Friday in the Thirtieth Week of Ordinary Time

The Creed of Chalcedon

…the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood

The line could also be translated from the Greek, “the same complete in Godhead and also complete in manhood.”  There will be much overlapping and repetition in these devotions because that is what this Creed does.  It strives to cover all the bases concerning our Lord’s singularity of personhood and duality of natures.  Creeds tend to cover only the necessities leaving debatable matters debatable.  But in covering the necessities, both the Nicaean and Chalcedonian Creeds clearly express what are essential doctrines of the faith and which therefore must be believed to be saved—at least when one is confronted with the truth.

And the salvation of souls was precisely what these men were concerned about.  If Christ is our Savior, we must know who he is and what he has done in order to be saved—which is to say that salvation does not happen in a vacuum of ignorance.  And what he has done for us is completely dependent upon who he is.  Neither God nor man can save us, but a God-man can, or so the Almighty has decreed.  And his work on the cross is efficacious for us only because the Son of God became the Son of Man so that sons of men might become sons of God.  Enter then Jesus of Nazareth.

So who was Jesus of Nazareth?  These men did not mean by this question his biography, which was easily obtained from the Gospels.  No.  They meant what was he, or is he.  And the answer which they derived from both Scripture and the teaching of the churches from the beginning to their time was that Jesus Christ was completely God and completely man, of one and the same essence with God the Father (and Holy Spirit) AND of the same essence with man—that is, a human being.  The Son of God came down from heaven and assumed a human nature from the Virgin’s womb making one unique and nonrepeatable miracle—the God-man.  The divine nature took upon itself humanity without diminution or corruption or change to divinity while human nature was assumed by divinity without diminution or corruption or change to humanity.  Both deity and humanity, both the divine and human natures, in the one person were complete and undefiled by the other while being united in the one person, who now and ever retains these properties at the right hand of the Father.

Not the Father, not the Holy Spirit, not an angel, not any other human being, only the Son is complete in both Godhead and manhood.  It is called, the Incarnation, and wonderfully defined in this Creed.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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