For an introduction to this series, read this.
I normally add posts in this series on Mondays, but yesterday I was traveling all day and was unable to keep to my regular schedule. I hope that posting on Tuesday will suffice for this week.
We come now to a new section of the Apostles’ Creed.
Memorization for this Week
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
Thoughts for Discussion with Children
Is it right to say that Jesus is God’s “only Son,” as the creed says? After all, the Bible refers to other sons of God, such as angels (Genesis 6:2; Job 1:6), Adam (Luke 3:38), Israel (Exodus 4:23), David’s son Solomon (and all the kings who came after him: 2 Samuel 7:14-15), and believers in Jesus (Galatians 3:26). If God has so many different “sons” throughout the Bible, how can we say that Jesus is “his only Son”?
Think about another verse: John 3:16, which says
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
This verse tells us that, while God may have many “sons” in one sense, in another sense he has only one Son: Jesus Christ our Lord.
What is it about Jesus that makes him different from all of the other sons of God in the Bible? All of the other sons were created by God at some point: the angels, Adam, Israel, etc. God became their Father when he either created them or adopted them into his family. But there was never a time when God became the Father of his eternal Son Jesus (whose name was not Jesus before he came into the world as a man, but we can still refer to him that way). What this means is that Jesus Christ was never created. He was always there, with the Father, because he is fully God, every bit as much as the Father is God. With the Holy Spirit, they are one God in three Persons.
And this is good news for us, because only God can save us, and if Jesus is not fully God, then he cannot save us. But since he is God (that is, God the Son, who was never created but was always there with the Father), he can save us by making us sons of God too, not in the exact same way that he is the Son of God, but in a similar way so that we can share in his blessings as God’s forever Son. If we become sons of God by being connected to Jesus, who is the Son of God, then it means that the same kind of love God the Father has for Jesus the Son will be a love that he has for us too.
When you say that you believe in Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, our Lord, you are saying that you believe there is no other way to know God than to come to him through Jesus. Many people today believe that we can know God in many different ways, and Jesus is just one of the many ways. But the Bible clearly teaches that the only way to come to God is to believe in his only Son, Jesus Christ. Remember that when you end your prayers with “in Jesus’ name.” God loves you, hears you, and will answer you because of Jesus.