By Samuel M. Frost, Th.M.
Allow me again to post one of most greatest pieces of doctrine ever written:
“We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable [rational] soul and body; consubstantial [co-essential] with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ; as the prophets from the beginning [have declared] concerning Him, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us” (Chalcedon, 451 AD).
These descriptions of Jesus are all in present tense. They refer to Him now as He is. “Perfect in manhood” (ἀνθρωπότητι – Greek, “manhood” – that which consists of “being man” – Chalcedon was written in Greek). Manhood is defined in the next clause: “truly man, of a reasonable [rational] soul and body.” That is, ἐκ ψυχῆς λογικῆς καὶ σώματος, of a rational soul, reasonable soul and body. The Logos, the Eternal Son of God was not the “soul” of Jesus, nor the “body”. The man, Christ Jesus, had his own human soul (created) and body (created). This constitutes, phusis or, as we saw in Part 1, morphe – “nature” – human nature.
“[O]ne and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably.” Or, “[C]oncurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son.” So, Two Natures, fully God (of the same Nature as God Himself) and fully man (of the same nature of Man). One Person, the Eternal Son of God, Two Natures, divine and human. These Natures are inseparably in union with each other. They are “inconfusedly” in union, meaning, “not mixed” (ἀσυγχύτως – means “no confusion”). They are “unchangeably” in union – and this is important. The union between the Two Natures of the One Person (God the Son) is without change – it is forever a union of Two Natures of Man (rational soul and body) and God (Divine Nature, Essence, Being). What prompted this series is the denial of such a claim by Mike Sullivan, David Green, Jeff Vaughn, Alan Bondar and Don K. Preston. They do not believe that the One Person, Jesus Christ, now has a human nature, body and soul. The human nature of the One Person, Jesus Christ, Eternal Son of God, uncreated, is called in the Bible, “the son of man”. Son of God (Divine), son of man (human being, body and soul). Any lessening of this is heresy.
“[I]ndivisibly, inseparably” – these last two further score the idea that the Two Natures of the One Person are, from the time the union was brought together in conception of the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, are now forever “indivisible” and “inseparable.” The fullness of the “manhood” of the son of man, en toto, cannot ever be “separated” ever again. If, then, Jesus no longer has his human body in heaven, we have separation. If Jesus no longer has his human soul in heaven, we have division. If Jesus no longer has any of that which is “consubstantial” ( ὁμοούσιον homousian -of the same substance) with manhood, then the Gospel is lost.
“[T]he distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved.” This notes, again, the present understanding (“being preserved” and “concurring” are present tense) of the One Person, Two Natures in heaven. The “distinction” is preserved, not blended by the union, not con-fused together in union, but “distinct” – Two distinct Natures. One does not “absorb” the other. One does not “blend” with the other. There is no “third hybrid”. There is One Person with Two Natures, distinct (two), yet with an inseparable union in One Person. This is further emphasized by saying, “not parted or divided into two persons.” There is not the person, the son of man on earth, and another person, the Son of God, Eternal, “up there.”
In the Trinity there are Three Persons, Father, Son and Spirit. One God (one Nature, being, essence). Do not try and “picture” this, or “image” it. There are no images. This is a purely propositional, intellectual statement of Faith. Remember, it is based on two concerns: does it contradict itself? Does it contradict the Bible? By distinguishing the terms, “Person” and “Being” logical contradiction is avoided. There are not Three Beings. There is only One God, one being. Each Person of the Godhead has their “being” in unity as One God. The Singular Essence of One God is in Three distinct Persons. Thus, we can say, the Logos is God. The Spirit is God. The Father is God. Three Persons, One Being. Contradiction avoided. Mind numbing attempts of picturing or attempting the fathom this Being in His Essence in Three Persons is unfathomable. Blessed Be His Name forever.
Now, the Son, who is God Eternal, One Person, is the sole person of his own eternal divine Nature (and all essences of God, all that is attributed to God are properties of Him), and the sole Person of the son of man, who was made a soul and body – yet without having his own human, individual person in and of himself. We say the son of man was fully man, with a full human nature yet impersonal as to individuation, because the Person of the son of man is God, the Son. The very Person of the soul and body of the son of man expresses himself (without confusion) in the impersonal human nature. The Logos (The Son, Eternal God) did not possess a body. A human individual was not made then the Logos took over that individual. Rather, the conception of the soul and body in the womb of Mary at that instant was the Person of the Son (who is divine) expressed in and in union with the created human being, the son of man, Jesus of Nazareth, the dude.
The reason for this is that the Son Eternal “took to himself” (Part 1) human nature itself – the essence of human nature itself and all that it is and expressed himself in that “form” as a man while never losing His own Divine Attributes. Every human being is a person (soul and body) – the soul is not the person, the body is not the person. Soul/body is the person, and as such is entirely unique (individuated, individual). However, not a single human person demonstrates the whole essence of human nature. There is not a single person that is every person at once. Human nature is what every person has and is, but not any one person demonstrates all the human nature is. Not until Jesus. By taking on human nature, the Son of God took on that which is common to every human being. If the son of man was a human person, he would be a human person common to himself as a single person. By taking on human nature and being the Divine Person of that nature, the Son was able to take on all that human nature is in common to every human person.
The Son, the Eternal, expresses his Person in two Natures. In regards to his Divine Nature, the Son never emptied himself, nor ever forfeited, nor relinquished any of the attributes of God. In regards to the son of man, the Person of the Eternal Son was limited in that human nature, and so “in union” with that nature that we find human expressions only attributable to human nature: thirst, sleep, ignorance, growing in wisdom, an infant, ate, pooped, got dirty, needed a bath, clipped his nails, burped, etc. “Yet without sin”. By taking on the essence of human nature, the Son did not take upon himself fallen human nature. He was without sin, nor born with any of the fallen propensities of sin that you and I are so easily entangled with. This is another reason why “impersonal” comes into play. There was no human being of natural birth between a fallen man and a fallen woman that the Logos could indwell or created. The son of man was made by the Holy Spirit and the natural means of biological gestation and being formed in Mary’s womb for nine months. There was an umbilical cord, and his penis was circumcised on the eighth day according to Jewish custom.
We have covered a ton of material. The One Person of the Son of God, Eternal, Uncreated, took to Himself human nature and made a man in the image of God, image of Adam, without sin. The man, Christ Jesus, and the Son of God, One Person, from that creation cannot ever be “separated” ever again. The soul and body of Jesus was separated at the cross, and he died (though this did not at all separate the union of the two natures in One Person, and we cannot say the Divine Nature died – an absurdity in itself). He was raised from the dead, with his same soul and his same body, and was glorified and entered heaven, soul and body, the son of man; human nature forever in union with Divine Nature in One Person, Jesus (the Eternal Son) Christ (the Messiah, annointed son of man). Any denial of this fact is egregious error that absolutely destroys the Christian Faith. For, if God and Man are not in all ways in union by human nature and divine nature in One Person forever, then man is lost and has zero hope of ever being eternally with God. For, it is by this Holy Union of the Two Natures in One Person forever that man can comes and dwells with God in all holiness, with all righteousness with God in Jesus. Any doctrine or teaching that takes away any nth degree of this union of the human nature (body and soul) and the divine nature in One Person is to be shunned and deemed heretical; a doctrine of demons; a conjuring up from the mere mind of man; feeble and good only for the trash can.