CPG 3674
Author Apollinaris
Greek Text PG 28:96-121

Concerning the eternal existence of the Son and the Spirit with God, and against the Sabellians.

1. Judaism is opposed to Hellenism, and neither is godly but both are without the truth. For also the Babylonians have fought against the Egyptians and many godless nations have opposed other godless nations. So it is not enough to oppose godlessness unless the opposition to godlessness happens because of godliness. The Jews have many great things to say against the idolaters and the say righteous things as they accuse those who worship the creation more than the Creator. But it cannot be confessed that they are godly just because they refute godlessness, for they deny the Son of God, through whom all things have been made, and accuse those who worship the Father through him of polytheism. Therefore we have departed from the Greeks and separated from them so as not to become mixed with their impure idolatries. And we have also departed from the blasphemy of the Jews by confessing the Son of God. We flee from destructively denying our Lord, who says, “Whoever denies me before men, I will deny him before my Father in heaven” (Mt 10:33) And we confess the Son is from the Father and always with the Father, believing him when he says and promises, “Everyone who confesses me before men, I too will confess him before my Father in heaven” (Mt 10:32).

2. Looking at this pattern, we now also have become estranged from those who Hellenize in the name of Christianity, who dare to call the work of God “god” and worship it. And we are separated also from those who Judaize and corrupt Christianity with Judaism. Those who deny the one from God is God say there is one God, resembling the Jews. They claim that he alone is God not because he alone is unbegotten and the only source of deity but because he has not begotten a Son or borne a living Word and true Wisdom. For they consider the Word of God to be like that from the heart of man, and the Wisdom to be the kind which is in the soul. And because of this they say that God together with the Word is one person, just as also a man together with his word is one man. They think nothing more than the Jews who have not accepted the evangelist crying right from the beginning, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (Jn 1:1). For if God has the Word in his heart not truly begotten from him as God from God, how would the Word be with God? And how would it be God? For the word of a man is not a man with a man since it is neither living nor existing but is only a movement of a living and existing heart. And in a moment it is said and it is no more, and although said many times it never remains. But the psalmist has cried out from above for the Word of God, saying, “To eternity, Lord, your Word remains in the heaven” (Ps 119:89). And the evangelist, who confesses the Word is God, is in harmony with him, and proclaims that he has appeared and discloses that he has arrived and preaches that he has become incarnate without including the Father in the incarnation of the Word. For he says, “The Word became flesh and tented among us. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the only-begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:14). You see the Word being only-begotten, appearing in the world, tenting among men, and having glory preached to him, as the only-begotten from the Father, not as being the Father himself or as the Father having appeared together with the Word like a man appears together with his word. It is impossible for a man’s word to appear unless also the one who speaks it is present and uttering. So whom do we believe? Those who proclaim to us that the Son has resided with the Father or those who claim that the Father is one person together with the Word? For if he is one person, how is he sender and sent? And how is he seen through the flesh, for, “No one has ever seen God, but the only-begotten Son, who is at the bosom of the Father, he has revealed him” (Jn 1:18). And after himself arriving, he utters it in a holy voice, as he provides a viewing of himself and through it presents the knowledge of the Father, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn 14:9), without claiming to be the Father. For how is he invisible? But he is like the Father is. For as he said earlier, “If you knew me, you would also know my Father” (Jn 14:7), revealing to us directly a pair of persons, made known by an unchanged deity. Therefore the one deemed worthy of viewing the Son is not robbed of viewing the Father. For the Father begat not one dissimilar but one like himself. So if you consider there to be only one thing even though there are truly two, you do not know the Father and the Son. So what communion is there for you with church teaching? And how do you take the voice of the Master, as he says, “I and the Father are one”? (Jn 10:30) And again conversing about the Father he says, “I am from him, and he sent me” (Jn 12:29). And he adds also a third one, “I will ask my Father and he will give you another Counselor” (Jn 14:16).

