Nature of God

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The Deity of Christ

Part 4:  The One True Heir

by Bill Wong

 

 

 

He is the heir and we are co-heirs

 

The Bible’s declaration that the Lord Jesus is the only-born child of God can be better understood if we know also what the Bible says about the Lord being the heir of all things. The Lord Jesus is begotten by God and is therefore His son. As His son – the only true son, Jesus is heir of all that belongs to His father. When we understand what being heir means, we will confirm what the Bible means when He is called God’s only-born Son.

 

The Bible tells us as God’s only-begotten son, Jesus is heir of all things:

 

Hebrews 1:

2     Has in these last days spoken to us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 

     (AKJV)

 

 

 

The Bible tells us we are adopted children and therefore co-heirs of the kingdom and all creation through the one true son, the Lord Jesus:

 

Romans 8:

14   For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

15   For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption,

     whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

16   The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

17   And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him,   

     that we may be also glorified together.   (AKJV)

 

Galatians 3:

29   And if you be Christ's, then are you Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.   (AKJV)

 

Ephesians 1:

3     Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the

     heavenly places in Christ,

4     just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,

5     having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,  

 

11   In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works

     all things according to the counsel of His will,     (NKJV)

 

Titus 3:

4     But when the kindness of God our Saviour, and his love toward man, appeared,

5     not by works done in righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy he saved us,

     through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,

6     which he poured out upon us richly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

7     that, being justified by his grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.   (ASV)

 

 

 

What being heir really means

 

However, we should really stop and think hard about what the Bible means when it calls the Lord Jesus heir and we being adopted as co-heirs. The implication is that we are not true sons, but Jesus is the true son and true heir.

 

What is an heir? It is one who has the right to claim part or all of an endowment from his parent or predecessor. An heir’s entitlement to his parent’s heritage is due to a familial connection.

 

The difference between a true heir and the adopted heir is the source and lineage. We are adopted as co-heirs, because we are from flesh and blood and ultimately created dust. But the true heir has the true lineage and is deity, because this true lineage is directly from God Himself.

 

So what does being the true heir whose lineage is directly from God Himself mean? The true heir can only rightfully inherit all things if he is the begotten son and not just adopted. Here lies the significance of understanding what being the only-begotten son is. For the Lord Jesus to be the true heir, He must be the only-begotten Son of God in heaven.

 

His rightful claim of being the true heir is not through being begotten in the flesh by Mary or figuratively upon His resurrection, which only indicate He becomes heir at those respective moments. However, the Bible tells us the Lord Jesus was always the heir since even before in heaven, because this is the only way He can truly claim to be heir of all creation – as the one who created all the things as the true heir, and then rightfully deserves to inherit everything He has created; all things were created by Him and for Him:

 

1 Corinthians 8:

6     yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ,

     by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.   (NASB)

 

Colossians 1:

16   For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible,

     whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.   (NKJV)

 

Hebrews 1:

2       in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.

8     But of the Son He says, "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom.

9     "You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;

     Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness above Your companions."

10   And, "You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the works of Your hands;

11   They will perish, but You remain; And they all will become old like a garment,

12   And like a mantle You will roll them up; Like a garment they will also be changed. But You are the same,

     And Your years will not come to an end."   (NASB)

 

 

This confirms the Bible truth that the Lord Jesus is the only-begotten Son of God since before in heaven. This is because it is only as this son, that He can also be the true heir of all in heaven and earth. As this true son and true heir from the very beginning, He is the creator who deserves to inherit all things.

 

 

 

Heir must be completely pure and legitimate

 

All things concerning God is about holiness and purity which means His heir must be of pure stock and direct lineage from Him. We can see this from the very fact that the Lord Jesus is the true heir and we are but co-heirs. The Bible tells us why Jesus is the true heir – He is God’s only-begotten son. The fact that God’s heir must be of direct and legitimate birth can be seen in God’s promise of giving Abram/Abraham an heir:

 

Genesis 15:

4     Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, "This man will not be your heir;

      but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir."   (NASB)

 

 

God’s promise must come through a righteously authorized heir and that is why the heir must be the son from Abraham and his wife Sarah and not through Ishmael, whom Abraham fathered with the maidservant Hagar:


Genesis 17:

15   Then God said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name.

16   "I will bless her, and indeed I will give you a son by her. Then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations;

      kings of peoples will come from her."

