by Babu G. Ranganathan
The One who was born of a virgin in the manger of Bethlehem two thousand years ago, Jesus the Christ, was both fully God and Man. Just as Adam and Eve were two persons but one flesh so, too, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are three Persons but one God.
Christ was begotten from the Father but He was not created by the Father. Just as sunlight is begotten (generated) from the sun but is not created by the sun so, too, Christ was begotten (generated) from God the Father but was not created by the Father.
Christ existed from all eternity in God the Father before He was begotten as God. In John 1:18 of the New Testament Christ is declared to be "the only begotten God". This is the literal translation from the Greek, the language in which the New Testament was originally written.
The word "begotten" in the passage comes from the Greek word from which we get the English word "generate". To "generate" means to "bring forth" out of pre-existing substance, whereas to "create" means to "bring forth" out of nothing. Thus, Christ was generated from the Father but not created by the Father!
The word "God" is a name and that Name is shared equally by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. That is why Jesus said to baptize all nations in the Name (singular) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Eventually in time, Christ humbled Himself and was begotten as Man, born of a virgin in a manger in Bethlehem, lived a sinless life, died on a cruel Roman Cross to pay for our sins and rose bodily from the grave to make forgiveness of sins and eternal life possible for all those who put their faith and trust in Him as Lord and Savior.
What was the Cross all about? The penalty for sin had to be paid or otherwise a just and holy God would not be able to forgive sin, and we have all sinned in our thoughts, words, and deeds. None of us can perfectly fulfill the Ten Commandments to be able to earn our salvation. The first commandment alone tells us to love God with all our soul, heart, mind, and strength. Who among us has perfectly fulfilled this commandment? None.
The penalty for sin is too great for any mere creature to pay. That is why God (the Father) sent His eternal and only begotten Son Jesus Christ to pay the penalty for sin by taking the punishment for our sins on the Cross where He shed His precious blood and died to pay for our sins and then victoriously rose from the grave as proof that full payment for sin had been made.
How could Christ take the blame for our sins? Just as a co-signer to a defaulted loan takes the full legal liability and blame for paying the loan on someone else's behalf so, too, Jesus Christ took the full liability and blame for our sins when He died on the Cross, and through genuine faith in Christ we have full forgiveness of sins and can look forward to immortality and eternal joy in the presence of God one day. Because of Christ's death and resurrection God can forgive your sin and mine without violating Hid own justice.
The Bible says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (Gospel of John 3:16).
Praise be to God for His unspeakable (indescribable) gift!
The author, Babu G. Ranganathan, has a B.A. degree with concentrations in theology and biology and has been recognized for his writings on religion and science in the 24th edition of Marquis "Who's Who In The East". The author's website may be accessed at www.religionscience.com.