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What Does the Bible Say About..Being a Son of God?

According to the Bible God referred to many people as his son. 2 Sam 7:13-14, Jerimaih 31:9 and Luke3:38 just to name a few. What does this mean that these ordinary people are considered to be god sons?


Perhaps the easiest to explain of those passages you mentioned is Luke 3:38. “Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.” Clearly the writer has developed a pattern (“which was the son of”) which, from a literary standpoint, would be destroyed by having to change to a phrase like “which was created by.” But from a different standpoint Adam could be said to be a son of God because he was created directly from God. Add to this the thought that Luke doesn’t present a genealogy that is link by link accurate. That is, he may leave out one or more generations. Therefore, his reference to “son of” may be more accurately considered as “descendant of.” In that case, Adam and all men after him are truly descended from God.

The passage from 2 Samuel 7:13-14 is interesting. “He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men.” In this passage he is apparently talking about King David. Even most Jewish scholars, however, admit that this is a prophecy not just about David but also about Messiah. Those of us who believe that Jesus is that Messiah will say that he was talking about David as being like a son to God, but that he was also talking about his own true son, Jesus.

The passage in Jeremiah 31:9 is talking about a nation, not an individual. (It may also be a prophecy about the church.) How could the nation of Israel, as opposed to the individuals in the nation, be a son of God? He must be talking figuratively or metaphorically. He is saying, as he did about David, that Israel will be like a son to God.

There are other passages calling people sons of God. Generally speaking, they contain the same idea that the people are like God’s children. Another thought is that we in the church are God’s adopted children. “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15) “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5)

It may be that it is this difference between us as adopted sons and Jesus as the direct Son of God that caused John to frequently refer to the “only begotten” son when talking about Jesus. (Some modern English “translations” leave out the “only begotten” so that it would appear that Jesus is a son of God in the same sense as any other man. John’s point in using the word was to show that Jesus was God in every sense.) Jesus is the only son through birth. All the rest of us are sons through adoption.