Bible Question:

Do you believe in the eternal sonship of Jesus? Was Jesus already the Son of God before His incarnation, or did He become the Son of God after He was born as a man? Where do we find it in the Bible?

Bible Answer:

Yes, Jesus was the son of God before He came into this world through a woman. The expression “son of God” does not mean that Jesus was born. It was another expression referring to God. Here are a series of passages that teach Jesus existed before he became a man. That is, before He was incarnated.

John the Baptist’s Statement

Our first two passage summaries many details.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. (NASB) John 1:1-3

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John [the Baptist] testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'” For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. (NASB) John 1:14-17

The second passage tells us that the Word became a human who lived with us and that the Word existed before John the Baptist. Who is the Word? He is Jesus Christ, according to verse 17. If we compare Luke 1:57-66 and Luke 2:1-11, we discover that John the Baptist was actually born before Jesus was born. Therefore, when John said that Jesus existed before he did, John revealed that Jesus existed before He was born into this world.

Now we look at the first passage and discover that the Word or Jesus Christ existed in the beginning of time. He was with the Father and He was God. This is true because God is three persons, or a Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. We can call God a plural-one. Notice that Jesus Christ brought everything into existence. He made the world that later He was born into.

Jesus’ Statement

In another amazing passage found in John 8, we discover that Jesus, Himself, claims to have existed in eternity.

Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” So the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple. (NASB) John 8:56-59

The Jews were upset with Jesus because He claimed a) to exist before Abraham and 2) to be God. Jesus claimed to be the eternally existing God when He said that He was the “I AM.” Listen to God’s statement when He spoke to Moses.

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” (NASB) Ex. 3:14

God said that He was the “I AM” and Jesus did too! The Jews understood that Jesus was claiming to be the eternal God. That is why they wanted to stone Him. So Jesus reveals that He existed before He took on human flesh.

The Apostle Paul’s Statement

The Apostle Paul also indicates that Jesus existed before He was born as a baby.

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. (NASB) Col. 1:16-17

Jesus created the heavens and earth. This passage reveals that Jesus existed before heaven was made and the angels were created. He created the very earth that He would later walk on and die on.

Conclusion:

He created everything and He continues to hold everything together. Only God can hold the universe together. No mere human can do that. Jesus is God or God the Son – part of the pulral-one. He existed before anything was created. He has always existed. When He became a human, He came for a reason – to die for us. He came so that He could forgive our sins. But we must believe Him first.

Reference Links:

Jesus Our Savior – Discipleship Series
Is Jesus God in the O.T.?
Did Jesus ever say that He was the Son of God?
Did Jesus ever claim to be God?