Reading: Hebrews 1
Mankind is also the image of God in another way: in the relationship parents-children. The Son of God is begotten of the Father, before all ages. Begotten, not made. As image of God, mankind is begotten of one man, Adam. Adam (Man) is called the son of God (Luke 3:38). Adam and Eve, being one flesh, brought forth children. From the unity between husband and wife children are created. The children are of the same nature, are of the flesh and blood of Adam. Also now, children are the flesh and blood of their parents. They inherit the DNA from their parents. There is a close natural unity between parents and children. Even so much that before birth the child is still in the mother: one with the mother, while at the same time its own being, a complete person.
The father – son relationship, or broader the parent – child relationship, reflects the relationship between God the Father and God the Son. The son is begotten of the father. Jesus Christ is begotten of the Father, before all ages. He is begotten, not made. We, human beings, begotten and made. God made us in the womb (Psalm 139). We are the image of God. The father-son relationship reflects part of the unity between God the Father and God the Son, but it is only part. Since it is an image, it cannot capture the unity in God in fulness.
Jesus Christ, begotten of the Father, is called the express image of God the Father (see Hebrews 1:3). God reveals Himself to us through His Son. We cannot see God, the Father. But God the Son assumed human nature and in Him God revealed His love to us.
God the Father and God the Son, together with God the Holy Spirit, are from eternity. Without beginning. It is impossible for us to understand. God is eternal, God surpasses eternity. God created us in time, so that we could reflect this Father – Son relationship. The angels as heavenly spirits were not created in the way God created mankind. God does not say about the angels that they are His heir. He does say that about mankind: Christ is the heir and we are joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). The angels are all ministering spirits.
Angels were all created from the beginning, as eternal beings. We are created in time. In time, God creates and continues to create, by bringing forth and making His creatures bring forth new life. Even though God is eternal, even surpasses eternity, He is not a static being. The realm of eternity was created by Him, but also the realm of time. In time we can understand part of God which we might not have been able to understand if we were eternal.
God the Son begotten of the Father before all ages (Nicene Creed) means that there is a certain order in God. This order is reflected in this creation. However, we cannot say that the one (Father) is higher than the other (Son). The three persons in the trinity are all co-eternal with each other and co-equal (art. 26 Athanasian Creed). Here again, the relationship parents-children shows us a bit of how God is but is also limited. Children are begotten by their father, born of their mother, but are not equal with their parents.
Key Text: Romans 8:16-17: The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
Meditation: We are children of God, joint heirs with Christ. We will inherit this entire creation. We will reign with Christ over all creatures (Lord’s Day 12). Do we need to worry when we see evil men enriching themselves at the cost of the righteous? Or when governments deny us financial support where we believe we have the right to receive it (e.g. support for our Christian schools)? See Psalm 49.