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Susan Offline OP
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Hi Pilgrim,

The issue of our teacher's rejection of Nicene creed and eternal generation arose subsequent to an assertion he made that the 2nd person of the Trinity possessed a human nature prior to the incarnation. My husband's objection led to the disclosure of his position on the aforementioned creed and doctrine. The following (which is pasted below) is his response to my husband's request that he support his assertion from Scripture. Would you mind briefly commenting on these verses and his "reasoning according to Scripture."?

Quote
Hebrews 1:1-3 (KJV)
1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

In these verses, God defines that He is speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ, the God Man. The Triune God is a Spirit and has no image. Only Jesus Christ is the express image of God’s Person. Among the glories that God declares of the Lord Jesus is that it was through Him (the God Man Jesus Christ) that God made the worlds. He had to have taken on humanity prior to the creation of the worlds, according to these verses.

Colossians 1:14-17 (KJV)
14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

God makes it clear in verse 14 that He is speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ. He goes on to tell us two things about His humanity. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Firstborn of all creation. Therefore, His human soul was the first thing that God created according to this verse. In addition, He tells us again, as in Hebrews 1, that it was the God Man Jesus Christ who was the creator of all things. Again in verse 17, He emphasizes both points again, that the God Man Jesus Christ was before all things and that He created all things.

John 6:62 (KJV)
What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
This verses proves that that the Lord had already taken a human soul prior to the incarnation. He declares that the Son of Man was in heaven prior to the incarnation.
Revelation 3:14 (KJV)
14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

Once again, God reveals that the creation of the soul of Jesus Christ was the first created Person or thing.


John 8:56-58 (KJV)
56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.
57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

Christ declared that He, Jesus Christ the God Man, existed before Abraham. He cannot be speaking of the Second Person apart from His humanity because Abraham’s faith and rejoicing were in the Person of Christ.

John 17:24 (KJV)
24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

He declares that the Father loved Him, the Lord Jesus Christ, before the foundation of the world. He had to existed for the Father to have loved Him. As I have mentioned previous, the eternal covenant demands the presence of the God Man as Mediator. He had to have already assumed a Human Nature at that point in order to be Head of the men that He covenanted to save. Only Jesus Christ as the God Man could have made that covenant. The Father and the Spirit could not because they are not the Head over Christ’s new man, the church. And neither the Father nor the Spirit could be Mediator because neither are human.


I will stop here with the Scripture quotes. I could give you many pages of Scripture verses that prove the same thing. But each of these verses is conclusive. In each one, the Scriptures declare that the God Man existed before the incarnation. Some conclusively date His assumption of humanity as before the foundation of the world, while others merely declare that He had assumed humanity prior to the incarnation.

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Okay, easy to answer, IMO. As stated above, there are places in Scripture which speak of the human nature of THE Christ (Messiah) and there are places which speak of the divine (deity) of THE Christ, and there are those places which speak of THE Christ as a whole; GOD and man. He is confusing these texts by not properly discerning which of the 3 differences above.

My simple answer is grounded in a hermeneutical principle; The clear always interprets the less clear. So let's take two of the most clear statements about God the Son and the man Jesus who was BORN of Mary by the work of the Holy Spirit:

Quote
John 1:1-14 (ASV) 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him; and without him was not anything made that hath been made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness apprehended it not. 6 There came a man, sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came for witness, that he might bear witness of the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but [came] that he might bear witness of the light. 9 There was the true light, [even the light] which lighteth every man, coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and they that were his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth.
The first part of this passage clearly speaks of "the Word", GOD the Son, the second person of the Trinity.
The last part of this passage (v. 14a) clearly teaches that the "Word/Logos/GOD the Son" BECAME flesh (the incarnation of GOD the Son=Jesus THE Christ).
Lastly, in v. 14b we have reference to how this incarnate GOD was perceived by those who saw Him.
It is incontrovertible that the incarnation; God coming to earth and taking upon Himself human flesh, aka: Jesus, was a historical event. All the prophets of the OT, by inspiration of the Spirit prophesied of this FUTURE event. Jesus was never "eternal"; GOD the Son was, is and ever shall be eternal.

Okay, next:

Quote
Philippians 2:5-11 (ASV) 5 Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; 8 and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient [even] unto death, yea, the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore also God highly exalted him, and gave unto him the name which is above every name; 10 that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven and [things] on earth and [things] under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The first part of this passage (v. 6a) speaks of the incarnate Christ of whom we should conform ourselves. Then in v. 6b it speaks of the SON of God in eternity before the incarnation.
Then in v. 7f the passage speaks of the SON of God becoming a humble servant being MADE in the likeness of men; the God-man Jesus the Christ.
Lastly, in v. 11 Paul speaks of the reality of the incarnation and that all mankind should confess the truth that Jesus (GOD-man) is LORD (GOD).
So again, we have a passage which is perspicuous in its teaching that in eternity, the GOD the Son entered into history by becoming a humble servant as a human man. That GOD-man did not exist before that historical event.

This truth is taught throughout the entire Scripture and is the soul of the Christian faith; God became man. Jesus of Nazareth was not just a prophet, a great teacher, an impeccably moral man, etc., but He was GOD in the flesh. It was not GOD who died on the Cross. It was not GOD who was raised from the dead (an aside, the Scripture says that Jesus raised Himself from the dead (Jh 2:19), the Spirit raised Jesus from the dead (Rom 8:11), and the Father raised Jesus from the dead (Eph 1:17-20)). It was the human nature of Christ who was crucified, dead and buried and raised from the dead on the third day.

The Chalcedon Creed is an immense help in stating the truth of the person of Jesus Christ and how one must be extremely careful not to either separate nor intermix the two natures. When we deal with the Trinity and the person of Jesus Christ, we are entering into one of the great 'mysteries' of God, which He has chosen to reveal, in part, to us mortals. We must walk prayerfully, slowly and with the greatest care else we could believe the Devil's lies concerning the One True God.


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Susan Offline OP
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Thanks so much for your help. We'll pass this on to him and pray that the Lord will open his eyes.

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After showing this to my husband, he pointed out that the teacher readily acknowledges that the historical event of the incarnation was where the Son of God, the very same person who he calls the God-man, took on human flesh, before that having a human soul but not a body. A lady in the class protested saying "I don't see how you can be human without a body" to which he replied that the saints in heaven don't have bodies.

So my husband speculates that on this premise he will probably dismiss your answer.

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Quickly, the lady in the class is correct. The teacher's response is erroneous. Why? Man was created with both body and soul. The separation of the soul from the body is a temporary anomaly until the eschaton where the souls of the saints will be rejoined to their new spiritual body. The saints in heaven know this too for they cry out, Revelation 6:10 (KJV) "10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?" And, Romans 8:20-23 (ASV) "20 For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but by reason of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23 And not only so, but ourselves also, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for [our] adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body."

The name for the human nature of the incarnate Christ, i.e., Jesus, wasn't given to Him until His inception (cf. Matt 1:21-25). God the Son wasn't joined to the human Jesus before the incarnation. The soul belongs to humans and is NEVER joined to deity. This is a perfect example of the "confusion of the two natures":

Quote
Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the God-bearer; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from earliest times spoke of him, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the creed of the fathers has handed down to us.
I would have to guess that this teacher would also reject the Creed of Chalcedon too?


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