CPG 3645
Author Apollinaris
Greek Text Lietzmann, Apollinaris von Laodicea und seine Schule: Texte und Untersuchungen, 167-185.

1. Most hostile and foreign to the apostolic confession are:

    Those who say that the Son is from things which did not exist and, after his beginning passed, an addition to the Father and those who suppose these same things about the Holy Spirit.
    Those who say the Son is made God and the Holy Spirit made holy by a gift and by grace.
    Those who make the name “Son” common to the servants, those who say that he is the “firstborn of all creation” (Col 1:15) in that he too exists out of non-being in the same way and that he is has been made as first, and those who do not confess that he is the only-begotten Son who alone is with the Father and it was granted to him to be counted among mortals and in this way he is counted as firstborn.
    Those who write about the generation of the Son from the Father happening in a human way at a measured point in time and do not confess that the age of the Begetter and the Begotten is eternal.
    Those who introduce three unshared and foreign worships, while there is only one lawful religion, which we have from above, received from the law and the prophets, confirmed by the Lord, and proclaimed by the apostles.

No less foreign are those also who confess that the Triad does not truly consist of three persons, instead wickedly presenting the three-ness in the monad by composition and considering the Son as the wisdom in God just as in a man the human wisdom is that through which the man is wise and explaining the word in a manner similar to that which is pronounced or considered and not the one hypostasis or only a hypostasis.

2. The church confession and world-saving faith about the incarnation of the Word is that he gave himself to human flesh which he received from Mary, remained in this identity and existed without any divine change or alteration, and was brought together with the flesh in human likeness such that the flesh is united to the deity as the deity has taken to itself the passibility of the flesh in the fullness of the mystery. After the dissolution of death, concerning the holy flesh there has been unbroken impassibility and unchangeable immortality, as the initial human beauty was assumed by the power of the deity and furnished beyond all people by the appropriation of faith.

3. If some here also falsify the holy faith, either forging for the deity the human things (the growth and the suffering and the glory which ensued) or separating the growth and the passible body from the deity and as an individual existence, they too are outside the church’s saving confession.

4. So no one is able to know God unless he knows the Son, for the Son, through whom all things are created, is Wisdom. The created things reveal the Wisdom and God is known in the Wisdom. The Wisdom of God is not the kind of wisdom which man has, but it is perfect, advanced from the perfect God, and remains through all, unlike the thoughts of man which pass and his word which is spoken and is no more. Because of this he is not only Wisdom but also God, not only Word but also son. So whether someone understands God from creation or is taught of him from the divine scriptures, he in not able to know or hear about him without his Wisdom. The one who calls on God rightly calls on him through the Son and the one who comes near appropriately comes through Christ. And it is impossible to come to the Son without the Spirit, for the Spirit is both the life and the holy shaping of all, and God, sending him out through the Son, makes creation like himself.

5. So the one father is God. The one son is the Word. The one spirit is life, the sanctification of all. And there is no other god than the Father and no other son than the Word of God and no other spirit than the life-giver and sanctifier. But if also the saints are called “gods” and “sons” and “spirits,” they are not being filled by the Spirit or being made to be like the Son and God.

6. If someone in this way says that the Son is God because he was also filled with the deity and not because he was begotten from the deity, he has denied the Word, denied Wisdom, destroyed the knowledge about God, fallen into worshipping creation, grasped the impiety of the Greeks and returned to it, and copied the unbelief of the Jews, who, taking the Word from God as a human son, did not believe that he was God or confess that he was the Son of God. It is godless to understand the Word of God as a human word and think that the works done through him remain although he does not remain.

7. If someone says that Christ is commanded through the Word to work all things, he both makes the Word of God idle and transforms the position of master into servitude. For everything which is commanded is a servant and that which is created is not capable of creating. For in no way will he be equal with the one who creates him such that as he is created by him so also he will create other things.

8. Furthermore, when someone says the Holy Spirit is a sanctified product, he will no longer be able to understand all things being sanctified in the Spirit, for he who has sanctified one thing also sanctifies all things. So he denies the spring of sanctification, the Holy Spirit, if he takes sanctifying away from him, and he will be prevented from numbering him with Father and Son. He also will deny holy baptism and will no longer confess the holy and reverent Triad.

9. For either the whole Triad must be conceived with true and natural glory, or we will be required to speak of a monad and no longer a triad, or we will be forced to not number created products with the Creator, or created things with the Master of all, or sanctified things with the Sanctifier, and, as it were, not any of the products is numbered with the Triad. But baptism and invocation and worship is in the name of the holy Triad. For if there are three glories, let there also be three worships among those who impiously worship created things. If the things of the adored nature are distinguished, let the things of the adoration be distinguished among them. But things which are recent will not be adored after this age. For everything which has received a beginning is recent, since much and unmeasured is he who was before the ages.

10. Now he who supposes some beginning of time for the life of the Son and the Holy Spirit divides the Son and the Spirit in this way from being numbered with the Father. For it is necessary, just as we confess that the glory of the Triad is one, so also to confess that both its essence, truly deity, is one and its eternality is one.

