AND IN ONE LORD JESUS CHRIST, THE ONLY-BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD, BEGOTTEN OF THE
FATHER BEFORE ALL AGES.
A new light has fallen upon you, O chosen people, who bear the image of God in yourselves. Through the curtain, slightly parted by the hand of the Most High, a new shaft of light has fallen upon you, and you are illuminated like sons of God. This light shows you the mystical, eternal, joyful mystery of eternal fatherhood and eternal sonship. In this light a blessing has descended upon you, and the balm of consolaton has descended upon your tearstained eyes.
The Lord Jesus is the only one, both as the Christ and as the Son of God. As the Christ in the sense of the Messiah, He is the only one from the beginning to the end of the world. Mankind can neither find nor expect another Messiah. "For false christs will arise . . . and will lead many astray" (Matt. 24:5,24). Thus prophesied the Only, Genuine, Clairvoyant Christ. There have been false messiahs, there are even now, and there will be even more of them as the end of the human race draws nearer and nearer. But only one is the true Messiah, the genuine Christ, the incomprehensible Lover of mankind. This True, Genuine, and Incomprehensible One is the Messiah for all nations and peoples on earth, in every region and for all time. He is the one and only Messiah both for the living and the dead: who have been, who are, and who are yet to follow.
You are therefore called, O chosen people, to tell the peoples and the nations: O peoples and nations, you can have great men, greater than the great; you can have noble sons and daughters, more noble than the noble; but there is one Messiah of you all - only one. So do not await another, and do not seek another. Truly, any others who might come with that name, except for Him alone, will be a lie and the son of a lie. The only true Messiah once said, "Then if anyone says to you, 'Lo, here is the Christ!' or, 'There he is!' do not believe it" (Matt. 24:23). Do not be like the Jews, who incessantly await their own, Jewish Messiah. Truly, no such messiah will come, whether Jewish, or Russian, or Hindu, or American. For it is the characteristic of the true Messiah to be for all men, to appear before all, above all, and for the sake of all.
You have such a Messiah, O peoples and nations, the true Messiah, just as you have a sun in the firmament. And just as one sun shines on you all-white, black, yellow, or red- so one Messiah shines on you all, illuminates all, serves all, and is Lord over all. Who among you seeks another sun? No one. Why would anyone then seek another messiah, when the light of the Messiah Jesus is more brilliant than the light of the sun-more brilliant, more boundless, more life-creating, more joyful, more salvation-bearing?
Beware of new messiahs, O peoples and nations, and beware of many messiahs, for they are lost, money-grubbing souls and the servants of the deceitful one. Satan wants to disparage the significance of the Lord Jesus in the world by turning the unique and unearthly calling of the Messiah, the Christ, into some sort of order, with which he decorates more and more impostors. But you know that it is one thing to be a real general and another to wear all the decorations of a general without really being one. Beware of those messiahs which the unbaptized proclaim. Your Messiah wears only one symbol, one decoration-the cross. The cross which at the same time is also the banner of victory. By this you will recognize your Messiah, the only true Messiah. It is the same One who once went into the field hunched over to sow, and who will come down once again upright, to reap the harvest through the angels.
The only Messiah of the world is the Only-begotten Son of God himself, who was begotten of the Father before all time. This is His heavenly seal; this is the guarantee of His true Messiahship. Whoever denies that the Lord Jesus is the Messiah, will be caught in a lie.
The apostle who rested his head on Jesus' breast tells you this even more sharply. Here are his words:
"Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ," that is, the Messiah (1 John 2:22)? Could anything less than the Son of God be the Messiah? And could men accept anyone less as the Messiah?
He had to graft the aged and decayed tree of humanity with His own blood. No mortal's blood would have been pure enough, young enough, strong and life-giving enough, to have enabled that old tree to be rejuvenated and ennobled. No one's blood, truly, except that of the Son of God, with which He clothed His own Divinity as with a scarlet tunic.
Let your mind now elevate itself to the Only-begotten Son of God, O chosen people, you who bear the image of God in yourselves. You will immediately recognize Him by the image of God within you, and once you recognize Him you will become filled with joy. Christ is called the Only-begotten Son of God because He is the only Son begotten of God the Father. When you call the Most High the Father, you have already confirmed the existence of the Son. A childless man is not called a father; nor is one called a sire who has not sired offspring.
Thus does the Most High speak through the mouth of His prophet: "Shall I, who open the womb, be unable to beget? says the Lord; shall I, who cause to bring forth, be without offspring? says your God" (Isaiah 66:9). Let no one doubt, then, that God is a begetter; and let no one doubt the Only-begotten Son of God. Can there be anything good in the world, which is not in God and from God? And being born is a good thing. Therefore, being born is in God, not as a concept but as a reality, an eternal reality, because God is eternal.
