Was Jesus Christ always the Son–even prior to His human birth?


The Bible reveals that Jesus Christ was always the Son of God; that is, the second member of the God Family. However, the Bible also reveals that Christ BECAME the Son of Man when He gave up His divine glory and became a human being.

Hebrews 1:2 states that God “has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.” The very next verse (verse 3) then describes Jesus, God’s Son, in this way: “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 at the right hand of the Majesty on high…”

From these two verses in Hebrews 1, we learn that God made the worlds through His Son–John 1 verifies this! In other words, God the FATHER made the worlds through His SON, as Hebrews 1:2 testifies. We also see that Jesus is described as being an exact image of God–a description that is, by itself, an indication of a father and a son. Add to this the fact that Jesus said that “‘…My Father is greater than I'” (Compare John 14:28).

The Father-Son relationship, existing from eternity, is the only way that the Bible accounts for a difference within the Family of God–both from and into all eternity. Otherwise, WHY is the Father greater than the Son? HOW did this come about? Was there a time when both were equal? The Bible does not teach this. It teaches that the Father was always greater than the Son–that is why the FATHER created everything THROUGH the Son. Note that God created through Jesus–He gave His Son a work to accomplish, and Jesus was and remains subordinate to His Father.

The Bible reveals that the Son of God willingly became–also–the Son of Man. He always was the Son of God, but He BECAME the Son of Man when He became a human being, living in the flesh without ever sinning. This is the reason why He–the “Man Christ Jesus”–is now our merciful High Priest and “Mediator between God [the Father] and men” (compare 1 Timothy 2:5). Christ always was and always will be the SUBORDINATE Son of God according to what is written in the Word of God.

We are setting forth below relevant sections from our booklet, “God Is A Family,” proving that Jesus Christ was always the Son of God, and that there was never a time when He was not the Son of God, or when the Father was not the Father:

“Some quote Romans 1:4 as proof of the concept that Jesus Christ—the second being in the Godhead—BECAME the Son of God at the time of His resurrection from the dead.

“In Romans 1:3–4, Paul states that God made a promise before ‘concerning HIS SON Jesus Christ our Lord who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection of the dead.’ Does this Scripture say that Christ became the Son of God through the resurrection of the dead? Without analyzing the rest of the Scriptures, and focusing on this passage alone, another possible way of understanding Paul’s statement could also be that the Son, who had been flesh, became again a powerful being through the resurrection from the dead. In other words, Romans 1:3–4 is not conclusive proof that Jesus Christ BECAME the Son of God at the time of His resurrection from the dead.

“Before we clearly present from the Bible what Romans 1:3–4 is saying, let us note another passage, Hebrews 1:5, which has been used in an attempt to prove that Christ BECAME the Son of God—that He was not the Son of God from all eternity. Hebrews 1:5 states, ‘For to which of the angels did He ever say: “You are My Son, Today I have begotten you”? And again: “I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son”?’ Does this passage mean that Christ became the Son of God when He came into the world (verse 6), and that God became the Father at that time? Another explanation—again, just looking at this passage alone—could be that God the Father begot the Son, Jesus Christ, as a human being at that time, and that God the Father will be, and has been, to Christ a Father in the truest sense of the word, as Christ showed through obedience in His human life that He was an obedient Son, even while in the flesh.

“When we view the passages in Romans 1 and Hebrews 1 in context with the other Biblical testimony, we must conclude that they cannot be used to validate the concept that Christ BECAME the Son of God at the time of His resurrection. If it were true that Christ became the Son of God through the resurrection, why did God the Father say before Christ’s resurrection, ‘This is My beloved SON, in whom I am well pleased.’ (Matthew 3:17)? When this event occurred, John the Baptist exclaimed, ‘And I have seen and testified that this is the SON OF GOD’ (John 1:34). Christ is identified many times in the New Testament as the ‘Son of God,’ prior to His death and resurrection (compare John 1:49; Matthew 4:3, 6; Matthew 8:29; Matthew 14:33)… The Jews KNEW that Christ claimed that He WAS the Son of God (compare Matthew 27:40, 43; Luke 22:70; John 9:35–37; John 10:33–36; John 11:4; John 19:7). When Christ died, the centurion recognized that Christ was ‘the Son of God’ (Matthew 27:54).

“In addition, we find a few Scriptures in the Old Testament that refer to Christ—the second being in the God Family—as the Son (compare Psalm 2:1–2, 7, 11–12; Proverbs 30:4). Generally, however, this terminology is not used in the Old Testament, as God was not clearly revealed as Father and Son in ancient times. Christ, as the Son of God, had to come to reveal the Father. The Jews were under the misimpression that they were worshipping ‘the Father.’ They did not understand that the God being functioning as the Messenger or Spokesperson of the Father and the God Family, who had been dealing directly with the ancients, was actually Jesus Christ. (Compare Christ’s words in John 8:54, ‘It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God.’). Still, there are Old Testament passages that speak about God as ‘the Father.’ References to ‘the Father’ in the Old Testament can be found in Isaiah 63:16; Malachi 1:6; 2:10; 2 Samuel 7:13–14; 1 Chronicles 22:10; and Deuteronomy 32:6. In those passages, Christ—the ‘Word’ or Spokesman for the Father—communicated to the people the words of the Father.

