, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.

Malachi 2:10  Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?

What the Son is

The Son is human. The Son is the only begotten of the Father. The Son is our sacrifice. He is subordinate to the Father.

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.

Romans 5:10  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Galatians 4:4  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

Hebrews 1:1-5  God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,  2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;  3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;  4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.  5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

Who Jesus is

Jesus is not just God, or just the Son of God. Jesus has a Divine nature and a human nature. Jesus is both the Father and the Son. He is both God and man. He is both Divinity and humanity. Jesus has two natures. Each nature cannot be substituted for the other. Jesus was the one God manifest in flesh. Jesus had a human body, soul, and spirit, and the one Divine Spirit. Jesus was fully God and fully man.

As God, Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead, performed miracles, walked on water, and arose on the third day. As a man, Jesus slept, wept, ate, drank, prayed to God, and died for our sins.

In his Deity, Jesus is the Father

Isaiah 9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 63:16  Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O LORD, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.

John 10:30  I and my Father are one.

John 14:8-11  8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.  9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?  10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.  11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

1 John 3:1-5  Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.  2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.  4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.  5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

Revelation 21:5-7  5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.  6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.  7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

In his humanity, Jesus is the Son

Matthew 1:18  Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Colossians 1:13-15  13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:  14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:  15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

Hebrews 1:1-9  God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,  2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;  3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;  4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.  5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?  6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.  7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.  8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.  9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

The Son is not the Father. Jesus is the Son, and he is the Father, but his role as Father is not the same as his role as Son.

If there was a distinction in ‘persons’ within the Godhead, this would make the Son subordinate and inferior to the Father in Deity (Bernard, p. 186). This would make the Father superior to the Son. The Son would not be God, because God by definition cannot be subject to anyone (Bernard, p. 186). God has all knowledge. If the Father knows something that the Son does not (such as the second coming of Jesus- Mark 13:32), this would mean that one member of the Godhead had knowledge that another member did not have. This causes many problems with co-equality within the Godhead.

These distinctions are not referring to different ‘persons’ within the Godhead. They are in reference to the two natures of Jesus. As God the Father, Jesus knew all things. As the Son of God, Jesus did not know all things. As the Father, Jesus answered prayer. As the Son, Jesus prayed to the Father.

Jesus did not ‘un-deify’ himself to become a man. He did not ‘sub-ordinate’ himself so one member of the Godhead could pray to another. The human role of Jesus is subordinate to the Deity of Jesus.

John 5:19  Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

The Son was sent from God.

John 3:17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

John 6:38  For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

Jesus was sent from God as a man the same way we are sent.

John 17:18  As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

Jesus did not have to pre-exist as the Son in heaven in order to be sent. We are sent just like he was sent.

Verses that describe a distinction between the Father and the Son are not describing multiple ‘persons’ within the Godhead. Instead, they are describing the two natures of Jesus. They are describing the relationship between the Deity of Jesus and the humanity of Jesus. Even though Jesus is the Son, and Jesus is the Father, it is not correct to say that the Son is the Father. The two terms are not interchangeable because they refer to different aspects of Jesus. Jesus is the Father, but not from his humanity. Jesus is the Son, but not from his Deity.

References

Bernard, David. (2001). Oneness of God, The

            Hazelwood: Word Aflame Press

2 Comments

  1. Brother, I appreciate your enthusiasm for the Godhead. Without proper understanding of the Godhead we can’t figure out how to baptize the way the Bible says to. (Acts 2:38, Matt 28:19, Acts 4:12).
    I believe what you are saying is that the Son role of the father is humanity alone? We must understand the duality of Christ. To say that the Son is not the father is a dangerous statement that could be misunderstood to say you believe Jesus is not the father. The man Jesus is not the father, but the God Jesus is. Jesus is the only God we will see in heaven. There is no distinction in the Godhead, b/c the son has been glorified and given a name that’s above every other name. The son is the father therefore b/c Jesus said I and my father are one, but the humanity of the son was 100% humanity. When I pray to my heavenly father I am praying to Jesus. 
    A fellow apostolic brother
    -Justin Boling 

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