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The Deity of Christ

Part 6:  The Gospel in Genesis

by Bill Wong

 

 

 

Life begets Life

 

 

The gospel of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ is often said to first appear in Genesis 3:15 and it is called the “proto-evangel” – the first gospel. The Lord Jesus is the seed that will crush the head of the serpent though He Himself will be bruised:

 

Genesis 3:

15   And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head,

     And you shall bruise His heel."   (NKJV)

 

 

We are told that victory over the serpent (Satan) will come through the seed of Eve which is to say a man will do this. However, this can be no mere man as a man alone is not powerful enough to do this. This seed of man, therefore, must be more than a mere man and he is. It is one reason why, though it sounds contrary to it, the Son of Man is a title of deity (see Daniel 7:13) which the Lord Jesus uses consistently even as He calls Himself the Son of God.

 

Later in Genesis 3 we also see that the only covering for sin is the death of a substitute (in this early example, animals had to die to provide the skins), which foreshadows exactly how the Son of Man in Genesis 3:15 above will crush the serpent. It is by His sacrifice, His blood, that He will cover them:

 

Genesis 3:

21   Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.  (NKJV)

 

 

However, there is much, much more that the Book of Genesis tells us about the Lord Jesus Christ and it is not just in Genesis 3:15.  The gospel in Genesis tells us everything we need to know about God’s son is found in this very first book of the Bible. It tells us about the nature of God’s son and God’s plan of salvation through His son.  

 

Genesis 3:15 gives us a hint as we have already discussed. Satan can only be overcome by someone who is more than just a normal man. This man will also be deity. The gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ – who He is and what He does to save all creation, actually begins before Genesis 3:15. We must go to the previous chapter – chapter two.

 

Bible readers often read the Genesis account of the creation of the first man and woman and never give it a second thought. But has the reader ever stopped and considered why an all-knowing God only created one human being first – Adam, even though the creation of all plants and animals was with the intention and included the capacity for procreation and multiplying; something which with human beings would be no different? Why did God not create a pair of humans to begin with?

 

Why did God create the plants, animals and Adam from nothing or inanimate dust, but only Eve has to come forth out of the body of another – out of the body of Adam? Why is the case in mankind only so special and unique?

 

Genesis 2:

21   And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs,

     and closed up the flesh in its place.

22   Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

23   And Adam said: " This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman,

     Because she was taken out of Man.(NKJV)

 

 

This is because through the gospel in Genesis, God is revealing to us the Bible truth that just like Eve came forth out from Adam and they are one flesh, so too did the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ come forth out of another – from God Himself, and they are one in this similar manner. Where Eve came from Adam and is from flesh to flesh, the son came forth from God, substance to substance, spirit to spirit – deity to deity. The Lord Jesus is truly the only-begotten Son of God who proceeded forth from His father. Please see article: ‘Part 5: Proceeded Forth’. He may not have proceeded forth in the exact same manner as in Adam and Eve, but He did proceed forth from the Father. We see this also when the Lord Jesus is called the Word. As the Word of God, He can also proceed forth from the Father.


Note:  This proceeding forth from God and therefore having the same nature and substance as His father God, is how/why Jesus is also God – Jesus is God where the term ‘God’ is used as an adjective to describe His nature, attributes and character, but He is not somehow the same person God (or another person God) who the Bible says is His father alone.  However, the following point is very important to understand:  Because He is the Son of God whose very nature is deity directly from His father and the son is also the Word and Image of the invisible God and His glory (see John 12:41 which refers to Isaiah 6) who is the supreme example of agency, this means that the Lord Jesus can be and is called God Himself as the revelation of His father God in a form we can see. 


Some will say how can this be that one can be born without a mother? Doesn’t God need a wife? How could God beget a son? But then we should ask how did Adam come to be? How did Eve?   A husband/wife and father/mother relationship is given to men and women for the purpose of reproduction, but God is not limited in this way. We must remember that Genesis is about beginnings. The beginning is all about God and all from God.   We must be reminded that man is flesh, but God is spirit and all-powerful.

 

The birth of a child of man requires a man and a woman. Yet, of necessity, the first man (and woman) could not have a mother. Adam and Eve as the forbears of mankind came to be by a special act of God. The man was created from dust and the woman from the body of the man.

 

And in a slightly different manner, the virgin Mary required a husband – a man, to give birth to a son.  Yet again, because of a special act of God, this supposed requirement was met without what we fleshly men and women consider “normal”.    

