53 But the best, most certain, and surest way in this controversy is this, namely, that what Christ has received according to His assumed human nature through the personal union, glorification, or exaltation, and of what His assumed human nature is capable beyond the natural properties, without becoming annihilated, no one can know better or more thoroughly than the Lord Christ Himself; and He has revealed it in His Word, as much as is needful for us to know of it in this life. Now, everything for which we have in this instance clear, certain testimonies in the Scriptures, we must simply believe, and in no way argue against it, as though the human nature in Christ could not be capable of the same.
54 Now it is indeed correct and true what has been said concerning the created gifts which have been given and imparted to the human nature in Christ, that it possesses them in or of itself. But these do not reach unto the majesty which the Scriptures, and the ancient Fathers from Scripture, ascribe to the assumed human nature in Christ.
55 For to quicken, to have all judgment and all power in heaven and on earth, to have all things in His hands, to have all things in subjection beneath His feet, to cleanse from sin, etc., are not created gifts, but divine, infinite properties; and yet, according to the declaration of Scripture, these have been given and communicated to the man Christ, John 5, 27; 6, 39; Matt. 28, 18; Dan. 7, 14; John 3, 35; 13, 3; Matt. 11, 27; Eph. 1, 22; Heb. 2, 8; 1 Cor. 15, 27; John 1, 3.
56 And that this communication is not to be understood per phrasin aut modum loquendi (as a phrase or mode of speaking), that is, only in words, with respect to the person according to the divine nature alone, but according to the assumed human nature, the three strong, irrefutable arguments and reasons, now following, show:
57 1. First, there is a unanimously received rule of the entire ancient orthodox Church that what Holy Scripture testifies that Christ received in time He received not according to the divine nature (according to which He has everything from eternity), but the person has received it in time ratione et respectu humanae naturae, that is, as referring, and with respect to, according to the assumed human nature.
58 2. Secondly, the Scriptures testify clearly, John 5, 21 f.; 6, 39 f., that the power to quicken and to execute judgment has been given to Christ for the reason that He is the Son of Man, and in as far as He has flesh and blood.
59 3. Thirdly, the Scriptures speak not merely in general of the Son of Man, but also indicate expressly His assumed human nature, 1 John 1, 7: The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin, not only according to the merit a which was once attained on the cross; but in this place John speaks of this, that in the work or act of justification not only the divine nature in Christ, but also His blood per modum efficaciae (by mode of efficacy), that is, actually, cleanses us from all sins. Thus in John 6, 48-58 the flesh of Christ is a quickening food; as also the Council of Ephesus concluded from this b that the flesh of Christ has power to quicken; and as many other glorious testimonies of the ancient orthodox Church concerning this article are cited elsewhere.
60 Now, that Christ, according to His human nature, has received this, and that it has been given and communicated to the assumed human nature in Christ, we shall and must believe according to the Scriptures. But, as above said, since the two natures in Christ are united in such a manner that they are not mingled with one another or changed one into the other, and each retains its natural, essential property, so that the properties of one nature never become properties of the other nature, this doctrine must also be rightly explained and diligently guarded against all heresies.
61 While we, then, invent nothing new of ourselves, but receive and repeat the explanations which the ancient orthodox Church has given hereof from the good foundation of Holy Scripture, namely, that this divine power, life, might, majesty, and glory was given to the assumed human nature in Christ, not in such a way as the Father from eternity has communicated to the Son, according to the divine nature, His essence and all divine attributes, whence 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, while according to the assumed human nature He is beneath God; from which it is manifest that we make no confusionem, exaequationem, abolitionem, that is, no confusion, equalization, or abolition of natures in Christ), so, too, the power to quicken is in the flesh of Christ not in that manner in which it is in His divine nature, namely, as an essential property.
62 Moreover, this communication or impartation has not occurred through an essential or natural infusion of the properties of the divine nature into the human, so that the humanity of Christ would have these by itself and apart from the divine essence, or as though the human nature in Christ had thereby c entirely laid aside its natural, essential properties and were now either transformed into divinity, or had, with such communicated properties, in and by itself become equal to the same, or that there should now be for both natures identical or, at any rate, equal natural, essential properties and operations. For these and similar erroneous doctrines were justly rejected and condemned in the ancient approved councils on the basis of Holy Scripture. Nullo enim modo vel facienda vel admittenda est aut conversio aut confusio aut exaequatio sive naturarum in Christo sive essentialium proprietatum. That is: For in no way is conversion, confusion, or equalization of the natures in Christ or of their essential properties to be maintained d or admitted.
