THE SON OF GOD.
BY JOSEPH AGAR BEET
PAUL S CONCEPTION OF CHRIST.THE remarkable doctrine, common to nearly allthe writers of the New Testament, that Christdied in order that through His death might cometo guilty man forgiveness of sins, supplemented as itis by Paul s teaching that the need for this costlymeans of salvation lay in the justice of God, suggestsat once a careful inquiry into the nature of that OneMan through whom comes a salvation designed for allmen. I shall therefore now endeavour to reproducethe conception of Christ embodied in the Epistlesof Paul, in the Fourth Gospel, in the SynoptistGospels, and in other parts of the New Testament.In the opening sentence of the Epistle to theRomans we read that the chief matter of the " Gospelof God " is " His SON . . . who was marked out asSon of God by resurrection from the dead." The word215216 THE SON OF GOD. [PART IV.rendered marked-out or defined implies that by thistitle He was distinguished from others. In Rom.v. 6-10, after appealing to the death of Christ forsinners as a marvellous proof of God s love to them,Paul sums up his argument, that it may be a basisof further argument, in the words, " ye were reconciled to God through the death of His Son." Asimilar appeal, again made a basis of argument, isfound in ch. viii. 32 : " He that spared not His ownSon, but gave Him up on behalf of us all, how shallHe not also with Him give us all things by Hisgrace?" This triumphant argument, and especiallythe contrast implied in the phrase His OWN SON,suggests a father who gives up to peril or death Hisown Son in order to save others who are not Hissons. We have in this passage clear proof thatPaul looked upon Christ as the Son of God in a sensenot shared by other men. Similarly in Rom. viii. 3we read that " God sent His own Son in the likeness of the flesh of sin." This refers evidently to theIncarnation ; and implies that He who came in humanflesh was already the own Son of God. So Gal. iv. 4 :"when the fulness of the time came, God sent forthHis Son, born of woman, born under law." Thisteaching implies that, just as a man s sons hold arelation to him shared by no others, so Christ holdsa unique relation to God.The title " Son of God " is also given to Christconspicuously in i Cor. i. 9, xv. 28, 2 Cor. i. 19,Gal i. 1 6, ii, 20, Eph. iv. 13, Col. i. 13, i Thess. i. 10.LECT. XXV.] PAUL S CONCEPTION OF CHRIST. 217