Saturday in the Thirty-Second Week of Ordinary Time

The Creed of Chalcedon

to be acknowledged in two natures,…without division

So the human and divine natures of Christ are not mingled together, nor are they changed by virtue of the union.  What else did the Fathers at Chalcedon deem necessary for a proper understanding of the relation of the two natures in the person of the one and only Son of God?  Well, we learn next that they thought it essential to believe that the two natures not be divided.  This means that the human and divine natures of our Lord were forever united when the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary in that wonderful mystery we call the virginal conception.

We are again taken back to controversies in the Early Church.  If the Monophysites swallowed the human nature up into the divine, the Nestorians so divided the two natures as to make the union between the human and divine natures merely moral, that is, not a true union of the two natures at all but a man closely walking with God.  The heresy originated with Nestorius, a fifth-century heretic who taught not a union of the two natures but a mere “junction” of the two in dignity and power.  In short, Nestorianism led to there being two persons in one body, a schizophrenic christ of two natures and two minds.  This the bishops condemned.  In short, we may say that whereas the qualifiers “without confusion, without change” were to guard the integrity of each nature as human and divine, “without division [and tomorrow’s devotion] without separation” were to guard the unity of the person composed of the two natures.

And to insist upon the unity of the person of the only-begotten Son is just as important as to insist upon the integrity of both natures comprising the Son.  We worship one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, and only-begotten of two natures, of course, but still one and the same Son.  To divide the human from the divine nature of Christ is to exchange the God-man for a man-God; that is, a good man, a holy man, perhaps the holiest man ever, but in the end only a son of God and not the Son of God.  This was the error of the Nestorians, and is the error of millions—both unbelievers and, sadly, professing believers—today. 

The Gospel of John thunders: “The Word became flesh” (1:14).  This is what the Creeds are referring to when they say, “He came down from heaven.”  That coming down involved conception and the gestational process, superintended by the Holy Spirit, to be sure.  In truth then, “What, therefore, God has joined together, let not man separate” (Mark 10:9).

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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