The Son of the Father

Posted under The Rectory Bulletin | Westminster Confession of Faith

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth… No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.” (John 1:14, 18)

“but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,” (Hebrews 1:2–3)

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” (Colossians 1:15)

This small collection of three passages from the pen of the Apostle John, the Apostle Paul and whoever wrote the book of Hebrews have an deep unity. They speak of Christ not as a wonder-worker or simply a religious leader. They don’t accord him the honour of “great teacher” or “inspirational leader”, but they all wish to get to a deeper reality. Rather than focus on the surface - the words and deeds of Jesus - they want to dive into the depths of who Jesus is.

When you look at the answers they give as they resurface, you find a great desire to show the close, intimate relationship between Son and Father. Jesus makes the father known as he walked in ancient Judaea. “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Jesus is the “radiance of the glory of God”. More, “the exact imprint of his nature”. Paul adds that Jesus is the “image of the invisible God”.

Taken together all of these point to the fact that Jesus is what one writer called the “appearing God”. He is God made visible to the human eye. So it is that Jesus is not another God, but simply the God. God made manifest. The God made known. The image of the invisible God.

Simply God.

The Uncreated Father

In the beginning, God... (Genesis 1:1) - God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14) - Often when you meet someone, you ask them: “where are you from”. God alone can answer: nowhere. He just is. In the beginning God was already there, and his name is simply “I AM WHO I AM”. He just is. We can describe him, but we cannot define him. Deeper than all my thought, emotions and intuition is God. Who is.

The Spirit of God

"But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.” (John 15:26) - And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” (Galatians 4:6) - Here then is the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. This Spirit is as much God as the Father and the Son are, but we must be careful not to think of him simply as some vague force.

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