The Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Nicene Creed

Begotten of His Father

And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God,

begotten of his Father before all worlds

Do you remember the “begats” in the King James Version of the Bible?  You know, those passages which told us who was the father of whom: Abraham begat Isaac who begat Jacob who begat Judah who begat etc., etc.  The Israelites and later Jews were meticulous in keeping their genealogies; this is especially true when tracing the Messiah’s genealogy as he was prophesied to be of the line of King David.  Anyway, I’m guessing that you didn’t care as much about genealogies as they did and probably skipped over those “begats” so you could read the more, shall we say, edifying, parts of the Bible.

But you need to understand what that word “begat” means and its vital importance in the Christian faith.  “Begat” simply means “fathered.”  I remind you of this only because the word has fallen out of usage in our day.  Women birth; men father or beget.  I have two daughters whom I begat. 

Now there’s an inescapable fact about begetting, and it is simply this: A father can only beget his own kind.  Dogs beget dogs and cats beget cats; cats do not beget dinosaurs.  And, using myself as an example just above, men beget boys and girls, and nothing else besides.  This is a law of creation that God has built into the world. 

In fact, God has so built this law into the universe that it even applies to Himself.  John 3:16 tells us: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son….”  There’s that word, “begotten,” a cognate of “begat.”  God the Father begat a Son.  Now, if dogs can only beget dogs and cats only beget cats and human beings only beget human beings, then what does God beget when He begets?  The answer is simple: God begets God—His Son, of course, but no less God than He, Himself. 

And this is why that word “begotten” is so important and why the Early Church Fathers insisted on it.  It is a critical word from the Scriptures affirming the divinity of the Son: The Son was begotten of his Father, not made.  God can make dogs and cats and people, but even He can’t make a God.  But He can beget God, who would then be His Son, who would then be of His own essence, who would then be One with Him (John 1:1-2).

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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