What about the birth of a child of spirit – an only-begotten child of God? As God is one and above all and spirit, just like in the case of Adam and Eve, a mother once again does not exist nor is needed for the first and only begettal of a child of spirit – God’s only-begotten son, who is of the same spirit and substance of His father. It would solely be from the power and will of God, who is the spirit above all things. God’s only-begotten son likewise came to be by a special act of God. God’s son proceeded forth out from God.

 

This is why God has a son who is like Him and deity, but yet can die for the atonement of our sins and the reconciliation of all creation:

 

John 1:

1   In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.   (AKJV)

 

Philippians 2:

6   who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,  

7    But made himself of no reputation, and took on him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

8    And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross.  (AKJV)



The Lord Jesus supports the Bible truth that God does not need a wife, because He is the Almighty. He states that those who are resurrected do not marry:

 

Matthew 22:

29   Jesus answered and said to them, "You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.

30   For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven.   (NKJV)

 

 

Why? This is because only those which are of the flesh – mankind, need to reproduce by the union of man and woman. That which is spirit, however, does not require a wife or mother. It is this way for the only-begotten Son of God and once we are resurrected, it will be this way again. The need for a wife or mother is only required for men and women – the descendants of Adam and Eve, for the purpose of human reproduction. But God, who is spirit, is transcendent. He does not need a wife.

 

Many who believe that God and His son Jesus are somehow two or more persons in a godhead and are one God (whether a Trinity as full co-equals, or other doctrines) use the example of a husband and wife as being “one” / “one flesh” as evidence of  God being a plurality yet one.  However, this analogy does not work, because a man and woman are clearly two human beings, which indicates that there must likewise be two God beings – but a Trinity doctrine vehemently denies that there are two Gods.

But what is missed in the example of Adam and Eve is the simple truth of what God is telling us about Himself and His son.  Where Adam and Eve can truly be said to be one, all of the male and female descendants of Adam and Eve who marry one another cannot claim this same oneness even though they become one flesh upon marriage.  Why?  It is because only Adam and Eve were literally one – Eve came forth from Adam. 

This being one – bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh, is the same way that God and His son Jesus are one.  They are one not because of an illogical and confusing Trinity or other doctrine that makes both of them God or two persons in one God, but they are one because the Lord Jesus is the only-begotten son of God who proceeded forth from God.  As this son and as the Word of God – both of which are God’s and come forth from Him, when combined with God’s use of agency, shows how Jesus is one with His father.

The gospel in Genesis shows us it is in Adam and Eve that we see how the son of God is deity and the only-begotten: He came forth from God Himself.  This is why Jesus is in the form of God and the image of God where He even looks like His father (compare Daniel 7:9-13 with Revelation 1:12-14) and our heavenly father can say: “Let us make man in our image according to our likeness”.  

From the very beginning, the Book of Genesis upholds the Biblical monotheism of the Great Shema that there is one God.  This God has an only-begotten son who proceeded forth from Him.

 

We must always go by the word of God. If God says He has an only-begotten son who is deity, but yet can die for sin, then that is what it means. The son being begotten is why He can die. If God says He sends this son to the earth and He actually does die for our sins, then that is what happened.

 

Words have meaning. And the Bible says what it means and means what it says. A son is a son. An heir is an heir. Begotten means begotten. Death means death. Immortal means immortal. God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33), but man is. God’s truth is not confusing or hard to understand. It is only when man takes hold of things, that things become distorted and God’s direct truth and words lose meaning and take on new illogical and sinister meaning that contradict God’s Word.

 

The Lord Jesus is the only-begotten Son of God before He came in the flesh. He proceeded forth from His father. The fact that the Lord Jesus was able to die and actually did die, tells us that since He can have an end, then He must have a beginning. This beginning is explained by His being the only-begotten Son of God in heaven. The evidence of His being the only-begotten son in heaven is Jesus’ being able to die. His father is the begetter and the Lord Jesus is the begotten. His father is immortal and cannot die, and is the one who gives Him life and from whom He comes forth:

 

John 5:

26   For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself,    (NKJV)


John 6:

57   As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me.   (NKJV)


1 Timothy 6:

13   I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate,   

14   that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,

15   which He will bring about at the proper time--He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords,

16   who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.    (NASB)


 

From being this son, He is the true heir of all creation.

 

The Book of Genesis shows us how the Lord Jesus Christ is the divine only-begotten son of God. He proceeded forth from God Himself.   

However, this beginning is not according to our concepts of time and space. The Lord Jesus’ “beginning” is from the eternal God, His father. He was begotten by God in eternity which is outside of our realm of existence.  Time does not exist in eternity and we cannot fully grasp and understand what eternity means with our finite minds.  For how can we really explain something coming forth out of something eternal?  Does that not make it also eternal?

