Wednesday in the Thirty-Second Week of Ordinary Time

The Creed of Chalcedon

one and the same…only-begotten

I have spoken of the importance of this word, “begotten,” on several occasions, so I will only briefly cover its significance here.  Though the English word, “beget,” has fallen out of usage, it simply means to father a child in the natural sense.  I begat two daughters whom my wife birthed.  I can only beget human beings.  Neither I nor any other man can beget anything else.  The same is true for all of nature, and the same is true for God.  Does this mean that God answers to nature?  Of course not, for God created nature.  It means that God has chosen to answer to the laws which He Himself has created in His own wisdom—which manifests to us the magnanimity of His grace.  So when God begets, He begets after His own nature, His own kind—which means that He begets God, in this case, His Son.  What an important little word “begotten” is, for in that word the divinity of the Son is gathered up and expressed.

So allow me now to discuss that other word, “only.”  The Greek word is, monogenes, meaning, “only-begotten.”  That’s the “mono” part.  The emphasis is on our Lord’s uniqueness as God’s Son—His only Son.  We are certainly God’s children as well (Acts 17:28-29), but not in the same way as Christ Jesus.  All human beings are God’s children by creation, and some are His children by redemption.  But only Christ is God’s Son by nature; that is, Christ is from God and shares God’s nature so that the two are Father and Son.  And no one else, no other being in heaven, earth, or hell, can make such a claim.  Now we should add that the Holy Spirit “proceeds” from the Father (John 15:26) and so shares the divine nature of the Father as well and so completes the divine persons of the Triune God.  No, I cannot tell you the difference from “being begotten of” the Father and “proceeding from” the Father, only that Scripture teaches us so, and that is enough for us.

The uniqueness of the Son carries extraordinary significance for Christian theology.  First, the Son is the only one who reveals to us the Father (John 14:8-11).  From creation to consummation, he is the Son who has and will continue to reveal the Father to us.  This is why he is called, “the Word” (John 1:1-2).  Second, the Son is the only one who can redeem us though his sacrificial death and resurrection.  As divine Revealer and Redeemer the Son acts in his office as Mediator—the one who teaches us about the Father (Prophet), brings us before the Father (Priest) and reigns over us from the Father’s right hand (King).  He is the one and only Son, the only-begotten, the only Mediator between God and man—the God-man—Jesus Christ.

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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