The Gospel Observer
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations...teaching them to
observe all that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to
the end of the age" (Matt. 28:19,20).
March 25, 1990
1) More on the Term "Begotten" (Tom Edwards)
2) Self-Centeredness (Tom Edwards)
More On The Term "Begotten"
by Tom Edwards
It's interesting to consider the Bible's figurative usage of the term
"begotten." In Hebrews 11:17, for example, we read: "By faith Abraham,
when he was tested, offered up Isaac; and he who had received the
promises was offering up his ONLY BEGOTTEN SON" (emphasis mine).
Actually, Isaac was not Abraham's "only begotten son" in the literal
sense; for Ishmael had been his firstborn by his wife's handmaid, Hagar
-- but Ishmael was not the child of the promise. After the death of
Sarah, Abraham remarried and had other children by his new wife
Keturah; but only Isaac was ever referred to as his "only begotten
son." This, then, indicates something very special about Isaac.
God had told Abraham that it was in Isaac that his descendants would be
called (Hebrews 11:18). He was the child of the "promise," the one
specially chosen to play an important role in God's scheme of
redemption. Though the Lord had blessed Ishmael, it was not to be
through him that Jesus' lineage would descend; but rather through Isaac
-- the one with whom God established His covenant (Gen. 17:20,21).
Jesus, too, came into this world as one "specially chosen" to bring
about God's plan of salvation. By the accomplishments of His obedient
life, His propitiatory death, and His glorious resurrection, the Lord
made this way of redemption possible.
Acts 13:33,34 reads: "...God has fulfilled this promise to our children
in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm,
`Thou art My Son; TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN THEE' (emphasis mine). And as
for the fact that He raised Him up from the dead, no more to return to
decay, He has spoken in this way: `I will give You the holy and sure
blessings of David."' According to this passage, when did Jesus become
the "begotten" of God? The reference is not made to His birth, but
rather to His resurrection.
Forty days after Christ arose from the dead, He ascended back to the
right hand of God to reign as both "Lord" and "Christ" (Acts 2:36) --
the "Anointed Ruler." What a very special and highly exalted role
Christ was "begotten" for.
Being one of God's begotten connotes a special relationship with the
Father. This implication is also made by the Hebrew writer when he
rhetorically asks in Hebrews 1:5, "For to which of the angels did He
ever say: `You are My Son, today I have begotten You'?...." In the
context, Christ is seen as being superior to the angels; and the
reference to His being a "begotten Son" indicates that.
Through Jesus Christ, the lowly penitent sinner can gain access by his
faith and obedience to a special position of favor with God; thus
becoming one of God's "begotten." By so doing, he is "born again" into
a new relationship that will provide him entrance into the kingdom of
heaven (John 3:3-5) and is "begotten" by God "to a living hope through
the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (1 Pet 1:3). What relationship could
be more meaningful or more special than man's relationship to God
Himself? Have you been "born again" so that you, too, might enjoy this
fellowship with the Father as His "begotten?"
by Tom Edwards
The story has been told about a novelist who after talking about
herself for two hours to a friend, concluded by saying, "Now we've
talked about me long enough -- let's talk about you. What did you think
of my last novel?"
Though it sounds to the contrary, being self-centered is not being well
balanced. In the very beginning, God said that it was not good for the
man to be alone and made for him a helpmeet with whom he could
communicate and share.
What better way could there be in rounding out an individual than with
a warm circle of friends? Solomon expressed a similar thought in
Prov. 27:17, by saying, as "iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens
The Bible gives instructions for the best possible relationships.
How much better this world would be if we each learned to incorporate
these precepts in our lives.
Writing to the Philippians, Paul exhorted the brethren to "Do nothing
from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each
of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely
look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of
others" (Phil. 2:3,4).
And to the Romans, Paul wrote: "Now we who are strong ought to bear the
weaknesses of those without strength and not just please
ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to
his edification" (Rom. 15:1,2).
By sacrificially giving His own life, Jesus exemplified the greatest
love that one can show to his fellow man. Through the abounding taunts,
cruel mockeries, and merciless persecutions, the Lord still remained
more concerned for others than for Himself. His last words on earth
were not characterized by malediction or abuse, but with mercy and
compassion for even the very ones who had nailed Him to the cross.
Jesus teaches the need for a man to deny self in order to follow after
Him; by so doing, one's life becomes centered around Christ rather than
merely around one's self. As the apostle Paul states in Galatians 2:20,
"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but
Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live
by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for
Through an understanding of God's word, one can learn how to deny self
and live for Christ. May we each continue in our study of it.
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel,
for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30,31).
2) Believe in the
deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins
(Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ
(Rom. 10:9,10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water
for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4;
Gal. 3:26,27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith;
can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet.
First published for the Tri-state church of Christ in Ashland,
Kentucky, at 713 13th Street.
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards