Monday, September 9, 2013

THE PERSON OF CHRIST - By St. John Chrysostom

By St. John Chrysostom

(A) Co-eternal with the Father

Someone may ask, 'How can Christ be a Son, without being younger than the Father: for anything which drives its being must be later than its source?'  We answer that such arguments suppose a human context … while we are discussing the nature of God …

Come now, does the sun's radiance proceed from the Sun's own substance, or from elsewhere?  Any sensible person is bound to acknowledge that it proceeds from the sun's own substance. But although the radiance proceeds from the sun, we cannot assert that it is later in time than the substance of that body, for the sun has never appeared without its rays …

Why then do you not believe this to be so in the case of the invisible and ineffable nature? … That is why Paul calls Him the Brightness; (Heb. 1:3.) thus showing his derived existence, and his co-eternity.  Moreover, were not all the ages, and every measure of time, created by him? … Therefore there is no interval of time between Son and Father.  If so, then the Son cannot be 'after' but co-eternal; since, 'before' and 'after' are ideas which imply time …
(John 1)

(B) The Union of Word and Flesh

By a union and conjunction God the Word and the flesh are a unity: there is no confusion or annihilation of substances, but an ineffable and incomprehensible union.

From the words 'He reduced himself to nothing' (Phil. 2:7.) you must not suppose a change or transfiguration, or any kind of annihilation.  While he remained what he was, he assumed what he was not: though he became flesh he remained God, in that he was the Word.  In his flesh he was like a man: hence 'in shape like a man.'  His nature did not alter: there was no confusion …

The Phrases, 'he became', 'he assumed', are never used to govern 'godhead'; …. but they are used to govern 'manhood'.  The latter he 'became', and he 'assumed': the former was always his.  We must make no confusion, nor admit separation. 

One God; one Christ, the Son of God.  But when I say 'one', I refer to a union, not a confusion: one nature is not transformed into the other, but is united with it. 
(Philippians 2:7)


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