3. So when he says about himself, “I,” but about the Father, “he,” and about the Spirit, “another,” how is it not clear apostasy to deny the three and say that the one who claims, “I am not alone, because the Father who sent me is with me” is alone. And he also uses the voice of the law, and through it he presents both him and the Father as being two, for he says, “It has been written in your law that the testimony of two men is true.” He says, “I am the one giving testimony about myself and the Father who sent me gives testimony about me” (Jn 8:16-18). For see the two persons, and if you do not say that there are truly two, by saying this you do not allow the testimony to be proven true. For it confirms the testimony that it was made not by one but by two. For also the Father has testified from heaven, saving, “This is my beloved Son” (Mt 3:17; 17:7), and the only-begotten Son testifies that he is the Son of God and he clearly addresses the Father within the hearing of men, saying, “I confess you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this was well-pleasing before you. All things have been given to me by my Father” (Mt 11:25-27). But what will those who serve the denial of the Jews say to defend themselves against these things so that they will not be clearly convicted of acting against the Gospels of our Lord Jesus Christ and so that two hypostases will appear, one of the Father, God, and the other of the Son, a man? Oh the godlessness! And how is this different from the defense of the Samosateans? But let them say how a man dares to utter these things about himself: “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn 14:9). And how does the evangelist testify about the one who speaks these things that he said God is his own Father, making himself equal to God? A man is not equal to God, but the one who is God from God has equality with the one who has begotten him according to nature. Paul says this also, testifying not about when he had become a man but revealing the things before his becoming a man: “Who, being in the form of God, did not consider being equal to God an exploit” (Phil 2:6). We also know that the Savior speaks often in a human manner, but not when he says, “I am the one who testifies about myself and the Father who sent me testifies about me” (Jn 8:18). For the one who was sent into the world, who says, “I went out from the Father and have come” (Jn 16:28), who says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (Jn 3:16), who says, “I have come down from heaven not to do my will but the will of him who sent me” (Jn 6:38), is not a man. But if you want to listen to him speak in a human manner, in a manner fitting for the form seen according to the flesh and the mere humanity considered among the hearers, hear him as he as says, “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true” (Jn 5:31), as concerns his being untrustworthy or being considered a man testifying for himself. But when he says, “Even if I testify about myself, my testimony is not true, for I know from where I come and where I am going” (Jn 8:14), when he numbers the Father and himself and he says there are two who testify about his glory, he is not speaking human things but things beyond all human worth—and why do I say human?—beyond angelic worth, beyond rulers, beyond powers, beyond dominions. For what kind of joint numbering is there for man and God? What nearness or what communion? But in saying, “I confess you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth” (Mt 11:25), does he seem to you to be a man? That is right, for also the deity which has arrived into the world has the human mixed with it.

4. But just because of the veil of the flesh do not be ignorant of God, who immediately adds and claims, “No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and him to whom the Son wants to reveal him. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is kind and my burden is light” (Mt 10:27-30). The Lord shuts off your slander. By having presented himself as God even in human form and known only by the Father and knowing the Father and revealing the knowledge of himself and the Father to those deemed worthy, he summons us to himself, promising rest with him and advising us to carry his yoke. By saying these things he clothes himself with deity, interprets the surpassing greatness veiled by the small form, and demonstrates the authority above the heavens covered by an earthly body. And why must I recount the divine words of our Lord Jesus Christ, for there are countless of them? Through them the innovation of the Samosateans concerning the Savior, that he is a mere man, is appropriately driven out, and also the irrational nonsense of those who copy them is driven out with it. For, to mention a few testimonies, who was it who said these kinds of things: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord, will come into the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 7:21)? This is not the word of a man but of God, showing his genuine generation from the Father. And because of this he does not deny that he should be spoken of as Lord. For the one who has been begotten from the only Lord is Lord, as has been said in Moses, “The Lord rained down sulfur and fire from the Lord” (Gen 19:24). And elsewhere the Savior says to the Apostles, “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you speak rightly. For that is what I am” (Jn 13:13). And furthermore showing himself as the master of the Father’s house, as his only-begotten Son would be, he says, “If they called the master of the house ‘Beelzebul,’ how much more his servants” (Mt 10:25). So it is clear from everything that Jesus Christ, as begotten from God, is God, the Lord of all things. But after saying, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven,” he adds also the Father, as he clearly interprets for us, “But the one who does the will of my Father in heaven” (Mt 7:21,22).