17   Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, "Will a child be born to a man one hundred years old?

      And will Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?"

18   And Abraham said to God, "Oh that Ishmael might live before You!"

19   But God said, "No, but Sarah your wife will bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac;

      and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.

20   "As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him, and will make him fruitful and will multiply him exceedingly.

       He shall become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.

21   "But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this season next year."   (NASB)

 

 

The fact that absolute purity of the heir is critical in God’s eyes can be seen when even though Ishmael was born first, Isaac was called the only-begotten son, because he was born righteously through Abraham and Sarah:

 

Hebrews 11:

17     By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only

       begotten son,   (AKJV)

 

 

What we should understand therefore, is that the purity and direct lineage of the heir is most important to a holy God. Also, the heir must come forth from his father as the lineages show.  With flesh and blood, a father begets a son and needs a wife, but a begettal by the Almighty God who is spirit and eternal does not require a wife.

 

So let us look at Genesis 15:4 again:

 

Genesis 15:

4     Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, "This man will not be your heir; but one who will come

      forth from your own body, he shall be your heir."   (NASB)

 

 

If the heir of Abraham must be perfect in his lineage and come forth from him so that the promises to Abraham can be fulfilled through his heir Isaac, then we can expect since God is supremely perfect, His son and heir must also be perfect.  Therefore, the only true son who inherits all creation which He has created must likewise come forth from His father and be the only-begotten Son of God from eternity past. The Lord Jesus has and always will be the only-begotten son and heir. Because of this, He can and did die for the creation.

 

Since we know the Lord Jesus is the true heir and we know the critical importance of the direct lineage/descent required which defines what/who a true heir is, this means that Jesus was indeed the only-born Son of God – He came forth from God Himself, just as Abraham’s true heir must come forth from him. This is what the Bible has said all along calling the Lord Jesus the only-born son and heir of all creation. He was already the only-begotten Son of God – and heir, who was sent to us.

 

Abraham was a man and his heir was his son, a man like he was. The heir of all creation – God’s heir, must likewise be like His father. This is why as the only-born Son of God, Jesus is also God (deity) – the son is like the father who bore him.

 

We see the evidence of this right away in John 1:1 – the Word was God (deity - an adjective), but not ‘the’ God (which only His father is). Please also see article: ‘John 1 disproves a Trinity’ and ‘John 1:1 – Jesus is not “a” god’.

 

We see this evidence also in:

 

Romans 8:

3   For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh,

   and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:   (AKJV)

 

Philippians 2:

5   Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,

6   who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,

7   but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.   (AKJV)

 

 

And again, it is as this only-begotten son who is like the father who begot Him, sharing the same form/nature, that the Bible can say that God and His son share the same image:

 

Genesis 2:

26  Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image....    (NKJV)

 

 

The son is the same form of His father and God and His son look alike:

 

Daniel 7:

9  "I watched till thrones were put in place,

    And the Ancient of Days was seated;

    His garment was white as snow,

    And the hair of His head was like pure wool.

    His throne was a fiery flame,

    Its wheels a burning fire;

 

13  "I was watching in the night visions, 

     And behold, One like the Son of Man,

     Coming with the clouds of heaven!

     He came to the Ancient of Days,

     And they brought Him near before Him.

 

Revelation 1:

13  And in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 

14  His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire;     (NKJV)

 

 

 

The Bible truth is that the only-begotten Son of God who can and did die for our sins, was this only-begotten son and perfect heir in heaven, and then came in the flesh into the line of David:

 

Acts 2:

29   Men and brothers, let me freely speak to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried,

     and his sepulcher is with us to this day.

30   Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins,

     according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;  (AKJV)

 

 

The Lord Jesus came forth directly from His father as the only-begotten Son of God in heaven and only then humbled Himself to come in the flesh as the descendant of David.

 

Otherwise, if Christ is not God’s only-born son from the father Himself, than the only conclusion we can arrive at is that this means Christ Himself is also adopted in some manner just like we are --- that if He was not this son, then He was something else, whatever it is, and then became a son later.  This is a form of adoption for Him to become a son.  Does it sound right?  No.  To become a son later, in effect being adopted as a son, destroys the gospel and the meaning of our salvation.

 

Also, if He was not this only-begotten son since heaven, then He simply cannot be the rightful heir. It would mean He did not create all things as this son or heir and then neither will He rightfully deserve to inherit all creation. He would be disqualified from the inheritance, because He did not create or do anything in heaven as the only-begotten son and heir of God who has come forth from God, but instead became a true son and heir later on earth.

