Our prophet said: “There are some things upon which we must reason, and there are other things that we must not discuss.” Ellen G. White. Sermons and talks Vol. 1. ‘The foundation of our faith’. MS 46. 1904. Manuscripts Release 900.
One area we cannot discuss is how God’s Son was begotten, and it is not necessary for us to know. We are to believe and trust Him.
However, whether Jesus is the begotten Son of God prior to the incarnation is something we must discuss and study.
One of the biggest arguments relates to Jesus having a beginning, or an origin, as some people prefer to say. 'If the Son had a beginning, He cannot be deity. He cannot have a God-nature.'
There is nothing in the Scripture against it.
God’s Son inherited a divine nature at His birth, just as we inherit a human nature from our parents at birth. Simply having a beginning does not preclude Him having being born with immortal life and all the attributes of deity.
After His baptism, while Jesus was praying… "... from the highest heaven was heard the voice of the infinite One, God the Father, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." 2 Sermons and Talks p167.
“The words of confirmation that Christ is the Son of God were given to inspire faith in those who witnessed the scene, and to sustain the Son of God in His arduous work. Notwithstanding the Son of God was clothed with humanity, yet Jehovah, with His own voice, assures Him of His Sonship with the Eternal. In this manifestation to His Son, God accepts humanity as exalted through the excellence of His beloved Son.” 2 Spirit of Prophecy p60.
Our prophet said, “God sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, liable to physical infirmities, tempted in all points like as we are. He was the Son of the living God. His personality did not begin with His incarnation in the flesh.” Letter 77. Aug 3. 1894. The word 'personality' means, 'individuality, or a person'.
Jesus really is God’s Son.
The Handbook of Seventh-day Adventists - Theology - Vol 13 p125, states the following under Sonship:
"John 1:18 presents the same father-son relationship as independent from the Incarnation. "No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known." Matthew also notes a father-son relationship that is prior to and independent of God's revelatory relation to His creation. "No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him." Matt 11:27; Luke 10:22.
These statements place the plurality revealed by the father-son designation in the very nature of the one God. They move beyond the level of God's immanence to His transcendence. Furthermore, these texts reveal that within the level of God's transcendence, plurality involves two centers of consciousness that are able to know each other in a unique way.
Even though the father-son language chosen to express the plurality of the Godhead is taken from the human level of existence, its referent is God Himself. This language discloses the existence of a duality of the kind of reality we call person and an ongoing relationship between them as constitutive of the very nature of God. The relationship between the Father and Son exists both at the level of transcendence and immanence.
Throughout the NT Fatherhood and Sonship become designations of the one God. Thus, the title 'Son of God' refers to the divine person incarnated in Jesus of Nazareth. (See Matt 13:33; Mark 3:11; Luke 4:41; 1 Cor 1:9; Heb 4:14).
The way the NT expresses the plurality in the Godhead on the basis of the Incarnation raises questions about the proper understanding and mutual distinction between the person of the Father and the person of the Son. It raises questions also about the way the two divine persons relate to each other.
The biblical idea of plurality in God's being entails the reality of mutual, divine relationships. The analogical meaning of the words 'Father' and 'Son' seems to suggest that there is a preeminence of God the Father over God the Son suggested by the analogy to the human father-son relationship seems to be sustained by some passages that appear to teach that the Son is generated by the Father, and that the Son is subordinated to the Father."
I am not sure we understood all that, but there is an admission that the Bible 'seems to suggest' a father-son relationship, and that 'some passages... appear to teach' that God actually had a Son. However, in the next section below, this is denied.
"Born of the Father -- Within the human context the father-son relationship involves the generation of the son from the father and mother. Arius affirmed the creation of the Son by the Father. Even though this position was rejected as heretical, orthodox Christian teaching kept a subordinationist emphasis built on its concept about the eternal generation of the Son. The generation of the Son from the Father cannot be analogically deduced from the process of human generation. Such a deduction would produce a speculative theory without any ground in revelation..."
In conclusion the writer says, "There is therefore, no ground within the biblical understanding of the Godhead for the idea of a generation of the Son from the Father."
Is this true? Is there really 'no ground' for the 'idea of a generation of the Son from the Father'?
Who is it who wanted Christ to forget He was the Son of God? You know the answer.
"Satan flattered himself that he could lead Christ to doubt the words spoken from heaven at His baptism. If he could tempt Him to question His Sonship, and doubt the truth of the word spoken by His Father, he would gain a great victory." Confrontation p40.
Jesus knew the Jews were determined to take His life, yet He fully explained His Sonship to them, the relation He bore to the Father, and His equality with Him. This left them without an excuse.
"…though baffled in their designs, and over-awed by His divine eloquence and truth, the murderous hatred of the priests and elders was not quenched.... But they were so bound by the chains of pride and arrogance that they rejected the evidence of His divine power, resisted His appeals, and locked themselves in darkness." 2 Spiritual Gifts p172.
Dear Reader, will you ask yourself if your mind is also locked in darkness?
Jesus died under the charge of being the Son of God?
Of course your remember the demand of Caiaphas, "I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God."Matthew 26:63.
Jesus is asked to answer the question under oath.
The question is not, 'Did you become a Son when you came to this earth?'
No. He meant it in the highest sense, the same sense Jesus had said it to the Jewish leaders some time earlier, and they picked up stones to kill Him for blasphemy.
And what was Jesus' reply under oath?
“Thou hast said..." Matthew 26:64.
“I am...” Mark 14:62.
It was for this they condemned Him to death.
Did Jesus lie under oath?
Or was He truly -- Son of the living God?