63 Accordingly, we have never understood the words realis communicatio or communicated realiter, that is, the impartation or communion which occurs in deed and truth, of any physica communicatio vel essentialis transfusio, physical communication or essential transfusion, that is, of an essential, natural communion or effusion, by which the natures would be commingled in their essence, and their essential properties, as some have craftily and wickedly, against their own conscience, perverted these words and phrases in order to make the pure doctrine suspected; but we have only opposed them to verbalis communicatio (verbal communication), that is, to this doctrine, when such persons assert that it is only phrasis and modus loquendi (a phrase and mode of speaking), that is, nothing more than mere words, titles, and names, upon which they have also laid so much stress that they would know of no other communion. Hence, for the true explanation of the majesty of Christ we have used such terms de reali communicatione (of real communion), and wished to indicate by them that this communion has occurred in deed and truth, however, without any confusion of natures and their essential properties.
64 We, therefore, hold and teach, in conformity with the ancient orthodox Church, as it has explained this doctrine from the Scriptures, that the human nature in Christ has received this majesty according to the manner of the personal union, namely, because the entire fulness of the divinity dwells in Christ, not as in other holy men or angels, but bodily, as in its own body, so that it shines forth with all its majesty, power, glory, and efficacy in the assumed human nature, voluntarily when and as He e wills, and in, with, and through the same manifests, exercises, and executes His divine power, glory, and efficacy, as the soul does in the body and fire in glowing iron (for by means of these illustrations, as was also mentioned above, the entire ancient Church has explained this doctrine). 65 This was concealed and withheld f at the time of the humiliation; but now, after the form of a servant g has been laid aside, it is fully, powerfully, and publicly exercised before all saints, in heaven and on earth; and in the life to come we shall also behold this His glory face to face, John 17, 24.
66 Thus there is and remains in Christ only one divine omnipotence, power, majesty, and glory, which is peculiar to the divine nature alone; but it shines, manifests, and exercises itself fully, yet voluntarily, in, with, and through the assumed, exalted human nature in Christ. Just as in glowing iron there are not two kinds of power to shine and burn h, but the power to shine and to burn is a property of the fire; but since the fire is united with the iron, it manifests and exercises this its power to shine and to burn in, with, and through the glowing iron, so that thence and from this union also the glowing iron has the power to shine and to burn without conversion of the essence and of the natural properties of fire and iron.
67 For this reason we understand such testimonies of Scripture as speak of the majesty to which the human nature in Christ is exalted, not in such a way as if the divine majesty, which is peculiar to the divine nature of the Son of God, is in the person of the Son of Man to be ascribed i simply and purely according to His divine nature, or that this majesty is to be in the human nature of Christ in such a manner only that from it His human nature should have but the mere title and name per phrasin et modum loquendi (by a phrase and mode of speaking), that is, only in words, but in deed and truth should have no communion whatever with it. 68 For in that way (since God is a spiritual, undivided essence, and therefore present everywhere and in all creatures, and wherever He is, dwelling, however, especially in believers and saints, there He has with Him such majesty of His) it might also be said with truth that in all creatures in whom God is, but especially in believers and saints, in whom He dwells, all the fulness of the Godhead dwells bodily, all treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hid, all power in heaven and earth is given, because the Holy Ghost, who has all power, is given them. 69 In this way, then, no distinction would be made between Christ according to His human nature and other holy men, and thus Christ would be deprived of His majesty, which He has received above all creatures, as a man or according to His human nature. 70 For no other creature, neither man nor angel, can or shall say: All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth, since, although God, with all the fulness of His Godhead, which He has everywhere with Himself, is in the saints, He does not dwell in them bodily, nor is personally united with them as in Christ. For from such personal union it follows that Christ says, even according to His human nature, Matt. 28, 18: All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Also John 13, 3: Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands. Also Col. 2, 9: In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Also: Thou crownedst Him with glory and honor, and didst set Him over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things in subjection under His feet. For in that He put all in subjection under Him, He left nothing that is not put under Him, Heb. 2, 7 f.; Ps. 8, 6. He is excepted which did put all things under Him, 1 Cor. 15, 27.
71 By no means, however, do we believe, teach, and confess such an infusion of the majesty of God and of all its properties into the human nature of Christ by which the divine nature is weakened j, or anything of its own is surrendered to another that it does not retain for itself, or that the human nature in its substance and essence should have received equal majesty, separate or distinct from the nature and essence of the Son of God, as when water, wine, or oil is poured from one vessel into another. For the human nature, as also no other creature, either in heaven or on earth, is capable of the omnipotence of God in such a manner that it would become in itself an almighty essence, or have in and by itself almighty properties; for thereby the human nature in Christ would be denied, and would be entirely converted into the divinity, which is contrary to our Christian faith, as also to the doctrine of all the prophets and apostles.
