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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: What Everyone Needs to Know about Jesus

Don Stewart :: Are Others in Scripture, Apart from Jesus, Called the Son of God or Sons of God?

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Are Others in Scripture, Apart from Jesus, Called the Son of God or Sons of God?

What Everyone Needs to Know about Jesus – Question 13

Although Jesus is called the “Son of God” we also find this term applied to humans and angels. Indeed, from a study of Scripture we find that the term “son of God” is applied to the first man Adam, angels, Israel, those who make peace, and Christians. The evidence for this is as follows.

1. Adam Was a Son of God

Adam, the first man whom God created, was called the son of God. We read of this in Jesus’ genealogy as recorded by Luke. It says,

Kenan was the son of Enosh. Enosh was the son of Seth. Seth was the son of Adam. Adam was the son of God. (Luke 3:38 NLT)

In this sense, Adam was a direct creation of God. In other words, he had no human father. Indeed, the Book of Genesis explains his creation in this manner:

Then the LORD God formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7 HCSB)

Thus, Adam came into our world in a different manner than the rest of humanity.

2. Israel Was God’s Son

In the Old Testament we find God saying that the nation Israel was His son. We read about this in Hosea. The Lord said,

When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. (Hosea 11:1 NRSV)

The nation had a special relationship with God the Father. Indeed, it was so special that the Lord referred to Israel as His “son.”

3. Angels Are the Sons of God

On at least one occasion in the Old Testament, angels are called “sons of God.” In the Book of Job we read the following:

One day the sons of God came again to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them to present himself before the LORD. (Job 2:1 HCSB)

“Sons” in this context, has nothing to do with a genetic relationship. They were created beings, all of whom were created at once.

4. Those Who Make Peace Are God’s Sons

In the New Testament we are told that those who make peace are called the “sons of God.” In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said,

God blesses those people who make peace. They will be called his children! (Matthew 5:9 CEV)

God wants us to be peacemakers, not merely peacekeepers. We bring people together, not keep them apart.

5. Christians Are Called God’s Sons

The designation “sons of God” is also used for Christians. We read the following statement of Jesus in Luke’s gospel about the destiny of believers:

For they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are sons of God since they are sons of the resurrection. (Luke 20:36 HCSB)

Some translations use the word “children” rather than sons. For example, the New Revised Standard Version reads:

Indeed they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection. (Luke 20:36 NRSV)

Believers are God’s sons, or God’s children, through faith in Jesus Christ.

Therefore, we find that the term “son of God” is used a number of different ways in Scripture. It is not merely used as a designation for Jesus.

Summary – Question 13
Are Others in Scripture, Apart from Jesus, Called the Son of God or Sons of God?

While Jesus Christ is called the Son of God in Scripture, He is not the only one with this title. Indeed, we find this title used in a number of ways in the Bible.

Adam, the first human being whom God created, is called the “son of God” in Jesus’ genealogy. However, he is not the only one with this designation.

The nation Israel, in the Book of Hosea, is called “My son” by God. Therefore, Israel is a “son of God” in a special sense.

In the Book of Job, we are told that there was a time certain angels appeared before the Lord. These angels are designated the “sons of God.” Thus, this title can refer to angels.

Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, said that those who are the peacemakers will be called the “sons of God.” Therefore, this title can be used of peacemakers.

Finally, Jesus said that believers who are part of the resurrection of the righteous dead are also the “sons of God.” They also have this designation.

Consequently, the terms “son of God” and “sons of God” is used of others in Scripture apart from Jesus Christ.

Was Jesus Called the Son of God? ← Prior Section
If Others Are Called "the Son of God" in Scripture, in What Sense Is Jesus Different? Next Section →
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