In our previous explorations, Part 1 and Part 2, we learned that the word Elohim is used to describe humans with supernatural abilities. Then, we learned that Elohim is also used to describe rulers/judges and children of God.
Today, we are going to explore what it means to be a “son of God”.
A “son of God” or child of god (gender-neutral) is described by Jesus as being in a unified relationship with God, the Father (John 10:38, see Part 2). Christians are also called to a unified relationship with God, the Father, through Jesus Christ, and with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Check out Christ’s prayer of intercession for believers:
“I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in you, that they also may be in Us…The glory which You have given Me I have given them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in the and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity…so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:20-26 NASB).
Christ is making the radical statement that those who believe in Him, who are called into the Family of Christ, are unified with God. So, Elohim is used in reference to being a child of God and that relationship is described by Christ as divine unity with God, the Father, God, the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit. So when Psalms 82:6 says, “…you are gods, and all of you are sons of the Most High”, I don’t think it unreasonable to interpret this verse like this:
You are divinely united with God, you are sons of the Most High.
So. Elohim. What did we learn?
It can mean:
- God (THE God)
- gods (false deities)
- humans with divine attributes or supernatural abilities
- sons of God who are divinely united with God.
So when God uses this word, “Elohim”, to name Himself in Genesis 1:1; “In the beginning, God [Elohim] created the heavens and the earth”, He is, through context, describing a Creator, but also a Being of supernatural abilities, One who is Ruler and Judge, and One who is divinely united in an active relationship – the Trinity. But He is also describing One who is united by One Spirit, the Holy Spirit, with His beloved children – us.
So now the plurality of “Elohim” in a singular context makes a lot more sense, huh?