72 But we believe, teach, and confess that God the Father has so given His Spirit to Christ, His beloved Son, according to the assumed humanity (on account of which He is called also Messias, i.e., the Anointed), that He has not received His gifts by measure as other saints. For upon Christ the Lord, according to His assumed human nature (because, according to His divinity, He is of one essence with the Holy Ghost), rests the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge k, 73 not in such a way that on this account, as a man, He knew and could do only some things, as other saints know and can do by the Spirit of God, who works in them only created gifts, but since Christ, according to His divinity, is the second person in the Holy Trinity, and from Him, as also from the Father, the Holy Ghost proceeds, and thus is and remains His and the Father's own Spirit to all eternity, not separated from the Son of God, therefore (as the Fathers say) the entire fulness of the Spirit has been communicated by the personal union to Christ according to the flesh, which is personally united with the Son of God. 74 This voluntarily manifests and shows itself, with all its power therein, therewith and thereby l, so that He m not only knows some things and is ignorant of others, can do some things and is unable to do others, but n knows and can do all things. For upon Him the Father poured without measure the Spirit of wisdom and power, so that, as man, He has received through this personal union all knowledge and all power in deed and truth. And thus all the treasures of wisdom are hidden in Him, thus all power is given to Him, and He is seated at the right hand of the majesty and power of God. 75 From history it can be learned that at the time of the Emperor Valens there was among the Arians a peculiar sect which was called the Agnoetae, because they imagined that the Son, the Word of the Father, knew indeed all things, but that His assumed human nature is ignorant of many things; against whom also Gregory the Great wrote.
76 On account of this personal union, and the communion resulting from it, which the divine and the human nature have with one another in the person of Christ in deed and truth, there is ascribed to Christ according to the flesh what His flesh, according to its nature and essence, cannot be of itself, and, apart from this union, cannot have, namely, that His flesh is a truly quickening food and His blood a truly quickening drink; as the two hundred Fathers of the Council of Ephesus have testified, carnem Christi esse vivificam seu vivificatricem, that is, that the flesh of Christ is a quickening flesh o. Hence, too, this man only, and no man besides, either in heaven or on earth, can say with truth, Matt. 18, 20: Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them. Also Matt. 28, 20: Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.
77 And these testimonies we do not understand, as though only the divinity of Christ were present with us in the Christian Church and congregation, and such presence were to concern Christ according to His humanity in no way whatever; for in that manner Peter, Paul, and all the saints in heaven, since divinity which is everywhere present dwells in them, would also be with us on earth, which the Holy Scriptures, however, testify only of Christ, and of no other man besides. 78 But we hold that by these words p the majesty of the man Christ is declared, which Christ has received, according to His humanity, at the right hand of the majesty and power of God, namely, that also according to His assumed human nature and with the same, He can be, and also is, present where He will, and especially that in His Church and congregation on earth He is present as Mediator, Head, King, and High Priest, not in part, or one-half of Him only, but the entire person of Christ is present, to which both natures belong, the divine and the human; not only according to His divinity, but also according to, and with, His assumed human nature, according to which He is our 79 Brother, and we are flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone. Even as He has instituted His Holy Supper for the certain assurance and confirmation of this, that also according to that nature according to which He has flesh and blood He will be with us, and dwell, work, and be efficacious in us.
80 Upon this firm foundation Dr. Luther, of blessed memory, has also written q concerning the majesty of Christ according to His human nature.
81 In the Large Confession concerning the Lord's Supper he writes thus concerning the person of Christ: Now, since He r is such a man as is supernaturally one person with God, and apart from this man there is no God, it must follow that also according to the third, supernatural mode He is and can be in every place where God is, and all things are through and through full of Christ, also according to the humanity, not according to the first corporeal, comprehensible mode, but according to the supernatural, divine mode. Vol. 2, Wittenb. Germ., fol. 191.
82 For here you must stand s and say: Wherever Christ according to the divinity is, there He is a natural, divine person, and He is there also naturally and personally, as His conception in His mother's womb well shows. For if He were to be God's son, He must, naturally and personally be in His mother's womb and become man. Now, if He is naturally and personally wherever He is, He must also be man in the same place. For there are not t two separate persons, but only one person: wherever it is, there it is the one undivided person; and wherever you can say, Here is God, there you must also say, Then Christ the man is also there. And if you would point out a place where God is, and not the man, the person would already be divided, because I could then say with truth: Here is God who is not man, and who never as yet has become man.