God is witness. God the Father himself bore witness
and proclaimed Christ as His own Son. He did so first through the prophet when He said: "You are my Son, today I have begotten you" (Psalm 2:7). Oh that eternal "Today" of God! Second, he did it directly with his own voice on two occasions: at the River Jordan and on Mount Tabor-"This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him." Finally, who could know the Lord Jesus Christ better than He himself? And He himself said about Himself: "I am the Son of God" (John 10:36).
Just as no sensible person can call a father a father and deny a son, so no one can call a son a son and deny the father. How could there be a father who never had a child or a son who never had a father? And concerning this, he who rested his head on the breast of the Son of God again tells you: "No one who denies the Son has the Father, and whoever confesses the Son has the Father as well" (1 John 2:23).
A certain rich man had an only son, and this man was very merciful. And so when he heard that there were many orphans in his vicinity, he became sad. So he set out and gathered all the orphans, and brought them into his home. And he made his home their home, his wealth their wealth. And when he addressed them he said to them: "My sons!" in the same manner as he addressed his only son with the words: "My son!" What sort of difference, then, is there?
It is easy for you, O chosen people, to comprehend the difference. The difference is obvious: that rich man was the father in essence only of his only son, while he was called the father of all those orphans in his home through mercy. That only son of the rich man was his son by birth, while all the others were his sons by adoption. Kinship in substance and kinship through the gift of adoption-that is the difference.
This is said to you, O logical people, so that you may be armed against those illogical people who arrogantly say: We acknowledge that Christ is a son of God just as we all are also sons of God! Ask them humbly and gently: Are you all sons through mercy or are you all sons in substance? Speak up and answer us: How could the sinless Christ be God's son through mercy, and how could you, being sinful, be sons of God in substance? You acknowledge that God is sinless. Only one who is sinless can beget the Sinless one. How can one who is sinful be begotten of the One who is without sin? Can someone give what he does not have? And who among the sons of women is without sin? And who among you could call himself a son of God in actual essence?
In substance, or essence only one who carries within himself the divine characteristics and the divine powers of God the Father can be called the Son of God. In other words, only God can be the Son of God. Does not the whole of visible nature testify to you with harmonious testimony that whatever is begotten is the same substance as its begetter? Oak tree begets oak tree, dove begets dove, lion begets lion, eagle begets eagle, man begets man, and so on consistently everywhere in all the realms of living nature. What can God beget of God? The eternal Son of God, begotten of God the Father, is therefore God. The whole of living nature testifies to us that this must be so, and so does the Lord himself with His own testimony. And thus if the sinless Christ is the Son of God in essence, you sinful people can be called sons of God only through grace, through mercy, through adoption.
"Before all ages"-God the Son was begotten of God the Father. The Son of God himself, the Preeternal One, bore witness to this fact before his persecutors, the Jews, when He said: "Before Abraham was, I am" (John 8:58). And again, when they asked Him: "Who are you?" He answered them: "The Beginning" (John 8:25). By this the Lord wanted to point out that His origin and His eternal sonship were outside of time. He, the Only-begotten, is the beginning of all creation, the beginning of the angelic hosts and corporal beings. The Son of God is the Beginning. Just as the Most High is eternal, so also is His fatherhood. Therefore, you are speaking logically when you say that you believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages.
This is the faith of souls filled with love. Souls empty of love find it hard to accept this faith. Parents with invincible love for their children, and children with invincible love for their parents accept this faith joyfully. The light of God's fatherhood and God's sonship illuminates the inexplicable and profound mystery of nature concerning the attachment of parents to children and of children to parents. Only in this light can parents and children on earth comprehend the mystery of their mutual love. They can comprehend that their love is not of earthly but heavenly origin. It is kindled by the eternal flame of paternal and filial love, which is to be found in God. Therefore, all parents who love their children with invincible love, and all children who love their parents with invincible love, joyfully accept faith in the eternal Father and the co-eternal Son in heaven.
This is your faith, O Christ-bearers, and the faith of your fathers who loved you. Let is also be the faith of your children whom you love invincibly. This is the salvation-bearing Orthodox Faith, which has never been put to shame. Truly, this is the faith of the chosen people, of those who bear the image of God in themselves. On the Day of Christ's Judgment they shall be shown mercy and be called blessed.
Jesus - the Messiah - the Son.