When we study the doctrine of the two natures of Christ we abruptly plunge into the ocean of God’s wisdom and a glorious truth that exceeds our intelligence. Yet it is good for the Christmas season to be filled with meditations like these:
- God the Son never ceased being fully divine. The manger contained the one who hung and continued to sustain the stars.
- God the Son took to himself a human nature.
- God the Son experienced his life on earth with the full weaknesses and vulnerabilities of his human nature, including the full force of temptations, yet without sin.
- God the Son chose to exist simultaneously with both a divine and human nature, neither one nature that is a mixture of both, nor temporarily one nature and then the other, but both natures at once and forever.
- In this Divine Incarnation, God the Son made himself the one, perfect, and only Mediator between God and man, the one perfect fulfillment of the law, the one perfect sacrifice for sins, the one perfect agent of God’s judgement and blessing for humanity.
What a mystery! What a glory! Joy to the world, the Lord has come! May Christmas be filled with awe at God the Son Incarnate– fulfilling God’s plan and redeeming God’s people.
For a very thorough study of this topic I recommend the book God the Son Incarnate: The Doctrine of Christ by Stephen Wellum.
And here is the text of the great creed, with specific reference to the Biblical understanding of Christ, written by the church at Chalcedon in 451 AD to combat heresy:
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.