 

However, the Bible clearly states the Lord Jesus was the heir when He created all things; everything was made by Him and for Him.  It is as this true son and heir that the Lord Jesus established all things:

 

Proverbs 30:

4    Who has ascended up into heaven, or descended? who has gathered the wind in his fists?

     who has bound the waters in a garment? who has established all the ends of the earth?

     what is his name, and what is his son's name, if you can tell?    (AKJV)

 

 

 

Remember the parable of the master sending his son:

 

Luke 20:

9     And He began to tell the people this parable: "A man planted a vineyard and rented it out to vine-growers,

      and went on a journey for a long time.

10   "At the harvest time he sent a slave to the vine-growers, so that they would give him some of the produce of the vineyard;

       but the vine-growers beat him and sent him away empty-handed.

11   "And he proceeded to send another slave; and they beat him also and treated him shamefully and sent him away empty-handed.

12   "And he proceeded to send a third; and this one also they wounded and cast out.

13   "The owner of the vineyard said, 'What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.'

14   "But when the vine-growers saw him, they reasoned with one another, saying,

      'This is the heir; let us kill him so that the inheritance will be ours.'

15   "So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What, then, will the owner of the vineyard do to them?

16   "He will come and destroy these vine-growers and will give the vineyard to others." When they heard it, they said,

     "May it never be!"     (NASB)

 

The Bible shows that this parable can only be understood as the son was always the only-begotten son and heir of his father, and when he left his father’s side he was already his true son and heir; he did not become only-begotten or an heir later. Likewise, the Lord Jesus was the only-begotten son and heir in heaven who was sent to us.

 

In addition to this, we must consider Abraham’s near-sacrifice of Isaac in Genesis 22. Remember also that Isaac is the true authorized heir of Abraham. Abraham and Isaac are types for God and the Lord Jesus: what Abraham was prepared to do with Isaac, God actually does do with Jesus. This typology only makes sense if: just like Isaac was already Abraham’s only-begotten son and heir by true lineage before his attempted sacrifice, the Lord Jesus was likewise already the only-begotten son and true heir of God before He was crucified.

 

The Bible says that Jesus was already the son and heir of God in heaven who was then sent to save us from our sins. It is as this only-begotten son that the Lord Jesus did everything. This is the gospel.

 

 

 

What His inheritance tells us

 

The Bible makes it abundantly clear His sonship and being the heir is absolutely nothing like ours or anything else. He is not adopted as a son in any way at all, but was always God’s only-begotten son. This is why the Lord Jesus alone is the true heir.

 

This is also why those who believe He was a created being from fiat or nothing are not correct – otherwise, He will be no different than anyone else in His origin.

 

 

 

Colossians 1:15-20

 

The Lord Jesus Christ is the heir of all creation:

 

Colossians 1:

15   He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

16   For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible,

     whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.

17   And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.

18   And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, 

      that in all things He may have the preeminence.

19   For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell,

20   and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven,

     having made peace through the blood of His cross.     (NKJV)

 

 

The fact that He is the heir of all creation means that Jesus must already be the only-begotten Son of God before the creation of all things. He can only inherit all things if He is greater and above all things.

 

He can inherit all heavenly things only if He Himself is begotten in heaven and only then is entitled to all heavenly things.

 

He can only inherit earthly things and our salvation if He Himself comes in the flesh to die and is then entitled to that as well – in conquering death, He lays claim to everything (verse 18).

 

The Lord Jesus is only-begotten, coming forth from God Himself, and not created; all things were created by Him:

 

John 1:

3   All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.   (AKJV)

 

 

 

Galatians 4:1-5

 

Galatians 4 also tells us about the heir:

 

Galatians 4:

1     Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything,

2     but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father.

3     So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world.

4     But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,

5     so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

     (NASB)

 

 

It refers to us as adopted heirs, but it gives us information about the privileges and procedures of being an heir, of which the Lord Jesus is the one true heir. It tells us that the Lord Jesus was already the only-begotten Son of God before He came in the flesh and indeed He must be so in order to qualify as the one true heir who “is owner of everything”. He was already this son and heir. Then He came in the flesh, because it was now the right time as decreed by His father to lay claim to His inheritance.

