Concerning the New Man

The first man, says Paul, was of the earth, earthy. Because of the transgression of God’s law he became sinful and mortal. He dissolved into the elements of which he had been composed, and returned to the earth from which he had been taken. But the Second Man is the Lord from Heaven, preexisting God in eternity and man in time, the one God-Man, whose name is the Lord Jesus Christ, the image and splendor and glory of the Father who begat Him, without beginning.

Concerning this new man we ought to think and believe that He is the only-begotten Son and Logos of the Father without beginning, the second person indeed of the one and triune God, through Whom were all things. For God is perfect and eternal. In coming to dwell in time, he is the perfect man of the Holy Spirit and Mary the Virgin, in no respect changing or laying aside His own divine nat­ure, but assuming the nature of man in body and soul. He was nourished, He grew, and He became strong in spirit, so that He became a man according to the eternal and most perfect counsel of God, a man in the image and likeness of God, destroying the author­ity of the Devil, and liberating and saving and renewing the old man by all that He did for him and suffered.

This perception of the divine and human nature of Christ is confirmed by many passages and testimonies of Holy Scripture, is contained synoptically in three articles of the Symbol of the faith-in the third, fourth, and fifth-and is explained and developed also in the dogmatic definition of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, held in Chalcedon, to-wit: “Following, then, the divine Fathers in confessing one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, all with one accord we teach that He Himself is perfect in deity, that He Himself is perfect in humanity, truly God, the one person, truly man, with soul and body, one in substance with the Father according to His humanity, in all things like to us without sin. Before all ages indeed He was begotten of the Father according to His divinity, but in these last times for us and for our salvation He was born of Mary the Virgin, Mother of God, according to His humanity. We teach one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only begotten, acknowl­edged to be of two natures unconfused, unchangeable, indivisible, inseparable, the difference of natures being by no means destroyed on account of the unity, but rather the peculiar property of either nature being preserved and concurring in one person and one sub­stance. We do not believe in two persons divided or severed, but in one and the same Son and only-begotten God, Logos, Lord Jesus Christ, as the prophets from the beginning taught concerning Him and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself taught us and as the Symbol of the fathers has delivered to us.”

According to this dogmatic definition, in the one eternal sub­stance of Christ it is affirmed that there were two births, that there are two natures, and two wills and energies, the one divine and eternal and the other, originating in time, the human, united, without confusion, — without one taking the place of the other, — unchangeable, the one not convertible into the other, — indi­visible, the one incapable of separation from the other, — insepa­rable, the one not disappearing and leaving the other remaining. In the union of the two natures each preserves its own properties, both existing in the same person possessing the two natures.

The unity exists in the person, the duality in the natures, the wills and the energies. Both the natures, the wills, and the energies exist in the same person. Christ the Logos is known as perfect God and perfect man from the properties and energies of either nature. By His word He raised the dead, healed every sickness and every disease among the people, changed water into wine, rebuked and subdued the winds and the sea, He cast out and chastised the demons as He would, he multiplied five loaves so that five thousand men were satisfied and there were twelve basketfuls of fragments left over. From His doing all these things and others like them it is known that He is God. His weariness as the result of His journey, His hunger, thirst, and pain, His being troubled at the approach of death and dying upon the cross, these things and others like them which He did or suffered also, show that He is true man. The God-man thus cognized wrought the work of our salvation, warring with and overcoming the ruler of this world, the Devil. Of His own free will He was delivered to death and in His own power He arose as God, saving all who believe in Him, and granting them life eternal and a heavenly kingdom. Those who disbelieve and despise His word He will justly condemn, when He comes in His glory, and He will chastise them with eternal punishment together with the Devil and his angels. The New Man is the objective truth which saves him who knows it. Every man not knowing the New Man loses the right to be a man, and therefore is not really a man.

With the knowledge of the New Man is inseparably connected the knowledge of His work, concerning which we must now declare what we ought to think and believe.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s