83 However, no such a God for me! For it would follow hence that space and place separated the two natures from one another, and divided the person, and yet even death and all devils could not divide or rend them from one another. 84 And there would remain to me a poor sort of Christ u, who would be a divine and human person at the same time in no more than in only one place, while in all other places He must be only a mere separate God and divine person without humanity. No, friend, wherever you place God, there you must also place with Him humanity; they do not allow themselves to be separated or divided from one another. There has been made v one person, and it w does not separate from itself the x humanity.
85 In the little book concerning the Last Words of David, which Dr. Luther wrote shortly before his death, he says as follows: According to the other, the temporal, human birth, also the eternal power of God has been given Him; however, in time, and not from eternity. For the humanity of Christ has not been from eternity, like the divinity; but, as we reckon and write, Jesus, the Son of Mary, is 1543 years old this year. But from the instant when divinity and humanity were united in one person, the man, the Son of Mary, is and is called almighty, eternal God, who has eternal might, and has created and sustains all things per communicationem idiomatum for the reason that He is one person with the divinity, and is also true God. Of this He speaks Matt. 11, 27: "All things are delivered unto Me of My Father"; and Matt. 28, 18: "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth." To which Me? To Me, Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Mary, and born man. From eternity I have it of the Father, before I became man. But when I became man, I received it in time, according to humanity, and kept it concealed until My resurrection and ascension; when it was to be manifested and declared, as St. Paul says, Rom. 1, 4: "He is declared and proved to be a Son of God with power." John y calls it "glorified." Vol. 5, Wittenb. Germ., fol. 545.
86 Similar testimonies are found in Dr. Luther's writings, but especially in the book That These Words Still Stand Firm, and in the Large Confession concerning the Holy Supper; to which writings, as well-grounded explanations of the majesty of Christ at the right hand of God, and of His testament, we would be understood as having referred, for the sake of brevity, in this article, as well as in the Holy Supper, as has been heretofore mentioned.
87 Therefore we regard it as a pernicious error when such majesty is denied to Christ according to His humanity. For thereby the very great consolation is taken from Christians which they have in the aforecited promise concerning the presence and dwelling with them of their Head, King, and High Priest, who has promised them that not only His mere divinity would be with them, which to us poor sinners is as a consuming fire to dry stubble, but that He, He, the man who has spoken with them, who has tried all tribulations in His assumed human nature, and who can therefore have sympathy with us, as with men and His brethren,–He will be with us in all our troubles also according to the nature according to which He is our brother and we are flesh of His flesh.
88 Therefore we unanimously reject and condemn, with mouth and heart, all errors not in accordance with the doctrine presented, as contrary to the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures, the pure z symbols, and our Christian Augsburg Confession
89 1. As, when it is believed or taught by any one that on account of the personal union the human nature is mingled with the divine or is changed into it.
90 2. Also, that the human nature in Christ is everywhere present in the same mode as the divinity, as an infinite essence, by essential power and property of its nature.
91 3. Also, that the human nature in Christ has become equal to and like the divine nature in its substance and essence or in its essential properties.
92 4. Also, that the humanity of Christ is locally extended in all places of heaven and earth; which is to be ascribed not even to the divinity. But that Christ, by His divine omnipotence can be present with His body, which He has placed at the right hand of the majesty and power of God, wherever He will, especially where He has, in His Word, promised this His presence, as in the Holy Supper, this His omnipotence and wisdom can well accomplish without change or abolition of His true human nature.
93 5. Also, that the mere human nature of Christ has suffered for us and redeemed us, with which the Son of God is said to have had no communion whatever in suffering.
94 6. Also, that Christ is present with us on earth in the Word preached and in the right use of the holy Sacraments only according to His divinity, and that this presence of Christ does not in any way pertain to His assumed human nature.
95 7. Also, that the assumed human nature in Christ has in deed and truth no communion whatever with the divine power, might, wisdom, majesty, and glory, but has in common only the mere title and name.
96 These errors, and all that are contrary and opposed to the aa doctrine presented above, we reject and condemn as contrary to the pure Word of God, the Scriptures of the holy prophets and apostles, and our Christian faith and confession. And we admonish all Christians, since in the Holy Scriptures Christ is called a mystery upon which all heretics dash their heads, not to indulge in a presumptuous manner in subtile inquiries, concerning such mysteries, with their reason, but with the venerated apostles simply to believe, to close the eyes of their reason, and bring into captivity their understanding to the obedience of Christ, 2 Cor. 10, 5, and to take comfort ab, and hence to rejoice without ceasing in the fact that our flesh and blood is placed so high at the right hand of the majesty and almighty power of God. Thus we shall assuredly find constant consolation in every adversity, and remain well guarded from pernicious error.