Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sons of God

Most Holy Mother
I cannot get that question off my mind.
The question  about the "children of God."

The point raised by my friend  was the meaning of John 1:12-13. "But to as many as received him he gave the power of becoming sons of God: to those who believed in his name: who were born  not of blood, nor of the will of of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" Like much of John, this statement is rather obscure and complex  in its implications.

Jesus was the only "begotten son" of God. "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered him, "You are Christ, the Son of the living God". Jesus replied: "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah". (Mat 16:15-17). Disregarding the adoptionist approach for the moment (that Jesus was fully human born of Joseph to Mary and 'adopted' by God at baptism), we need to accept that "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16 ). In I John 4-9 John adds "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him." John  says again in 3:6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit ", an obvious reference to the divine nature of the birth of Jesus.

Taking John 3:6 and John 1:12-13 together "son of god" becomes an amazingly complex phrase. Jesus is referred to as the Son of God several times in the New Testament. No one else is ever referred to in the New Testament as the son of god. And yet John says the power to confer paternity from God himself on oneself is given to him who accepts "Him", presumably Jesus himself. [Now that is one convoluted sentence !! Complicated use of words--simplify]. But what is the meaning of the term "he gave the power of becoming sons of God". The power was evidently given by Jesus. The power, it would appear was given to "as many as received him". Again I John 3:1 says "Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knows us not, because it knew him not."

One must assume that God has many children, multitude of children as it were. The word "begotten" is the key to John 1:12-13. It is one thing to be a begotten son, and quite another to be a son by option.

Evidently, the reference to will of man and  will of flesh refers to the Virgin Birth. But giving the power of becoming the sons of god !! How much power was the Only Begotten Son conferred with?

This statement in John  follows closely the statement on the rejection of the Word.and the Light by the Chosen People ("He came unto his own, and his own received him not" John 1:11).

John himself says (John 10:34) "Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are gods'? " as he was about to be stoned. He goes on to say that he only claimed to be the Son of God, not God. However, just before this Jesus says "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30). A contradiction but then logic has no pace in faith.

Two major issues arise with John 1:12-13. Do  believers have the POWER to become sons of God? Are they allowed to exercise that option or does it follow naturally.. And secondly, what about those who do not recieve him, but believe in God nevertheless? Are they damned for all time?

"I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High." (Psalm 82:6).
I have quoted this once and I quote it again.


(Continue...)

No comments: