Thursday in the Thirty-Third Week of Ordinary Time

The Creed of Chalcedon

not parted or divided into two persons

We have said much about this already.  The bishops at Chalcedon wanted to counter any suggestion that the human and divine natures could be divided or separated—a view held by the fifth-century heretic, Nestorius.  Such a view generally devalues the divine nature and relegates Christ to a godly man as opposed to the God-man of Holy Scripture.  We won’t dwell on this as I have discussed this in previous devotions.

What I will discuss (since I have to discuss something) is a rather technical but important matter worked out in later medieval theology and the Reformed of the seventeenth century.  The matter concerned in what way the Son of God, who was begotten by his Father as a Person from all eternity, could become incarnated from the Virgin without doubling his personhood.  What we know from Scripture is that the Father sent His Son to be born of woman (Galatians 4:4) and that the Holy Spirit superintended the process of conceiving and sanctifying the human nature so prepared for the Son (Luke 1:35).  So what this means is this: The Son of God and Second Person of the Godhead did NOT assume a human being or person; he assumed a human nature.  Again, the personhood of the Incarnate Son abides in the Son of God.  But the Son of God took upon himself in that Incarnation a human nature thereby adding a human nature to his (already) divine nature.  This human nature was and is inseparable from that divine nature as it is now of that singular subsistence and person of the one Son.  Christ is and ever remains the God-man (Muller, 152).  So once again we see how the mystery of the Incarnation is the cornerstone of Christianity along with its logical corollary, the doctrine of the holy Trinity (though in being the Trinity precedes the Incarnation).  No other religion has anything like this.  No creative genius invented this.  This is divine revelation.  But once one hears it, it makes perfect sense—at least to the believer.

One must be born again; that is certain.  But Christianity is more than experience; it is a faith and a life.  There are things to believe, to testify to, and to live out.  The Incarnation and Trinity classically understood will always hold the center and foundation of the faith.  Any deviation there from results in the founding of a new religion other than Christianity, and many have attempted just that thinking the old doctrines moribund, stale, irrelevant, etc.  Or they think that the old doctrines need to be restated in new ways to new generations.  How ‘bout new generations try applying their minds to old ways of thinking.  Now that would be something!

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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