The Son Is God
Orthodox Christians today believe that the Son, that is to say, Jesus Christ,
is God. With a profound comprehension of soul, they repeat the words of the
Creed, "I believe . . . . and in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten
Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages. Light of light, true God
from true God, begotten, not made, one in essence with the Father, from Whom
all things were made."
Christians believe quite correctly. Their belief is supported by Holy Scripture.
John the Evangelist tells us, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word
was with God and the Word was God." In this way he calls the Son and the
Word of God, God. He further informs us that the Son and Word of God existed
from the Beginning, that is, before Creation, before Time. He always existed,
together with the Father. He was and is inseparable from God the Father. And He
is Perfectly God. St. Paul complements this by saying, "Great is the
mystery of godliness--God appeared in the flesh." How? By the Incarnation
of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, the Son, Jesus Christ. Elsewhere, St.
Paul calls Christ Lord and God, Great God, Blessed God. But first St. Thomas,
after Christ's Resurrection, had called Christ, "My Lord and my God."
other places in Holy Scripture, the same Divine attributes are ascribed to
Christ that are also ascribed to the Father. He is called The One Who Existed
Before All Time, the All-mighty, the All-Knowing, Equal to the Father, Creator
of the World.
what we have said, from the Creed and Holy Scriptures, it becomes very clear
that the Son is Perfect God as is the Father. Christ Himself teaches that
"All must honour and worship the Son as they do the Father. He who does
not revere the Son, does not revere the Father." In other words, he who
denies the divinity of the Son, denies the divinity of the Father and,
therefore, is an unbeliever.
we have said above is the Orthodox faith. However, there are heretics. Sadly,
the heretics who deny the divinity of Christ insist that they are supported in
their heresy by Holy Scripture. They are the Arians of the period of the First
Ecumenical Council, the Jehovah Witnesses of today, and certain Protestants.
us see how and why they are mistaken. In the Gospel of St. John, at the Lord's
Supper, Christ says, "My Father is greater than I." What does this
mean? According to the heretics it means that since Christ regards the Father
as greater than Himself, He therefore is not equal to the Father and truly God.
But these words of Christ refer to His human nature and not to His divine
nature. As a man, Christ cannot really be equal to the Father. He is Perfect
Man, but no man, no matter how perfect he may be, can be God. What we should
keep in mind is that while the Son became man and took "the form of a
servant," He did not cease to be God, to remain always "in the bosom
of the Father." Never did He cease to be Perfect God. The real meaning of
the above words of Christ, "My Father is greater than I," is that He
is greater than I because you see Me now as a human being in the form of a
servant; however, I remain God "in the bosom of the Father," but I
will return to the Father also as human. At that time, My human nature will be
granted unlimited glory.
passage of the New Testament that is misinterpreted by the heretics to support
their deceptions is the discussion that Christ had with the wealthy young man.
The young man called Him "Good Teacher," and Christ replied,
"Why do you call Me good? No one is good except One, that is God."
Heretics ask how could the Son, Jesus Christ, be God since when the wealthy
young man's question was directed to Him, He Himself accepted by His answer
that He was not good, but that only God was good? Here we find again the same
misinterpretation. Why? Most simply, because Christ knows that the young man
sees Him as strictly human and nothing more. It is as if He were saying to the
young man: "Yes, you want to seem to be clever, but at least have some
respect for yourself. You know that the Perfect Good is God, and therefore you
do not believe in what you are saying." Here once more Christ regards
Himself as human in comparison with God, because that is how the young man
perceives Him, as human only. The interpretation given by St. John Chrysostom
of this passage is quite interesting, and so we will present it here. St. John
Chrysostom writes, "Attend more to the Lord's answer." He did not say
"No one is good except One, the Father," but rather, "No one is
good except One, God." He said this so that we might understand that He is
God and the Son of God, equal to and as good as God the Father."
Consequently, the Lord as God is unlimited Good, All-good, as is the Father and
the Holy Spirit.
Lord Jesus Christ, You were and are True God, God always "in the bosom
of the Father" before all ages. You accepted and received the form of a
servant. You became man for our salvation and You humbled Yourself all the way
to the Cross and death without ever ceasing to be the Perfect God. With all of
the ways in which You endured and suffered for us, show Your compassion still
and Your unlimited Love and Mercy for mankind, Your Creation. Do not forsake us
who believe in You and bear Your witness. Lead us near to You. Elevate us
spiritually daily. Forgive those who deny You and blaspheme You. Enlighten them
to recognize You. To live and to feel the warmth of Your Love and everlasting
happiness. Condemn no one. Save Your people, O Lord.