5. So you have a Son and you have a Father. Don’t be afraid of the pair. For they are not divided in nature and the one who speaks of the two did not estrange the begotten from the begetter. And we should not avoid saying they are two just because of the other insanity of those who deny that there is one deity of the two. There is one God because there is also one Father. And the Son also is God for he has identity as a son to a father. He himself is not the Father but he is by nature united to the Father. Two in number, but one complete essence. Two, but not from two parts. The Son has come complete from a complete Father, as being from him, “the representation of his hypostasis” (Heb 1:3), not an impersonal word but a living power and the cause of life for all, not like the power of a man because of which a man is powerful. For a man’s power is not his begotten or son. But the power of God is his Son such that the Father is completely powerful because he is the Father of power and the Son is complete power because he is his begotten. And the Son is the Wisdom of the Father, but not like the wisdom of a man through which a man is wise but as wisdom from the wise. Concerning this it is said, “To the only wise God through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory for eternity. Amen” (Rom 16:27). He says, “But the Father did not beget!” Then how and of whom was he a father? But if he did beget, the one who is is the one who has been begotten. “But I,” he says, “do confess a generation, for a word is born when it is spoken and known.” And how often, tell me, will the same one be begotten? Or do you say that each time many words of God were begotten? And when do you imagine God to be silent, and when is he speaking and changing from silence to speech and with opened lips or a moved heart? God is not a man. Do you suppose, lawless man, that God is similar to you? O man, even if you hear about the eyes of God, even if you hear about other body parts, do not understand this in a fleshly way, but understand the bodiless through the likeness of the bodily. For it is also said to you, “God is Spirit” (Jn 4:24). So also the Word is not human or like your word. For He is God, even if he does not seem so to you. And there are not two gods, for there are not two Fathers and the one begotten is nothing but consubstantial to the one who begat him.

6. For the one who introduces two beginnings preaches two gods. This is the godlessness of Marcion, who said that a just god was the father of his own Christ and a different good god was the father of his own Christ. And furthermore the one who says there is an unbegotten god and another god is begotten, also himself says there are two gods because of the difference of essence which he blasphemously introduces. But since there is one beginning and one begotten from it, it is a most exact and natural image because it is also begotten from him. There is one God, for the complete deity is understood in the Father and the Father’s complete deity exists also in the Son. And since you can grasp what has been said through this small example which the divine scripture has shown by naming Christ “the image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15), let us again at the same time also flee what in the example is dissimilar and confess also the consubstantial generation. Thus clearly in a similar manner the one who sees the image of the king sees the king and says, “Look, this is the king,” and yet he has not made two kings or made the image part of the king or the king part of the image. So in this way there is one God, the Father, and one deity of the Father and the Son. “But,” as you say, “there will be one composite from two incomplete parts.” But it is good to shut your ears to this godlessness and wash off your soul, for the one who imagines this confesses neither the Son nor the Father. For there is no room for understanding either the Father or the Son as incomplete.

7. He says,“But it was said, ‘I am in the Father and the Father is in me’” (Jn 14:10). The Father is not a word in the heart of the Son, so neither is the Son a word in the heart of the Father. Rather, he is a living Word from the living God the Father, appearing by an eternal generation, being with the Father without beginning. So the Father cannot be considered to ever be alone. For the Triad is always a triad and takes no addition to the deity. And the Son is not added to the Father later after previously not being with him, and neither does the Spirit come into being after the Son. For things made from some beginning are both products and servants and are in no way numbered with the Triad. For he says, “Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19). (He did not enumerate one beginning or authority or power.) For it is impossible for uneternal things to be numbered with the eternal and things not partaking of the deity are not joined to the deity. So how is the begotten one in the begetter? And furthermore, how is the begetter in the begotten? How is he in that one and that one in him? Because he also is like that one and that one is like him. So also the two are one because they are not different or separated. And the Son is not considered to be according to a different image and foreign representation but he is God just as the Father is also. After he had said, “I and the Father are one” (Jn 10:30), the Jews were angry, saying, “You, although a man, make yourself God” (Jn 10:33). The Savior also then answered and confirmed what was said about him. For in claiming, “I and the Father are one,” he was indicating nothing other than this, that because he is the Son of God he himself is also God. “If he called them ‘gods’ to whom the word of God comes, and Scripture cannot be broken, what about him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world? Yet you say, “You are blaspheming,” because I said I am the Son of God. If I do not do the works of my Father, do not believe me. But if I do them, even if you do not want to believe me, believe the works so that you may see and know that I am in the Father and the Father is in me” (Jn 10:35-38). Therefore the Son being in the Father and the Father being in the Son is this and nothing else: that the one begotten from God is the Son of God because he is God according to nature, which also the Father is, and he shows the Father’s form in himself and is shown in the Father’s hypostasis.

