This day have I begotten thee – Hebrews 1:5

Hebrews 1:5 says “This day have I begotten thee”. Is it talking about that day in a manger, when Mary gave birth to a male child? Some say it means when Christ is referred to as only begotten, it is talking about his birth through Mary, i.e. incarnation.
That is an error for these reasons.
1. Read again Hebrews 1:4-5“Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?”Notice that the purpose of Hebrews 1 is to prove the divinity of Christ, i.e. “being made much better than angels”. The evidence that Christ was made better than angels is that God said these words to him “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee”. But by Mary, Christ was “made a little lower than angels (not better than angels) for the suffering of death” (Hebrews 2:9). So we see two cases where Christ is made something.In Hebrews 1:5 he is made higher than angels. In Hebrews 2:9, he is made lower than angels. These are two different cases. But the quote “This day have I begotten thee” is not applied to Christ being lower than angels. Thee quote is applied to him being made higher than angels. Therefore the quote is not about incarnation, but applies before incarnation.
2. The argument is often made by those who deny the sonship of Christ before incarnation saying, Christ could not be begotten before incarnation because God has no wife and there was no mother before Mary.Do you see the problem here. If begotten is taken to me a husband and a wife and the wife becomes the mother of the son, then by implication Mary was the wife of God. That is the thinking that led to the worship of Mary and to the idea of immaculate conception of Mary. That’s why Catholics say all their doctrines are based on the three-in-one god teaching.But the truth is that Mary was only a vessel for the purpose of creating a body for the only begotten Son of God, to give Christ humanity to unite divinity and humanity in the literal begotten sonship of the Son of God. If he was not a literal Son of God before, the body created in Mary’s womb could not make Him a literal Son of God. It was his already being a literal begotten Son of God that gives us the sonship through of God through him. We are adopted sons of God because our blood brother is a real only begotten Son of God.
3. Hebrews also teaches that by being begotten, Christ became an express image of God.Those who teach that Christ was only begotten through Mary, essentially teach that through Mary Christ became an express image of God’s person (not just character, but person). Now I am not sure if anyone would want to argue that the human body of Christ was the express image of God’s person. At no time does the Bible teach that in the form of a man, Christ was an express image of God’s person. As a man he was an image of God through Adam, and that is not an express image.The Bible teaches that the human body of Christ was the express image of Abraham (Hebrews 2:16) not of God the Father. The only way Christ could be an express image of God is if he was begotten of God as an express image of God before Christ became human. So EGW says this:“A complete offering has been made; for “God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son,”–not a son by creation, as were the angels, nor a son by adoption, as is the forgiven sinner, but a Son begotten in the express image of the Father’s person, and in all the brightness of his majesty and glory, one equal with God in authority, dignity, and divine perfection. In him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” — (Ellen G. White, Signs of the Times, May 30, 1895)Notice that to be begotten put him in the express image of the Father’s person.“From eternity there was a complete unity between the Father and the Son. They were two [NOT THREE], yet little short of being identical; two in individuality, yet one in spirit, and heart, and character.” { YI December 16, 1897, par. 5 } (emphasis added)At that, Christ was already an express image of God’s person.
4. Christ human nature was created and was not the express image of God.“I will try to answer this important question: As God he could not be tempted: but as a man he could be tempted, and that strongly, and could yield to the temptations. His human nature must pass through the same test and trial Adam and Eve passed through. His human nature was created; it did not even possess the angelic powers. It was human, identical with our own. He was passing over the ground where Adam fell. He was now where, if he endured the test and trial in behalf of the fallen race, he would redeem Adam’s disgraceful failure and fall, in our own humanity.” { 3SM 129.3}There is no Christ being begotten here. There is creation of human nature. I cannot say I have seen anywhere where begotten as an express image of God is applied to incarnation directly. It is impossible. Why?Like begets like. God begets god. God creates human nature, not beget it. So Christ human nature was created by God but not begotten of God.
The second and related erroneous teaching I read was this and I quote.“The biggest problem is , you apply his “Begotten” to his pre-existence and try to place a beginning point of his life in time immemorial, and run away from him being begotten, as to Earthly Ministry and Salvation oriented.”Notice that the claim made here is that the word begotten does not apply to Christ before incarnation. To expose that error, I give this single quote.“Christ was the only begotten Son of God, and Lucifer, that glorious angel, got up a warfare over the matter, until he had to be thrust down to the earth.” — (Ellen G. White, Ms86, August 21, 1910)Notice that EGW applies the words “only-begotten” before incarnation and independent of incarnation.Simple truth. If God did not have an only begotten son who was the express image of God’s person before incarnation, incarnation would not be able to achieve that in the Son of God. Christ’s human nature was created by God, not begotten. Christ divine nature was begotten of God as the express image of God’s person. This is more than just express image in character. But it is express image in person.So yes, the brethren greatly err on this one. The truth is that Christ was the only-begotten of the Father before incarnation. The detail of how he was begotten, we are not told. Just as much as we are not told how one who is fully God could become a baby in a womb. No-one can understand that detail. It is not for us to resolve the questions of how he was begotten as an express image of God’s person. Neither are we to speculate on that to create doctrines based on what we do not understand and are not given to understand.

The Rock Fortress Ministriestherockfortress@gmail.comFind us on YouTube and Facebook15 February 2021

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