"Sonship" in the New Testament
In Ex. 4:22, the statement is made by Jehovah that "Israel is My son, even My firstborn". That refers to Jacob's offspring, in the eventual 12 Tribes; and is traced from Genesis 25 to 49; and confirmed in the Rite of Circumcision in Gen. 17.
In John 1:14, 1:18, 3:16, 3:18, Heb. 1:6 and 1Jn. 4:9 the references all refer to "the Only Begotten of the Father", i.e. God's only procreated Son! "Begotten" is from the root word 'Beget'/Begat, which has the meaning "used of a father, sometimes of a father and a mother" (Oxford English Dictionary). So; in this case quoted, Christ Jesus is the only Son ever begotten of God the Father; as the Bible is the Sacred Record; and cannot be in error!
In the Exodus reference, Israel was derived through Adam, (first created being), and collectively become "God's firstborn son", by "adoption"; confirmed in Romans 9:4. The statement to Pharaoh in Ex. 4:22, confirmed their Son-ship; and their purpose for Jehovah God! Israel (previous Jacob), was descendant from Abraham, who because of his faith in Jehovah was counted worthy to be called Jehovah's friend! 2Chron. 20:7, Isa. 41:8 and James 2:23.
It is therefore conclusive that Abraham is the father of faith! Although Scripture records that Abel (Heb. 11:4), Enoch (Heb. 11:5) and Noah (Heb. 11:7) were also of similar ilk.
It is clear from the foregoing that there is a relationship between faith in God, and how God views the individual. The sons of God from the Biblical record, existed, and followed Satan early in the Old Testament (Gen. 6), where the sons, with the daughters of men produced monstrous offspring called Nephilim/giants; showing that they had/have free will!
However, God made it possible in Christ for humans to become sons, again by free will; but in this case, the 'will' given to God/Christ; which started in approx. AD 62; when the Apostle Paul declared such in Acts 28:25-28!
There is much debate and varied opinion, as to whether the resultant Nephilim/giants are of "sons of God", or fallen angels. The Interlinear Hebrew uses the word "God" in the delegated sense [Strongs 430], which should be spelt with a small g (god), which can mean an "authority" lower than Elohim [God], which brings in to play; angel, created being, magistrate etc. However, the Strongs number is possibly wrong as it means plural gods, and there is only One Creator God, (see: Strongs 410 and 433)! The Interlinear Hebrew for "the son" (Strongs 1121) (BEN) is the word "family builder", which implies just that possibility in these "sons of God"! However, the result is evil; therefore is not of the will of the Almighty God, but does show the fact of the free will of the created being, whether "sons" or angels. In the view of the writers the Hebrew Interlinear "son", which is followed by most of the translations, except Moffatt (James) is certainly correct; as they were not led by the Holy Spirit in their act of procreation but by the spirit of the Enemy of God, Satan! That is in contrast to Rom. 8:14, which confirms that those led by the Holy Spirit ("Spirit of God"), are "the sons of God"; so that God in Christ has created a pathway contrary to that of the fallen sons of Gen. 6!, which allows fallen human beings to become "sons of God", by their own will, in the acceptance of Christ, as Saviour Jn. 1:12, Rom. 8:4 & 19, Phil. 2:15 & 1Jn. 3:1 & 2.
In the case of Israel, in the Old Testament because of Abraham's faith, they are "Jehovah's firstborn son". They are also "servants" as frequently mentioned in the Old text. Their service was to cherish and to spread the oracles of Jehovah, to propagate His Name by word and deed, as the One True God!
In this task they failed, as history shows, and were made Lo-Ammi (not My people) (Hos. 1:9), which is still the case.
The references given earlier, Jn. 1:14, 1:18, 3:16, 3:18, Heb. 1:6 and 1Jn. 4:9, all refer to "God's Only Begotten Son". This marvellous occurrence, approx. 2000 years ago took place when the Almighty "overshadowed Mary", (Luke 1:35) which meant that the Almighty Fathered a Child called Jesus, with a human (created being), which child was the fulfilment of prophecy, for a purpose, (Gen. 3:15).
Jesus came to His own people Israel (Matt. 15:24), but they would not receive Him (Jn. 1:11). Had they done so, they would have become "sons" (children) (Jn. 1:12-13), elevated from friends and servants.
Israel completed the rejection of Jesus Christ Messiah at Acts 28:28, and have been in rejection from the Father since. They will be re-adopted at some future date, and will be Ammi (My people) (Hos. 2:1).
In the meantime, any person, Jew and especially Gentile, may accept Christ's sacrifice at Calvary and become a "son" of the Father God Jehovah (Jn. 1:12-13). This conditional offer started at the "rent veil" and finishes at the 70th week of Daniel (Dan. 9:24).
The reference in Rev. 1:5, shows Christ after this Age, presenting His credentials for the Revealing. The emphasis for the people of Earth at that time will be "overcoming", "enduring", (Rev. Chps. 2 and 3). The reward for those people is shown in Rev. 7:9-17, which is not that of sons!
For further study see:
Angels and Demons!
"Israel; My Firstborn son"
Nephilim, who were they, and why?
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