 

While born in heaven, He still must come as flesh for His inheritance. He is heir to all things in heaven above and earth below and in His claim of inheritance, He will overcome death and sin, which requires He come in the flesh and lay down His life for us as a man.

 

Galatians 4:1-5 is an elaboration of the timing of the Lord Jesus coming in the flesh to claim what is rightfully His as we see elsewhere in the Bible:

 

Romans 5:

6   For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (ESV)

 

Hebrews 1:

1   God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,

2   has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things,

    through whom also He made the worlds;   (NKJV)

 

 

 

He is the only-begotten heir before in heaven

 

We must never confuse who the Lord Jesus is as the only-begotten son and heir (and when He was this son and heir in heaven) with what He does to claim His inheritance which includes coming in the flesh.

 

The Lord Jesus as true heir of all things includes His saving work, being crucified on our behalf and conquering sin and death, so He can reconcile all things to the Father. Saving us is saving the creation:

 

Romans 8:

19   For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.

20   For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;

21   because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

22   For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.

23   Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves,

     eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.   (NKJV)

 

 

That is why only after His resurrection He is able to say:

 

Matthew 28:

18   And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.   (NKJV)

 

 

He can only say this, because the Lord Jesus is the rightful heir of all creation (everything in heaven and earth) as the only-born Son of God in heaven who then came in the flesh to save us all and inherit all. He created all things as this son and heir, and therefore legitimately deserves and can claim His rightful inheritance of all things.

 

If the Lord Jesus was not this legitimate son and heir, then He cannot truly be the heir of all things. He would not qualify, because all the things He ever did before coming in the flesh would not have been done as the true son and heir.

 

If He was not this legitimate son and heir in heaven, then Jesus would also have to be adopted as a son and heir. However, nowhere does the Bible say that the Lord Jesus had to be adopted as a son in order to inherit all that is His father’s. Instead, the Bible only teaches that He was always the son and heir since before the foundation of the world, who created all things and deserves all things.

 

The Bible tells us that the Lord Jesus is the perfect son and heir who was begotten in eternity past to inherit all things. His being the only-begotten Son of God enables Him to die for the creation. He created all things as the only-begotten son and true heir. As the creator who dies for His creation, He thereby inherits everything. This heritage belongs only to the one whose lineage comes forth directly and of pure stock from God Himself in heaven.

 

We can see that when the Bible uses the words ‘son’, ‘only-born’ and ‘heir’ that those words are all related and mean exactly what they are supposed to. There is no special inferred meaning to them. As God’s son who is only-born from God, the Lord Jesus is the lone true heir to all things. The Lord Jesus is the only-born child of God before He even came in the flesh and is heir to all that is in heaven and all that is on earth.

 

We should be able to see that the views that the Lord Jesus is also God in a 2-person or 2-God family (Binitarian) or is 1 of 3 persons in one God (Trinitarian) cannot be true, because Jesus would not have truly been the Son of God in the real sense of the words son and heir.

 

Playing the role of a son or only becoming a son at His incarnation or resurrection disqualifies Him from being a true son who can rightfully inherit all creation.

 

Being eternally a son is not being a true son. Where is the begettal? And then where is the lineage? How can He be true heir of all things if He is not begotten as a son?  

 

Nor can becoming a son and heir at or after His coming in the flesh qualify Him for His inheritance – because when He created all things He was not doing so in the capacity as the only-begotten Son of God and the true heir.  

 

However, the Bible is clear that the son inherits all things, because all things were made through Him and for Him. He was the son while He was creating or otherwise anyone who is not truly a son can become son and heir, which defies order and logic. In fact, this is exactly what people who believe the Lord Jesus was a created being say: that He was created to be son and heir, but this again denies the Bible truth of what being only-begotten means.

 

A son is a son and an only-begotten son is an only-begotten son. An heir is an heir. The Lord Jesus is the one true heir.

 

The Bible does not confuse us with what these words mean. God tells us exactly who and what His son is: He is deity, because He was begotten of the Father before coming in the flesh.  As this only-begotten son in heaven, He is in the form and image of His father. As this only-begotten son in heaven, He created all things and is the one true heir who is able to die for His creation and one day restore it.

 

By God’s love and mercy, we are adopted to share in His inheritance. Praise God – HalleluYah!

 

 

 

This is part 4 of 7 about the Deity of Christ.  Please proceed to part 5: 'He Proceeds Forth'.