But the Bible is very clear, since He proceeded forth from the eternal God this means Jesus is eternal.  The Lord Jesus is the glory of God as we read in John 12:41 and Isaiah 6 which means the Son of God is eternal from everlasting, because God’s glory is eternal just like God Himself is eternal.  Also, we are told that the Word of God was always there since the beginning and it was He who created all things (which includes time and space as scientists confirm came into being as part of the origin of the universe), and He is the same yesterday, today and forever:

John 1:

1    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2    He was in the beginning with God.

3    All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.  (NASB)

 

Hebrews 13:

8    Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.    (NASB)



But yet because He comes forth and His life is from His father, then the eternal of Jesus is different from that of His father.  But Jesus’ eternality is not the equal or in the same way as His father, just as though Jesus is deity, His deity nevertheless allows Him to die where His father cannot.

We can see the differing levels of being eternal by the fact that one day the chosen of God will have eternal life and be eternal beings.  However, it is quite evident that our being eternal is not the same as the eternality of the Lord Jesus.  Similarly, the eternality of the Lord Jesus is not quite the same as His father who is immortal and gives Him life.  Our heavenly father is above all:

1 Corinthians 11:

3    But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.   (NKJV) 

 

John 20:

17   Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.' "   (NKJV)

 

Revelation 3:

2    He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.   (NKJV)

 

 

The Book of Genesis shows us the truth that our heavenly father being the Almighty God, even the God of His son, is not just a title, or God and His son merely playing roles where one has a superior position.  No, the Bible shows us from the very beginning in the very first book that God is God and He has an only-begotten son who proceeded forth from Him. It is the underlying truth behind Jesus’ statements that His father is the one who gives Him life.

Jesus is the only-begotten who proceeds forth from God, substance to substance, spirit to spirit – deity to deity, and is one in this manner with His father, just as Eve came from Adam in the flesh and is one.  And secondly, because Jesus is begotten this way from God, He is deity but not quite the same and definitely not the equal of the deity of His father (similarly, it can be said that though Jesus became a man, He is not quite a man the same way we are, because we are begotten by the union of a man and woman, but He became flesh by the spirit of God in Mary’s womb). 

 

These two points about the nature of Jesus’ deity are the fundamental truths that reveal all other truths and gives sense to everything the Bible says about who God is and who His son Jesus is and how the Lord Jesus could still be deity and yet die for the sins of all mankind.

 

We must also remember that all good things come from God and if we believe family is a good thing, than the existence of family relationships must also come from God first:

 

James 1:

17   Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no fickleness,

     neither shadow of turning.   (AKJV)

 

 

So just because Adam and Eve could not have human parents, this did not prevent God from laying down the foundation for the human family. And likewise, just because God is one, this did not prevent Him from being able to bring forth a son which proceeded forth from Him, to establish the idea of family in heaven first.

 

Through the story of Adam and Eve, God tells us two important things about His son:

 

1) His son came forth out of God just as Eve came forth from Adam. This also indicates a very intimate definition of being one and the closeness of the relationship between God and His only-begotten son.

 

2) Adam was created from dust which came from nothing. Then Eve was taken from him. So ultimately, Adam and Eve were created from dust and nothing before that. However, God’s son was taken from God Himself and God is eternal and not created.

 

 

God did not create Eve at the same time as Adam to show us not only that His son came forth from Him, but also that there is a big difference between being created and coming forth out from another.

 

God is telling us that His son coming forth out from Him is not being created, because God Himself is eternal and not created.   Creation is ‘ex nihilo’ (from nothing), but in the case of His only-begotten son, God who is eternal brought forth a son from Himself. Therefore, the Lord Jesus is not a created being, because He proceeded forth from the eternal God – He was born, begotten by God. He is truly His only-begotten son.

 

God is telling us that because His son came forth from Him and God is deity, this automatically and naturally makes His son deity as well – the Lord Jesus Christ is literally a “chip off the old block”.   

 

Further, in telling us how His son came forth from Him, God also makes a statement about the eternal nature of His son. Eve came from Adam who is created from dust and ultimately nothing, which means Eve is also dust and created. But the Lord Jesus came forth from God who is eternal. This means the Lord Jesus is also eternal – except in one way: He is able to die. This ability to die is the means by which God can redeem all things through His son and it is exactly according to the awesome plan of God.