8. So there is one and one, and the pair is not divided in nature, lacking nothing for completion. The Father, as the Father, has the whole fullness of the deity, and the Son, as the Son, has the whole fullness of the deity. For one form is understood through both, shown entirely completely in both. Let no one deny the life which has appeared in the world. He says, “It was with the Father and was revealed to us” (1 Jn 1:2). And at the time when it appeared it seemed to exist before its appearing. For it was begotten eternally and exists with the Father. Let no one deny the three and think he has found the monad. Let him rather understand the one in the Triad, having the chief part of the faith in baptism and in the three holy seals through which he is regenerated for salvation. Remember the Apostle saying, “There is one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things” (1 Cor 8:6). Remember the Father saying, “Before the dawn I brought you forth from the womb” (Ps 110:3) and the Son testifying that he was with the Father before the world, having the glory of the deity, for he says, “Glorify me beside you with the glory which I had beside you before the world existed” (Jn 17:5). He asks for glory according to the man but testifying that he had it according to God before the world. He had the glory because he was and existed. That which does not exist is not glorified. But if he existed, he also was begotten, for he is not a son unless begotten. “But if he was begotten,” he says, “he is outside the begetter and divided from him, but it is necessary for the Word to be undivided because it is in God and does not appear outside of God. For where also would it appear outside him, for God has filled all things, as it is written, ‘“I fill heaven and earth,” says the Lord’?” (Jer 23:24)

9. With these kinds of imaginations they attempt to get rid of the generation of the Son and his eternal emanation from the Father and his existence with the Father and that the Father subsists completely by himself and the Son subsists completely by himself. So let them learn that “they do not understand the things they are saying or the things they speak so confidently about” (1 Tm 1:7) as they circumscribe God to a place and then further imagine the Son in another place and consider them to be separated, the one here and the other there, if the Son is confessed to have been begotten and to have appeared by himself apart from the Father. “What is the place of my stopping?” God says through the prophet (Is 56:1). “The heaven and the heaven’s heaven are not sufficient for you,” Solomon says to God (1 Kg 8:27). With great proof God persuades men that there is no place capable of receiving him and says, “For my hand made all these things” (Is 66:2). So the made things do not surround the one who made them, who also existed before them and whose being surrounds them, and they are supported by the very power of their maker. Therefore Paul says that from him are all things and through him are all things and for him are all things (Rom 11:36; 1 Cor 8:6), and furthermore, “For in him we live and move and exist” (Ac 17:28).

10. So get rid of for me the idea of being fixed in a place, since you have this in mind concerning God and the Word and the Spirit. Get rid of the local separations and do not suspect the Father is one place and the Son is sent out from the begetting some place else. For these lies, or rather, godless reasonings, about the existence of the Son are causing you to stumble. And you have denied the Holy Spirit along with the Son through maintaining that all the things of the Father are possessed only by one. Do not seek a place so great that it will be able to have room for the greatness of God. For the immeasurable is not based upon the measured, but he measures heaven with his fingerspan, as the prophet metaphorically explains (Is 40:12). And he has measured also the water with his hand and all the earth with his finger. To him all things are tiny, as the prophet’s metaphor sufficiently demonstrates. How would he think to measure himself by a small and tiny creation? God has not filled all things such that he is measured by all things. For this is a bodily filling, just as if someone would appear to have filled the air between earth and heaven. But he did it by his power filling all things. For his power is bodiless, invisible, unencircling and unencircled. The same is true also about the Son and about the Holy Spirit. For through the Son and in the Sprit God both put everything together and by filling it carefully guards it. So it is godless to both seek and understand God to be somewhere at some time or the Word to have happened upon some place or the Spirit to have been encircled in some dwelling. But if someone should say that the Son neither exist nor was begotten because the place of his essence is unintelligible and difficult to say, then such a person would say that never once was there a Father or did God exist, for no place is found for God either. “The fool said in his heart, ‘There is no God” (Ps 14:1). Such people truly are fools, misleading themselves by the faulty reasoning of empty imaginations. Of infants and the altogether mindless people are the words of those who want to take in the bodiless by eye and embrace it within a place.

