quod pro nobis traditum est

Thursday, January 18, 2007

the relationship of the two natures in Christ

Divine power, life, might, majesty, and glory was given to the received human nature in Christ. This did not happen the way the Father from eternity has communicated to the Son (according to the divine nature) His essence and all divine attributes, by which He is of one essence with the Father and is equal to God. (For Christ is equal to the Father only according to the divine nature. According to the received human nature, He is beneath God. From this it is clear that we make no confusion, equalization, or abolition of natures in Christ.) So the power to give life is not the same in Christ's flesh as it is in His divine nature, where it is an essential property.

Furthermore, this communication or impartation has not happened through an essential or natural infusion of the properties of the divine nature into the human. In other words, Christ's humanity would not have these by itself and apart from the divine essence. Nor has the human nature in Christ entirely laid aside its natural, essential properties. It is not transformed into divinity. In and by itself, it does not become equal to divinity with these communicated properties. Nor does it mean that there should now be identical or equal natural, essential properties and operations for both natures. For these and similar erroneous doctrines were rightly rejected and condemned in the ancient approved councils on the basis of Holy Scripture.

- Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article VIII, paragraphs 61-62, condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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