 

This coming forth from the Father as the only-begotten Son of God upholds the Biblical monotheism of there being only one God, the Father – the one person YHWH who is invisible, and how He has a son who is also the image/word of the invisible God and is God/deity/divine (‘God’ used as an adjective to describe His nature and not another person God) and can atone for our sins by His sacrificial blood. This son is the one true heir deserving of the inheritance of all creation and will redeem His creation.  The gospel in Genesis gives us God's entire plan of salvation for His creation.

 

 

 

The Gospel in Genesis – the rest of the story

 

 

Genesis 3:15, 21 revisited

 

Only with the revelation of the true nature of the Lord Jesus who proceeded forth from His father, do we see the rest of the gospel unfold in Genesis. Now in Genesis 3:15 we can see how the seed of the woman will one day save us all: before He was a man and Eve’s seed, He was the only-begotten Son of God before in heaven and we also know how He was begotten. He proceeded forth from God Himself. It is His perfect blood that will cover our sins as we see in Genesis 3:21.

 

 

Genesis 15:4

 

When we see that the Bible tells us the Lord Jesus proceeded forth from within the Father, we can also better understand Genesis 15:4 and what being an heir means:

 

Genesis 15:

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

    from your own body shall be your heir."   (NKJV)

 

 

We now know why everything was created by Him and for Him, and why it is only because He is the only-begotten son in heaven that He is the rightful heir of all things (Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2). It is as the only-begotten son and heir that He created these things, so it can be truly said that the creator dies for His creation. Otherwise, He does not deserve nor can legitimately claim Himself as heir to inherit all things.

 

In Genesis 15:4 we see that the son – the heir, must come forth out of the father.

 

 

Genesis 22:1-14

 

And in Genesis 22, we have a greater appreciation as well of who God is, who His son Jesus is, and how great the love they have for us that they both sacrifice of themselves to save us. God literally gives of Himself; His son is truly His son, begotten by Him:

 

Genesis 22:

12   And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God,

     since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me."

13   Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns.

     So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.

14   And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day,

     "In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided."   (NKJV)

 

 

In Genesis 22, we see that God will not withhold His very own and truly begotten son to be sacrificed for us and He will provide that sacrifice for us. And we must never overlook the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is the exact image of God, and is also willing to give up all --- even His own life, so that we may have the gift of eternal life.

 

 

 

It is important to take note of the sequence of all these events in Genesis as they show us the logic and step-by-step order of how things unfold in God’s plan:

 

 

Genesis 2:23

-- The only-begotten Son of God proceeds forth out from the Father.

 

 

Genesis 3:15, 21

-- Sin enters the creation and the seed of man will conquer it.

   This man is more than a man, but is the only-begotten Son of God.

   We are shown how sin and death will be atoned for and conquered.

 

 

Genesis 15:4

-- Only a true-born son can be heir to all things.

   He must be a heavenly heir to inherit what He has created.

 

 

Genesis 22

-- God will actually go through and provide His only-begotten son as the atonement sacrifice.

   The Lord Jesus is crucified.

 

 

So we see that the Book of Genesis foreshadows the gospel:

 

The only-begotten son is heir of all things including also being the author of our salvation who by His blood has once and for all conquered death and sin.


Please also see the article: 'The Gospel in the Chinese Language'.

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

It is just and right that the only-begotten Son of God and Messiah is declared in the gospel in Genesis, because it is the Revelation of Jesus that ends the Holy Scriptures, the Bible when all things are made new.  From the very beginning to the very end, the salvation of God comes forth in His son.

The very first book of the Bible, Genesis, tells us everything about the Lord Jesus Christ and it does so in the Biblical context of declaring and supporting the monotheism of God. The gospel in Genesis shows us how the Lord Jesus is deity by using the example of Adam and Eve. The Lord Jesus proceeded forth from His father, God, and therefore is deity Himself and not created. It is only because of this, that He is the only-begotten Son of God who deserves and inherits all things as the one true heir.

 

The monotheism of God is the foundation of the Bible – we must know who God is. The one true God YHWH (the 4-Hebrew letter name of God called the Tetragrammaton usually translated the LORD and pronounced as Yahweh/Jehovah – but is Yahuwah; see the article ‘The Name of God and Messiah) is the one who gives life to all things and brings forth life in His only-begotten son Jesus.  The Lord Jesus Christ being the only-begotten Son of God who dies for our sins proves the monotheism of the Bible that there is only one God who is above all, to which all glory ultimately must be directed.

 

 

 

This is part 6 of 7 about the Deity of Christ.  Please proceed to part 7: 'Why an Only-Begotten Son'.