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Only through the Son

The only way to become a true son of God is through union with his only begotten son.


Regrettably, many theologians have used the doctrine of the fatherhood of God to misrepresent his character and promote heretical teaching regarding both God and his redemptive work. Nineteenth-century liberals were particularly guilty of this error, arguing that God’s fatherly love could be claimed by anyone, even those outside of Christ. As many historians have noted, many nineteenth-century liberals had only two principal doctrines: “The Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of Man.”

In one sense we must indeed affirm that God is “fatherly” toward all his creation and exercises a providential care over all humanity. The fact that any human being anywhere exists and lives and breathes is a testimony to a paternal and benevolent relationship between the Creator and his creation. But this does not mean that God is “Father” in a personal and saving way to everybody. Scripture clearly affirms that we become sons of God only as we are united to Christ and thereby adopted into God’s family (Gal. 4:4–5; Eph. 1:4–5).

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The fact that humans have a world to live in along with the gift of food and natural resources is evidence that God sustains humanity as in a fatherly way. Without God’s daily provision all life would rapidly perish. For, “in him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). Life itself is a gift.

At the same time, recognizing God as the source and sustainer of humanity does not entail any form of universalism. It is one thing to assert that the Father “makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt. 5:45). It is quite another to affirm that God is obligated to save all because he is Father. In the Bible the path to truly knowing God as Father in a saving sense is through the Son, and only through the Son. As Jesus said, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9), for “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). Only through the Son do we come to know the Father.

—Albert Mohler, The Apostles’ Creed (Crossway, 2019), 7–8.

Posted 2020·02·05 by David Kjos
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Posted in: Adoption · Albert Mohler · The Apostles’ Creed (Mohler) · The Trinity · Union with Christ · Universalism

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