[Photo Courtesy of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists]

General Conference

Who is God the Son?

President of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church, Ted N.C. Wilson, talks about Fundamental Belief #4 - God the Son.

Silver Spring, Maryland, United States | Ted N.C. Wilson, President, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Editor’s Note: Below is a transcript of a message, posted to YouTube on February 3, 2022, from President of the Adventist Church, Ted N.C. Wilson. You can see past messages here

Hello, friends! I'm glad you can join me as we continue our journey exploring what we believe as Seventh-day Adventists. All of our beliefs are based solidly on the Bible, and during the next two messages we will look at what the Scriptures say about God the Son.

It is impossible to capture in a short video, or even in a massive book, the full picture of who Jesus Christ is. In the Gospel of John we learn much about Jesus, but even the beloved disciple had a difficult time capturing everything there was to say, as he closed his Gospel with these words, recorded in John 21:25—"And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written."

Nevertheless, John, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, teaches us much about the Savior. He begins his Gospel with these powerful words:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it" (John 1:1-5).

These verses tell us much about who Jesus is: He is eternal. He is God and was with God the Father from the beginning. He is the Creator. He is the Light. He is God's Word incarnate. He is Life itself. As we are told in that classic book, The Desire of Ages, "In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived" (p. 530).

Jesus Christ is fully God, and by His own great descension, fully Man. It is a mystery that we can never fully understand, but He is the Son of God, and the Son of Man.

Here is how it is explained in our Seventh-day Adventist Fundamental Belief # 4, titled "God the Son":

"God the eternal Son became incarnate in Jesus Christ. Through Him all things were created, the character of God is revealed, the salvation of humanity is accomplished, and the world is judged. 

"Forever truly God, He became also truly human, Jesus the Christ. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived and experienced temptation as a human being, but perfectly exemplified the righteousness and love of God. 

"By His miracles He manifested God’s power and was attested as God’s promised Messiah. He suffered and died voluntarily on the cross for our sins and in our place, was raised from the dead, and ascended to heaven to minister in the heavenly sanctuary on our behalf. 

"He will come again in glory for the final deliverance of His people and the restoration of all things."

While we will be learning more about the character of our wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ, throughout eternity, for the next few minutes let's take a brief look at three major points regarding God the Son.

  1. He is from eternity. In Micah 5:2, the prophet describes Jesus as the one "Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting." Jesus Himself told the Jews, as recorded in John 8:57, "Before Abraham was, I am." And in Revelation 22:12, 13 He tells you and me, "behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last."
  2. Jesus' mission of salvation was established before the world was created. The apostle Peter, states in 1 Peter 1:19 that we were redeemed "with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." The apostle continues in verse 20, stating that "He," that is, Jesus, "indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you." John the Revelator affirms this point when he refers in Revelation 13:8 to Jesus as "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."
  3. The birth and mission of Jesus were foretold in prophecy.

Shortly after Adam and Eve sinned, God revealed to them the first prophecy of a coming Redeemer as he told the serpent, "And I will put enmity between-n you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel." The prophecies continued throughout the Old Testament, with men of God speaking with one voice, giving clear indicators for identifying the Savior of the world.

God promised that the Redeemer would come through the line of Abraham, promising him, as recorded in Genesis 22:18, "In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed." Isaiah prophesied the Savior would come as a male child and would be both human and divine, as we read in Isaiah 9:6—"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

This Child would be born in Bethlehem, as prophesied in Micah 5:2. His birth would be miraculous, of divine origin, as indicated in Isaiah 7:14—"Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel." The New Testament confirms this prophecy in Matthew 1:20, 21, where we hear an angel telling Joseph, "do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."

Jesus Himself, while worshipping at the synagogue in Nazareth, was handed the book of Isaiah. Opening the scroll, He read the passage we find in Isaiah 61:1,2:

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord . . ." Closing the scroll, Jesus proclaimed, as recorded in Luke 4:21, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."

And as we read of Christ's life and ministry while on Earth, it is clear that He fulfilled His mission, as outlined by the prophets.

You know, friends, there is so much to be said about our Savior, Jesus Christ--and today we have just scratched the surface. Next time, we will look more closely about the prophecies surrounding Christ's death and resurrection.

In the meantime, I encourage you to study more for yourself. You will find some excellent resources at adventist.org/beliefs where you can read the Fundamental Belief on God the Son and look up the many Bible texts listed there supporting this belief. In addition, I encourage you to read, or re-read the outstanding book on the life of Christ, The Desire of Ages. If you do not yet have a copy of this marvelous book, it is available in print from online bookstores, or for free download in multiple languages at egwwritings.org. It is also available free on the EGW Writings 2 App, available from your favorite app provider.

May the Lord bless you deeply as you learn more about God the Son, our wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ.

Let's have a word of prayer together just now. Father in Heaven, thank you for sending Jesus the Son to be both one-hundred percent divine, one-hundred percent human. Incomprehensible to us, but fully the truth. So now we ask your guidance upon each of us, as we lean upon Jesus our elder brother, our Redeemer, our Savior, our coming King, our High priest, the One who will guide us each day. Thank you for hearing us in this prayer and we ask it in the name of the son Jesus Christ, amen.