I.                    The Personal Union (p. 85 et.seq.)

A.                 Introduction

1.                  In Christ, God and man are united in one Person.

2.                  His human nature:

a.                   Created in the time appointed by God.

b.                  Was taken, through miraculous act of God, into Person of the Son of God.

3.                  The resulting and singular union of God and man into one Person is called the personal union.

a.                   Term used to clearly and unmistakably express this truth.

b.                  In Christ, God and man:

(1)               Do not form any kind of union in general.

(2)               But, constitutes a personal unity.

B.                 “Other” unions

1.                  The union of God with all creatures.

a.                   Jer 23:24: refers to His essence, not merely His activity.

b.                  Ac 17:28.

c.                   Col 1:17.

2.                  In special manner, He is united with His church.

a.                   Jn 14:23.

b.                  2Co 6:16.

c.                   Eph 1:23.

d.                  2Pe 1:4.

3.                  But in Christ, God and man form one Person.

a.                   The “hypostatic union”.

b.                  “This Man is God” and “God is man” re: Christ Jesus.

c.                   Mt 16:16.

d.                  Lk 1:31,32.

e.                   Jer 23:5,6.

f.                    Jn 1:14.

g.                   These statements called “personal prepositions”; they express this unique vision of God and man in Christ.

C.                 Uniqueness of the personal union.

1.                  Important to hold fast the uniqueness of this.

2.                  There is no analogy in all creation comparable to it.

3.                  May be likened to:

a.                   Union of body and soul in man (e.g. Col 2:9; Athanasian Creed).

b.                  Union of fire and union in the glowing iron (e.g. ancient teachers; Formula of Concord, Epit. VIII, 9)

c.                   But we can not say the soul is the body or fire is iron.

d.                  We can say “God is Man, and Man is God”.

4.                  Personal prepositions are unique.

a.                   In particular, because they join disparities.

b.                  God and man are disparities.

(1)               Nu 23:19.

(2)               Hos 11:9.

(3)               1Sa 15:29.

(4)               Eze 28:2.

(5)               Ac 12:21-23.

c.                   But, in Christ, God and man constitute one Person, one Ego.

(1)               States an actual fact.

(2)               Terms “God” and “man” used in their real and proper sense.

(3)               No room for doubt.

D.                 The “self-consciousness” of Christ.

1.                  Scripture answers this “old” question.

2.                  He knew Himself to be God and Man.

a.                   He had a divine-human consciousness.

b.                  Was conscious, both of

(1)               His eternal, pre-mundane existence (Jn 8:58).

(2)               And, His coming into the world in time (Jn 16:28).

c.                   Knew Himself

(1)               Not only as a human person, especially influenced and directed by God.

(2)               But, also as the Son of God.

(3)               Mt 16:13-17.

(4)               Lk 2:49 (His first recorded utterance)

(5)               Lk 2:51 (by His subjection to His earthly parents, shows His consciousness of His human estate).

E.                  The Personal Union has not met with the approval of men.

1.                  Always looking for substitutes.

2.                  But, the Christian Church has always rejected such substitutes.

a.                   Against Eutyches: Church rejected every fusion and conversion of God and man.

b.                  Against Nestorius: Church rejected any union after manner of that between God and all creatures or with the believers.

c.                   Every intermingling of the two natures with a third as its necessary result rejected.

d.                  Rejected also is every transmutation of one into the other.

3.                  The “theanthropic” work of Christ required a theanthropic Person

a.                   1Ti 2:5.

b.                  Ro 5:10.

4.                  Reject also modern kenoticists.

a.                   Hold that in incarnation an essential change took place in the Son of God.

b.                  Some say He divested Himself of His omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence.

c.                   Others say He was changed into a human soul or into a mere man.

5.                  Must also reject every separation of the His two natures.

a.                   Whatever the man is, does and suffers, the Son of God is, does, and suffers.

b.                  Can not separate the Man Christ at anytime, in any circumstance, e.g.

(1)               His birth (e.g. that who deny Mary gave birth to the Son of God:Theotokos).

(2)               His death (e.g. Zwingli: denied that the Son of God died).

c.                   Christ’s blood alone is the ransom for our sins.

(1)               His blood is the blood of the Son of God.

(2)               Ro 5:10.

d.                  Salvation is at stake in this issue!

F.                  Some of the suggested substitutes rejected by early teachers.

1.                  The union is not a nominal union, as suggested.

a.                   e.g. Unitarians.

b.                  He is not “called” God, just because of certain functions.

c.                   He is essentially God.

2.                  It is not a relative union, as suggested.

a.                   Would signify merely a close relationship, as between children and parents.

b.                  All anti-Trinitarians try to suggest this.

3.                  It is not an external, accidental union, “as two boards glued together”, as suggested.

a.                   These have no inner, organic unity.

b.                  In Christ, the human nature taken into the unity of the Person of the Son of God.

c.                   You could not touch His human nature without also touching the Son of God.

d.                  1Jn 1:1.

e.                   1Co 2:8.

4.                  It is not a sustaining union, consisting in the mere presence and sustaining power of God, as suggested.

a.                   Trying to make it like His union with all creatures.

b.                  It is indeed owing to the personal union that His human nature was supported and sustained by the divine nature.

c.                   Mere man could not have borne the weight of God’s wrath.

5.                  It is not a natural union, as suggested.

a.                   e.g. body and soul.

b.                  His two natures stand in the greatest imaginable contrast to each other.

c.                   Ideas that union of God and man rests:

(1)               On a natural relationship, or

(2)               On an inner necessity in God’s essence,

(3)               Must be discarded!

d.                  Was due to the free compassion of God upon fallen mankind.

e.                   Was not some kind of “natural development”.

f.                    Was not a union by means of the soul.

(1)               The human soul, though immaterial, is a creature.

(2)               Requires a false teaching re: His death.

(a)                His soul did depart from His human body.

(b)               It was a real death.

(c)                Mt 27:50.

(d)               Mk 15:37.

(e)                Jn 19:30.

(f)                 The natural union of His body and soul ceased.

(g)                Their suggestion would disrupt the personal union.

6.                  It is not an essential union, as suggested.

a.                   There is no commingling of the two.

b.                  They, in fact, are:

(1)               In real communion with each other.

(2)               Always together and always act together.

c.                   The divine nature does interpenetrate the human nature.

d.                  But they are not mixed or intermingled.

e.                   Each nature retains its essence and properties.

7.                  It is not a union through adoption, as suggested.

a.                   Known as adoptionism.

b.                  They suggest that Christ is according to His human nature the adopted Son of God.

c.                   Leads to idea that there are two persons in Christ.


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