11. Let us give them some short images from the bodiless things we can, remembering some examples which clearly are among us and appear in creation in the hope that by ascending through these it becomes possible to somehow understand the bodilessness of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit and no longer imagine places for them or think of local divisions for the Triad. The law, being bodiless and spiritual, is in the mind of the one learned in the law. And in the same mind also are the prophets, gospels, and apostles. And it is said about the words of the law and prophets, “They have Moses and the prophets” (Lk 16:29). And the Savior says that the one having old and new things in his mind is like “the master of the house who carries out from his treasury old and new things” (Mt 13:52). And the mind of Moses received all the wisdom of Egypt and that which was given to him from God. And Daniel, having undertaken all the understanding of the Chaldeans, had room for the manifold thoughts of the wisdom of God, which God signified through Ezechiel: “Are you really wiser than Daniel? Every hidden thing was not shown you” (28:3). The thoughtfulness of Solomon and the “size of his heart” was as uncountable “as the sand across the sea” (1 Kg 4:29). Seeing so great a multitude of wisdoms concerning one understanding, let them conclude that they are not in a place. For how great in size would a man have to be to sufficient to receive such great things if he held individual things he sees in divided places? So since the spiritual things here, although there are many of them, do not require many places but are fixed around one and the same mind, let us also understand the bodiless things above us of themselves, that the Father and the Son and the Spirit do not require places nor are they divided by places. And let no one dare to suppose that either the Father of the Son or the Holy Spirit is non-existent because there is no place to divide and distribute to each. But the Father, having his being complete and unceasing, is the root and well of the Son and the Spirit. The Son is in the full deity, a living Word and the one begotten of the Father and lacking nothing. And the Spirit of the Son is full, not part of another but entirely complete in itself. And so the Triad, truly existing, is joined together without distance, for there is nothing separating it, and is together eternally, for no age intervenes between them. And it shines forth one and the same form, for the Father is seen in the Son, and the Son is understood and shared by men in the Spirit. For he says, “We all, reflecting with unveiled face the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, as from the Lord, the Spirit” (2 Co 3:18).

12. So let us not imagine it as three indivisible bodily parts. For reasoning is godless and foreign to complete bodiless things. Let us accept the indivisible togetherness of those who are with each other without distance, and for the three truly subsisting let us understand one form beginning from the Father, shining in the Son, and revealed through the Spirit. Because of this those who possess the Spirit possess Christ. For he says, “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not his. If Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin,” and so on (Rom 8:9,10). And John says, “From this we know that he is in us, from the Spirit which he gave us” (1 Jn 4:13). And Paul calls our bodies the temple of the Holy Spirit and says that Christ is in us. And when Christ is dwelling in our inner man, as is written, God is dwelling in us. For he says, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in you” (1 Co 3:16). So in this way learn for me in a thorough and godly manner from the divine words the indivisibility of the deity, understanding one form in three, not one composite thing from three. And they are undivided even in the things of their activity seen, as we hear the Apostle teaching and claiming, “There are divisions of gifts but the same Spirit, and divisions of ministries but the same Lord, and divisions of activities but the same God who works all in all” (1 Cor 12:4-6). And recounting the gifts, he adds, “One and the same Spirit works all these, dividing them to each one as he wants” (1 Cor 12:11). And since all things are worked by God through Christ in the Holy Spirit, I see that the activity of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit is undivided.

