Did Jesus always exist with God the Father?

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Our statements of faith say that Jesus always existed with God the Father. Can you share scriptures for this belief? 

 

Eternality is an attribute of Deity. It says that God has neither beginning nor end. As the great I AM, Yahweh always is. The biblical evidence points to the conclusion that Jesus Christ the Son, in His divine nature, is eternal just like His Father. Follow the Bible’s chain of evidence here.

The first link is a Hebrew prophecy of the coming Messiah-King, Jesus. In Micah 5:2, we read, “But you, Bethlehem . . . out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from old, from everlasting.” The marginal reading for everlasting here is “from the days of eternity.” 

The next link is John 1:1-3. Here we learn that the One who became flesh and lived among us (v. 14) was the Word, with the Father in the beginning and with Him created all things. This preexistent Christ enjoyed heaven’s full glory — with God and as God — before time and creation began (1:1; 17:5). Elsewhere in John, Jesus explodes all time limits by linking the Father innately with Himself: “Before Abraham was, I AM” (8:58). 

The third link is in the Epistles. Philippians 2:5-11 says that Christ Jesus become a human-form servant by laying aside His original, before-the-world glory in God form. This emptying, seen earlier in John 1:14; 17:5, is echoed in Philippians 2 and confirmed by glory-before-creation language in another epistle: Hebrews 1:1-3. 

The final link in this chain is in the Bible’s final book, the “Revelation of Jesus Christ” (1:1). In red letters, the Son of God takes for Himself a series of time-and-life descriptions reserved only for Almighty God: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, the Lord who is and who was and who is to come, He who lives and was dead and is alive forevermore” (1:8, 11, 17, 18; 2:8; 22:13; Isaiah 44:6). Each of these carries an implication of bigger than time, of existence beyond time, of sharing the eternal attribute of I AM.

We should speak of the Son, then, as begotten by the Father before time, rather than created by Him in time, as Colossians 1:15b and Revelation 3:14b might suggest at first glance. Jesus is Himself the Creator, and without Him was nothing made that was made (John 1:3). And when did the Father beget the Son? As far back as we can count or think, Jesus was there. In human terms, fathers are always older than sons. The reality with our heavenly Father and His Son, however, need not conform to every reality of human fathers and sons (i.e., method of conception, relative age). 

Was not the Son begotten on a certain day, as Psalm 2:7 says: “You are My Son, today I have begotten You”? Rather than limit the Son’s begettal to a point in time like His baptism (Matthew 3:17) or resurrection (Acts 13:33), it is fully plausible to see this “today” as a non-literal day when the Father recognized and honored His Son around the throne in heaven. This is analogous to the timeless, everyday “today” when the Holy Spirit calls persons back to faith in God (Psalm 95:7ff; Hebrews 3:7-15). 

Other texts that support Christ’s eternal Sonship with the Father: John 17:24; Colossians 1:17; and Hebrews 7:3. 

— Elder Calvin Burrell

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Calvin Burrell

Calvin Burrell is former editor of the Bible Advocate and director of G. C. Missions. He retired in 2015 and lives with his wife, Barb, in Stayton, OR. They attend church in Marion, OR.

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Calvin Burrell is former editor of the Bible Advocate and director of G. C. Missions. He retired in 2015 and lives with his wife, Barb, in Stayton, OR. They attend church in Marion, OR.