“the only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages”
The Bible leads us to understand the identity of this “Only Son” as “The Word of God” Who created all things in the beginning:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be… And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us… (John 1:1-3, 14a)
The creed makes it clear that Christian believers know Jesus to be this Word of God now made flesh, and experience him in a profoundly personal way:
And we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth…
No one has ever seen God. The only Son, God, who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him. (John 1:1-3, 14, 18)
The word “Son,” as does the word “Father,” evoke kinship – intimate personal relationship with one another. The Word of God that became flesh is more than just what God is. The Word of God that became flesh in Jesus is “the only Begotten Son,” a personal “You” at the core of Who God is. The truth proclaimed in this is that a personal God has broken into the world in a new way to seek out the broken, to heal, to regenerate, and to draw all things back together with one another in a life-giving whole.
As God, the Word of God, the only Son of God has no beginning. He was “not made.” He was not created and is not a creature. “Born of the Father before all ages” means “always and ever has been.” “Begotten” here means “emerging from,” “flowing from,” “constituent of” who God is. The Word of God, the Only Son of God who became flesh in Jesus always and ever has been emerging from, flowing from, and constituent of who God is – and as such, has no beginning to his existence. He always was and always will be. He is “God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God.”
The New Roman Missal
The Nicene Creed
Part 1 – The Creed and “I believe…”
Part 2 – …consubstantial with the Father
Part 3 – Was incarnate of the Virgin Mary
Part 4 – of all things visible and invisible
Part 5 – the only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages
Part 6 – he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day, in accordance with the Scriptures.
Part 7 – who has spoken through the Prophets.
Part 8 – I confess; I look forward to