13. But I do not by intertwining the “from whom” and “through whom” and “in whom” forcibly make the Triad a monad. Just as I do not suppose a man is a composite from three—spirit, soul, and body—so also I do not suppose God is a composite, as some dare. And I do not give up the undivided because of such godless conjecture, not even if someone would say that Son and the Spirit are undivided from the Father like the word in the mind or in the voice is from the one who thinks and says it. For the parts of a composite and the movements of the moved have nothing in common with the incomposite and unchangeable nature. For also how does the Father send out the part or the movement when he sends out the Son? Or how does the Son send out the Holy Spirit into the world. Or was the Son not sent by the Father? It is testified and announced everywhere that he sent the counseling Spirit and certainly he also sends him out in keeping with the promise. But those who make the Triad a monad attempt to corrupt this sending also, just like the generation. For they say that the Son, being inside the Father, works the sanctification of a man, that is, he is the one and only God sent to man in this way, not God from God. “For how also is the Word sent,” they say, “without being divided or separated from him whose Word it is?” Because the incarnation of the Word has been preached, who would speak against it? For the Evangelist cries, “The Word became flesh” (Jn 1:14), and the Savior himself preached that he had come down from heaven not once but many times. And certainly the Apostle Paul confirms to the Galatians that our Lord Jesus Christ is not just a man. But even if he is a man in a different sense of the word as us, he is a second man, and not like the first earthly man. The one was a living soul, the other a life-giving spirit (1 Cor 15:45).

14. For these are divine and apostolic words and teachings and the works give testimony to the deity because they are done with heavenly authority. For he commands the elements, censures the spirits, restores the maimed by his power and heals the sick by his will. He speaks of his authority and does not conceal it. Death is abolished through him and life and incorruptibility shine and for a second time the corrupted nature of men is created. The world is renewed through his coming and creation appears new again through the resurrection of Christ, for he is transforming “our body of lowliness to be of the same form as the body of his glory” (Phil 3:21). And the whole creation is being “liberated from the slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Rom 8:21). All the divine scriptures testify that the Father, or as they would say, the only God, is not Jesus Christ, our incarnate Lord and God. They preach that the one who arrived is the Son of God and they point out that he is always talking about the Father, claiming to have come from the Father and that he is going to the Father. And it is not necessary to lengthen the testimony set forth at all. For as I said, all the gospels and the writings of the apostles direct themselves to this.

15. They both stir up for us other Greek contradictions and increase the blasphemies of the Jews when they mock the mystery of the sending and incarnation of the Word. For they say, “If he is sent and comes down, he will not be with the one who sent him and he will not be together with the one who remains above.” Let them learn not to hear “above” and “on high” only in a bodily way but indeed ponder something more new. For “The Lord is high over all nations” (Ps 113:4), and “I will lift you high, Lord” (Ps 30:1), and “Praiseworthy and lifted high for eternity” (Dan 3:52 LXX) do not present the Lord as being in some measured place or outline God as being measured by men or by the others who sing his praise. Rather, they are calling the magnificence of his invisible deity “height.” And the one who says, “The heaven’s heaven is the Lord’s. He gave the earth to the sons of men” (Ps 115:16), is not assigning heaven as the place of dwelling to God and the earth to man. Rather, he points out the preeminence and magnificence of God. So since it is said that the reverend and magnificent is heavenly and opposite this it is said that the lowly is both earthly and on earth, here is found the descent of the Word, the giving up of the bodiless magnificence for the cheapness of the body when he gave himself up into the bodily form out of love for people and the forethought of saving all. And after being sent, he will be understood in this way, that he gave himself to a body by the ineffable will of the bodiless Father. So do not let the bodily sayings, that is, the descent and the sending, be cited for a denial of his incarnation, for God neither comes down nor is sent locally. But let them hear the Apostle showing the matter together with such similar things as he says, “Who being in the form of God did not consider being equal with God and exploit, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men” (Phil 2:6,7). This was the descending. This was the being sent into a garment more lowly than his worth. The covering over of the human form was the going down, accomplished according to the will of the Father. If the Word is not circumscribed by place and body he is not torn from the bodiless Father because of the mixing with the body. For the body has received him, and he was willing, as it is natural for the human nature to receive God. But because of his nature he does not remain any less than even before the incarnation. Therefore the descent from heaven was not a transition from heaven and the sending was not a separation from the Father who sent him.

Translated by AMJ

Last updated: 8-16-2013

No Responses yet