Devotional Word for Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Today is November 25. That means there are 30 days until Christmas. In fact, this Sunday is the first week of Advent. In our devotional times most recently, we have been thinking about the Christian faith which is expressed in the Apostles’ Creed. For the past few devotional times we have been thinking about what the creed proclaims about Jesus. We will continue that topic today and for the next several as we head through Advent. Today we are looking at Question 33 of the Heidelberg Catechism. It asks, “Why is He (that is Jesus) called GOD’S ONLY-BEGOTTEN SON, since we also are God’s children?” The answer is short and to the point saying, “Because Christ alone is God’s own eternal Son, whereas we are accepted for His sake as children of God by grace.”
Perhaps this is not something that you have thought about. We are all descendants of Adam and the gospel of Luke tells us that Adam was a son of God. Doesn’t that mean that we all have the right to call upon God as our father? The answer is yes, we do have the RIGHT to call upon God as our father. He is our Father with respect to our creation. In the same way we are all brothers and sisters in creation. On this basis we could speak of the brotherhood of man. However, question 33 of the catechism and its answer are getting at something different.
The Lord Jesus of all people who ever lived is the only person who could claim something in addition to this basic notion of the brotherhood of man and the fatherhood of God. The Lord Jesus is truly man, but He is also truly God. He is called the only begotten Son of God because as the second person of the Trinity, there has never been a time when He did not exist. There will never be a time when He does not exist. He is uncreated, eternally existing. The eternal Son of God is God the Father’s only begotten Son.
We are still able to call God the Father our Father not because of any right of creation but because of His gracious love for us. As we are united to the Lord Jesus in faith, we are adopted by the Father and as such are not just children by virtue of creation but are also children of God by virtue of redemption. As we consider our positions as sons and daughters of God the Father by the work of God the Son, we also speak of one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. We are all God’s family.
Finally, as we think about being a child of God both by virtue of our creation and our gracious adoption, we need to recognize and marvel at God’s work. You see if we cling to our rights as children of God we are left with nothing but sin and misery. If on the other hand we acknowledge that we are redeemed by the blood of the Lord Jesus, we then realize that we are able to come to the Father not as a right but because of His gracious love toward us. Today, Wednesday the 25th is also the day before Thanksgiving. Let us then recognize that the Lord Jesus is God’s only begotten and eternal Son and that as we believe in the Lord Jesus we are adopted by the Heavenly Father which allows us to be called His sons and daughters. Let us pray.