And the messenger answering said to her, 'The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee, therefore also the holy-begotten thing shall be called Son of God;
Luke 1:35 Additional TranslationsClarke's Commentary on the Bible
The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee - This conception shall take place suddenly, and the Holy Spirit himself shall be the grand operator. The power, δυναμις, the miracle-working power, of the Most High shall overshadow thee, to accomplish this purpose, and to protect thee from danger. As there is a plain allusion to the Spirit of God brooding over the face of the waters, to render them prolific, Genesis 1:2, I am the more firmly established in the opinion advanced on Matthew 1:20, that the rudiments of the human nature of Christ was a real creation in the womb of the virgin, by the energy of the Spirit of God.
Therefore also that holy thing (or person) - shall be called the Son of God - We may plainly perceive here, that the angel does not give the appellation of Son of God to the Divine nature of Christ; but to that holy person or thing, το ἁγιον, which was to be born of the virgin, by the energy of the Holy Spirit. The Divine nature could not be born of the virgin; the human nature was born of her. The Divine nature had no beginning; it was God manifested in the flesh, 1 Timothy 3:16; it was that Word which being in the beginning (from eternity) with God, John 1:2, was afterwards made flesh, (became manifest in human nature), and tabernacled among us, John 1:14. Of this Divine nature the angel does not particularly speak here, but of the tabernacle or shrine which God was now preparing for it, viz. the holy thing that was to be born of the virgin. Two natures must ever be distinguished in Christ: the human nature, in reference to which he is the Son of God and inferior to him, Mark 13:32; John 5:19; John 14:28, and the Divine nature which was from eternity, and equal to God, John 1:1; John 10:30; Romans 9:5; Colossians 1:16-18. It is true, that to Jesus the Christ, as he appeared among men, every characteristic of the Divine nature is sometimes attributed, without appearing to make any distinction between the Divine and human natures; but is there any part of the Scriptures in which it is plainly said that the Divine nature of Jesus was the Son of God? Here, I trust, I may be permitted to say, with all due respect for those who differ from me, that the doctrine of the eternal Sonship of Christ is, in my opinion, anti-scriptural, and highly dangerous. This doctrine I reject for the following reasons: -
1st. I have not been able to find any express declaration in the Scriptures concerning it.
2dly. If Christ be the Son of God as to his Divine nature, then he cannot be eternal; for son implies a father; and father implies, in reference to son, precedency in time, if not in nature too. Father and son imply the idea of generation; and generation implies a time in which it was effected, and time also antecedent to such generation.
3dly. If Christ be the Son of God, as to his Divine nature, then the Father is of necessity prior, consequently superior to him.
4thly. Again, if this Divine nature were begotten of the Father, then it must be in time; i.e. there was a period in which it did not exist, and a period when it began to exist. This destroys the eternity of our blessed Lord, and robs him at once of his Godhead.
5thly. To say that he was begotten from all eternity, is, in my opinion, absurd; and the phrase eternal Son is a positive self-contradiction. Eternity is that which has had no beginning, nor stands in any reference to Time. Son supposes time, generation, and father; and time also antecedent to such generation. Therefore the conjunction of these two terms, Son and eternity is absolutely impossible, as they imply essentially different and opposite ideas.
The enemies of Christ's Divinity have, in all ages, availed themselves of this incautious method of treating this subject, and on this ground, have ever had the advantage of the defenders of the Godhead of Christ. This doctrine of the eternal Sonship destroys the deity of Christ; now, if his deity be taken away, the whole Gospel scheme of redemption is ruined. On this ground, the atonement of Christ cannot have been of infinite merit, and consequently could not purchase pardon for the offenses of mankind, nor give any right to, or possession of, an eternal glory. The very use of this phrase is both absurd and dangerous; therefore let all those who value Jesus and their salvation abide by the Scriptures. This doctrine of the eternal Sonship, as it has been lately explained in many a pamphlet, and many a paper in magazines, I must and do consider as an awful heresy, and mere sheer Arianism; which, in many cases, has terminated in Socinianism, and that in Deism. From such heterodoxies, and their abetters, may God save his Church! Amen!
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
The Holy Ghost.
Luke 1:27,31 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary...
Matthew 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, you son of David...
Job 14:4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.
Job 15:16 How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinks iniquity like water?
Job 25:4 How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?
Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was shaped in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Ephesians 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind...
Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are...
Hebrews 7:26-28 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens...
the Son of God.
Luke 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give to him the throne of his father David:
Psalm 2:7 I will declare the decree: the LORD has said to me, You are my Son; this day have I begotten you.
Matthew 14:33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth you are the Son of God.
Matthew 26:63,64 But Jesus held his peace, And the high priest answered and said to him, I adjure you by the living God...
Matthew 27:54 Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done...
Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
John 1:34,49 And I saw, and bore record that this is the Son of God...
John 20:31 But these are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God...
Acts 8:37 And Philip said, If you believe with all your heart, you may. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Romans 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me...
Luke 1:35 Parallel CommentariesAngel Begotten Birth Born Child Ghost High Highest Holy Messenger Offspring Overshadow Power Reason Rest Spirit WhereforeAngel Begotten Birth Born Child Ghost High Highest Holy Messenger Offspring Overshadow Power Reason Rest Spirit WhereforeTHE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.
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