11. The chief point of our salvation is the incarnation of the Word. So we believe that the incarnation of the Word happened for the renewal of humanity with the deity remaining unchanged. For neither a change nor an alteration nor a limitation in the spirit happened concerning the holy power of God, but this power, by persisting, also fulfilled the work of the incarnation for the salvation of the world. And the Word of God, having become a citizen of earth in a human manner, likewise carefully guarded the divine during every appearance, since he has filled all things, and he was especially mixed with the flesh. And although there were passible things concerning the flesh, the power had his impassibility.

12. So godless is the one who refers the suffering to the power. For the Lord of glory has appeared in human form, having received the human arrangement on earth. By his actions he fulfilled the law for the sake of men, by his sufferings he destroyed sufferings and by his death he destroyed death, and by his resurrection he raised up life. And we await his glorious appearing from heaven with the life and judgment of all, for there will be a resurrection of the dead so that all will be worthily repaid.

13. There are some who practice a terrible practice against the holy Triad, confidently asserting that there are not three persons, introducing, so to speak, impersonal persons. Throughout this we flee from that Sabellius who says that the same one is both father and son. He says the father is the speaker and the son is the word remaining in the father, appearing occasionally as the Demiurge and then after the fulfillment of all the acts reverting to God. And he also says the same thing about the Spirit.

14. For we believe that it is clear that the three persons have one deity, Father and Son and Holy Spirit. For the deity, by being witnessed as by nature one in the Triad, confirms the unity of nature, because it belongs to the Father according to “one God, the Father” (1 Co 8:6), inherited from the Father by the Son according to “the Word was God” (Jn 1:1), and it comes to the Spirit by nature to be the Spirit of God, just as Paul says, “You are the temple of God and the Spirit of God lives in you” (1 Co 3:16).

15. For it is clear that the person of each is the same and does exist. The deity is the possession of the Father and when the deity of the three is said to be one, he witnesses that the possession of the Father comes to both the Son and the Spirit. Therefore if the deity is spoken of as being one in three persons, then the Triad is confirmed, the oneness is not broken, and the natural unity of the Son and the Spirit with the Father is confessed. But if someone says there is one person just as there is also one deity, it is not that the two are in the one as one.

16. For Paul calls the Father “one” on the basis of his deity, but he calls the Son “one” on the basis of his lordship. “There is one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we are for him, and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we are through him” (1 Co 8:6). Therefore, if there is one God and there is one Lord and there is one person, as deity, of one lordship, then how also are the “from whom” and “through whom” believed as they were previously written?

17. And we speak without breaking the lordship from the deity, not alienating the one from the other but uniting them as the fact and the truth have it and calling the Son “God” with respect to the property of the Father as his image and begotten and addressing the Father by the name “one Lord” as his beginning and begetter. The same things are true also about the Sprit, for he has the unity with the Son which the Son has with the Father. Therefore let the hypostasis of the Father be known by the address “God” but do not let the Son be divided from this, as he is from God. And also let the person of the Son be known by the address “Lord,” but do not let the Lord God be separated from this, as he is the Father of the Lord. Therefore it is the possession of the Son to be Lord, since he himself has been the Demiurge through himself and is Lord of what has been made, and it belongs more highly to the Father as he is the Father of the one who is Lord.

18. So indeed we also say that the Triad is one God, but knowing not one made from a composite of three (for every part which exists from a composite is incomplete) but that the very thing which the Father is as beginner and begetter the Son is as the image and begotten of the Father. Therefore if someone should ask, “How is there one God if the Son is God from God?” then we will say, “With respect to the word “beginning,” according to which the Father is the one beginning.” And if someone should again inquire, “How is there one Lord if the Father is Lord?” then we will again answer, “Because he is the Father of the Lord,” and we will no longer be met by this difficulty.

19. And again if the godless say, “How would three persons not be three gods if they have one deity?” then we will say, “Since God is the beginning and Father of the Son and he is the image and begotten of the Father and not his brother and the Spirit is the Spirit of God, as it is written, “God is Spirit”(Jn 4:24).

20. And another time it has been made clear from the prophet David that “By the Word of the Lord the heavens were established and by the Spirit of his mouth were all their power” (Ps 33:6). And in the beginning of the making of the world, this is written: “And the Spirit of God was rushing upon the water” (Gen 1:2). And Paul, writing to the Romans, said, “You are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God lives in you” (Rom 8:9).

21. And again he says, “If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will make your mortal bodies alive through his Spirit who dwells in you” (Rom 8:11). And again, “As many as are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God, for you did not receive a spirit of servitude back to fear but you received the Spirit of sonship, in which we cry out, ‘Abba, Father!’” (Rom 8:14-15) And again, “I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying—and my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit” (Rom 9:1).

22. And again, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that you will abound in this hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom 15:13). And again, writing to the same Romans, he says, “I wrote to you more boldly in part to remind you because of the grace given me from God to be a servant of Jesus Christ to the nations, serving the Gospel of God so that the offering of the nations might be well-pleasing, having been sanctified in the Holy Spirit. So I have this boast in Christ Jesus: the things which pertain to God. For I do not dare to speak of any of the things Christ did not accomplish through me for the obedience of the nations by word and deed, in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom 15:15-19). And again, “I encourage you, brothers, through our Lord Jesus Christ and through the love of the Spirit” (Rom 15:30).

