This scripture sums up the entire Gospel message. This is a wonderful verse about the love of God for mankind. However, because the verse say that he gave His Son many use this and other scripture to say that Jesus is not God. Taking it even further these same people also deny that there is a Trinity in which reside God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Let me see if I can help by dealing with the term “begotten Son” or “His one and only Son” Discovering what it means that Jesus was God’s “begotten Son” reveals wonderful realities about how God loves us.
Where Do We Get the Phrase “Begotten Son”?
The phrase “begotten son” is in the Bible several times other than John 3:16.
John 1:18 NKJV No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
John 3:18 NKJV “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Hebrews 11:17 NKJVBy faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
I John 4:9 NKJV In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.
All of these verses were were originally written in the Greek language, using the word “monogenes”. This is the word we translate into English as “begotten son” . The word “monogenes” describes the unique one-of-a-kind relationship between parent and child. Unlike the most common way that we interpret the word “begotten” in English, “monogenes” doesn’t refer to the literal act of procreation. “Monogenes” refers to a distinctive parent/child relationship. So, when the Bible refers to Jesus as God’s “begotten son,” it doesn’t indicate that Jesus is a created being. It points to the unique relationship between God the Father and Jesus the Son. The NKJV translates “monogenes” as “begotten son,” the NIV and NLT translate it as “one and only son” the ESV and CEV translate it as “only son”.
Look at this passage from Hebrews.
Hebrews 1:1-5 NKJV God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For to which of the angels did He ever say: “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You”? And again: “I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son”?
This passage points out that God and Jesus are fully united yet distinct in their relationship. This type of relationship, which is a perfect union with distinct roles, is also the same for their relationship with the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 2:13-18 NKJV But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. (emphasis mine)
Jesus is God’s begotten son because he is unified with God in a special relationship.
Philippians 2:5-7 NKJV Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men (emphasis mine).
He is “in very nature God” yet also works in the distinctly separate roles of the Trinity.
God has Three ways of revealing Himself to humanity.
1. The Father designed and organized how mankind would be redeemed.
Galatians 4:4-5 NKJV But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
2. The Son carried out the plan.
John 6:35-40 NKJV And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (emphasis mine)
He followed the Father's instructions to come to earth, even though that meant He would have to die.
3. The Holy Spirit sees to it that every person feels a call toward God's saving grace
John 16:5-11 NKJV “But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. (emphasis mine)
The Holy Spirit also transforms the lives and hearts of those who receive salvation through Jesus Christ.
Galatians 5:22-24 NKJV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Jesus is not a created being, like other “begotten” children. Instead, Jesus is both fully divine and fully human
This is important because it reveals Jesus’ full glory. Jesus isn’t a created human He is God who came to earth in human form.
Hebrews 1:1-3 NIV In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. (emphasis mine)
Jesus talks about Hs unity with God the Father.
John 14:6-11 NIV Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. (emphasis mine)
When we notice the wonder of God at work in our lives, we’re noticing Jesus’ work just as much as the work of God the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Acts 4:29-31 NIVNow, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. (emphasis mine)
The fact that Jesus is God’s begotten son is also important because it inspires us to trust him, so we can become adopted sons and daughters of God.
John 1:12-13 NIV Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
When the Bible tells us that Jesus is God’s begotten son it is showng us the special relationship between God the Father and Jesus the Son. They are perfectly united yet perform distinct roles. That reality reveals the wonder of Jesus’ glory, inspiring us to trust him. When we do that, we can enjoy loving relationships as God’s adopted children.
Galatians 4:4-7 NIV But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. (emphasis mine)
Ephesians 1:3-5 NIV Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will--(emphasis mine)