“Since God created everything through Christ, it is also said in Isaiah 9:6 that Christ will be called in the future—after His Second Coming—the ‘Everlasting Father.’ This statement proves, too, that Christ existed for all eternity. He is referred to here as the ‘everlasting Father’ or ‘the everlasting Source’ of everything—the ‘beginning of the creation of God.’ However, when the Bible speaks of the ‘Father,’ it normally refers strictly and exclusively to the highest God being in the God Family. We find, then, that God was identified in Scripture as the Father and the Son prior to the human existence of Jesus Christ. God has been a Family for all eternity…

“Returning to Romans 1:3–4, Paul is addressing the fact that Jesus was resurrected from the dead. This showed WHO Christ was. Notice again what Romans 1:2–4 really says. God the Father made a promise concerning His Son Jesus Christ. We read that the SON was born of the seed of David according to the flesh. We also read that the SON was declared to be the Son of God WITH POWER according to the Spirit by the resurrection from the dead. Christ was already the SON when He was born as a human being—but He became POWERFUL when He became once again a glorified God being. He came back to His disciples after His resurrection to prove who He was, that God the Father had raised Him back to life, and that all authority or ‘POWER’ had been given to Him by the Father (compare Matthew 28:18 in the Authorized Version; see also Hebrews 1:3).

“We also read in Romans 8:3 that God sent ‘His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh.’ Note whom God the Father sent to become a human being. It says, He sent ‘His own Son.’ Notice the same statement in Galatians 4:4: ‘When the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth HIS SON, born of a woman, born under the law.’ Hebrews 5:8 also emphasizes that Christ had to suffer in the flesh, although He was ‘a Son.’ He was already the Son of God PRIOR to His resurrection.

“In light of the foregoing, we understand that Hebrews 1 does not state that Christ was not the Son prior to His human existence. Rather, the Bible teaches consistently that the Son of God came into the world. He became a human being. Thus, He became the Son of Man as well.

“In thinking about Jesus in His preincarnate life, it is hard to describe the Father and Son relationship that existed from eternity in physical analogies. It is plain that although Christ was equal to God in one sense, He still said that God the Father was greater than He was (John 14:28). Also, Christ is and always has been the Spokesman for the Father and the Family of God. John 1:1 states: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was WITH God, and the Word WAS God.’ What is important to understand from this verse is that Jesus was with God (the Father) at the beginning of creation. Further, Christ will be known again to the nations as the Word of God, when He returns to this earth. Revelation 19:13 describes His Second Coming in this way: ‘He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.’

“God the Father holds a superior position in the God Family in that He represents the final authority. Christ was, always is, and always will be subject to the Father—a structure of relationship that has always existed. The role in the Family of God between Father and Son not only stretches back through eternity, but it is a role that will continue forever into the future. Several decades after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we find a statement that was recorded by John, an apostle of Jesus Christ: ‘The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which GOD GAVE HIM to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John’ (Revelation 1:1). Jesus is not doing this by Himself. Rather, the revelation is received from God the Father, and Christ, as Spokesman for the Family of God, then sends it through His angel to John. We read in 1 Corinthians 15:24, 27–28, ‘Then comes the end, when He [Christ] delivers the kingdom to God the Father… For “He [the Father] has put all things under His [Christ’s] feet.” But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.’ The head of Christ is and will be—and always has been—God the Father (1 Corinthians 11:3).

“It may be difficult for us to comprehend that Christ WAS always the Son, and that the Father WAS always the Father. We may not be able to explain how that could have been the case, thinking, in using a human analogy, that God the Father must of necessity have existed prior to the Son’s ‘birth.’ This is not true, however, since the Bible tells us that the Son—Jesus Christ, the Word— did not have a beginning. The Bible teaches us that God the Father was always the Father and that Christ was always the Son. We cannot explain this revelation with our limited human understanding. Neither can we explain how God could have lived from all eternity, or that there were even two God beings from all eternity. However, we know this to be true. The Bible teaches it, and we must accept it ‘by faith’ (Hebrews 11:6), although the human mind might not be able to fully comprehend it (compare Romans 11:33; 1 Corinthians 13:12).

“We have also learned from the Bible that God the Father is the highest in the Godhead. The Bible nowhere says that He was NOT the highest from all eternity. In fact, we read that God the Father created everything THROUGH Jesus Christ—so the highest God being created everything, including the spiritual world, through a God being ‘lower’ than He. If we were to speculate, we could imagine, perhaps, that BEFORE anything was created, the two totally ‘equal’ God beings decided between themselves that one should become the highest. However, the Biblical record does not leave room for such speculation. We are clearly taught that the Father always was the highest. We can’t explain or comprehend how that could be. Likewise, we might not understand how Christ could have always been the Son, or how the Father could have always been the Father. Still, the Biblical record is clear in this regard.

“Therefore, we must conclude that God HAS ALWAYS BEEN a Family—and that God IS a Family today, presently consisting of the Father and the Son.”

Lead Writers: Norbert Link and Dave Harris

©2023 Church of the Eternal God