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Is Jesus the Son of God or God Who Came on Earth as Jesus?

Jesus is fully God and yet He came to earth in human form. He is called the “Son of God” because of the prophecies he fulfilled in the Old Testament, and because it gives us a way to understand the roles of the three persons in the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

I think it is safe to say that in nearly every instance in the New Testament, being the “Son of God” meant our Lord was the Christ, the Messiah (see John 1:4911:27).

There are hints, however, that as the “Son of God,” Jesus was more than a mere man, a mere “son of David,” who would sit on the throne of His father, David. This is especially clear in the Gospel of John, beginning in chapter 5. It also seems to be clear at the trial of our Lord. When Jesus was asked by the priest if He was the “Son of God,” He admitted that He was, and was charged with blasphemy–claiming to be God (see Matthew 16:636568).

In the Old Testament, the coming Messiah, the descendant of David, was to become God’s “son” (2 Samuel 7:12-14aPsalm 2:7). To be God’s “son” was to be the ruler God had appointed, of the line of David. As Israel’s Messiah, Jesus was the “Son of God.” But Jesus further clarified the matter, demonstrating that He was indeed, God manifested in the flesh, something John is eager for His readers to grasp at the beginning of his Gospel (John 1:1-59-14).

Thus, the first century Jew understood the term “the Son of God” to mean “the Messiah.” And with our Lord’s further claims (John 5, 8), they understood this term to mean that Jesus, as the “Son of God” was not only the Messiah but God incarnate.

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With an understanding of today’s cultural issues, Christian theology and apologetics, dedicated John Ankerberg staff writers work together with internal and external scholars to provide real answers to the real questions asked by those wanting to know the truth about Jesus, the Bible and the Christian faith.

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