23. And these things are written in the epistle to the Romans, and in the one to the Corinthians he again says, “My word and my proclamation was not in persuasive words of human wisdom but in a demonstration of the Spirit and power so that your faith would not be by the wisdom of men but by the power of God” (1 Co 2:4-5). An again he says, “As it is written, ‘The things which eye did not see and ear did not hear and which did not rise upon the heart of man, God prepared for those who love him,’ and God revealed them to us through his Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who of men knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man within him? So also no one has known the things of God except the Spirit of God” (1 Co 2:9-10). And again he says, “Natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God” (1 Co 2:14).

24. You see that everywhere in Scripture the Spirit of God is proclaimed and nowhere is he named a creature. And what should the godless say? For the Lord sent out his apostles to “baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19). They undeniably have a sharing and a union, according to which there are not three deities or three lordships or three holiness. But truly, as the three persons firmly remain, the unity of the three must be confessed. For in this way both that which sends and that which is sent would be appropriately believed, as the Father sent the Son and the Son sent the Spirit. One person would not send himself. For someone would not that the Father became incarnate. For the confessions of the faith do not concur with these wicked teachings of heresies. It is necessary that our understanding follow the divine and apostolic teachings that our incapable fantasies do not overpower the teachings of the divine faith.

25. If they should say, “How are there three persons and one deity?” then we will say to them, “There are three persons as there is one of God the Father, one of the Lord Son, and one of the Holy Spirit, and there is one deity as the Son is the image of God the Father, who is one, that is, God from God, and the Spirit is likewise called ‘God,’ and he is God by nature according to the same essence and not according to God’s sharing.” And the essence of the Triad is one, which does not happen with things which are made.

26. For the essence of God and things which are made is not one, for God is none of these things in essence but also the Lord is none of these things according to essence. But God the Father is one and the Lord Son is one and the Holy Spirit is one. We say that the Triad is one deity and one lordship and one holiness, for the Father is the beginning of the Lord since he begot him eternally and the Lord is the archetype of the Spirit. For in the way the Father is Lord and the Son is God and about God it is said, “God is Spirit” (Jn 4:24).

27. So we confess one true God, one beginning, and one Son, true God from true God, having by nature the deity of the Father, that is, consubstantial with the Father, and one Holy Spirit by nature and in truth, the sanctifier and life-giver of all things, being from the essence of God. We anathematize those who say that either the Son or the Spirit is a creature and we confess that everything else were created as products and servants by God through the Son and sanctified in the Holy Spirit.

28. Yet we confess that the Son of God became the Son of Man, not in name but in truth, taking on flesh from the Virgin Mary and that he is wholly the Son of God and the Son of Man, one person and one worship of the Word and the flesh he took on. And we anathematize those who make distinct worships, one divine and one human, and worship the man from Mary as being someone other than the God from God. For we know that, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (Jn 1:1). But we worship the one who became man for the sake of our salvation not as an equal who came in an equal body but as a master who took the form of a servant.

29. We confess the suffering of the Lord according to the flesh, the resurrection by the power of his deity, the ascension into heaven, his glorious appearing when he comes for the judgment of the living and the dead and the eternal life of the saints.

30. And since some disturbed us, attempting to overturn our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ by confessing that God did not become incarnate but that man was joined to God, for this reason we make confession concerning the faith mentioned before, driving out this faithless contradiction. For God, having become incarnate with human flesh, has his own energy pure because he is a mind unconquerable by physical and fleshly things and he leads the flesh and the fleshly motions both divinely and sinlessly, being not only not overpowered by death but also destroying death.

31. And the one without flesh who appeared in the flesh is true God, whole with respect to the true and divine wholeness, not two persons or two natures. For we do not say that we worship four: God and the Son of God and a man and the Holy Spirit. Therefore we also anathematize those who are ungodly in this way, who place a man in the divine doxology. For we say that the Word of God became a man for our salvation so that we might receive the likeness of the heavenly man and be deified to resemble the one who is by nature the true Son of God and according to the flesh the Son of Man, our Lord Jesus Christ.

32. Now we believe in one God, that is, in one beginning, the God of law and gospel, righteous and good,

    and in one Lord, Jesus Christ, true God, that is, the true image of the only true God, Demiurge of all things visible and invisible, the Son of God and only-begotten child and eternal Word, living and existing and working, always being with the Father,
    and in one Holy Spirit,
    and in the glorious appearing of the Son of God, who took on flesh from the Virgin, who in our place endured suffering and death and came to a resurrection on the third day and was taken up into heaven,
    and in his coming glorious appearing,
    and in the one holy church, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the flesh, and eternal life.

33. We confess the Son and the Holy Spirit are consubstantial with the Father and the essence of the Triad is one, that is, there is one deity. The Father is by nature unbegotten, the Son is begotten from the Father by a true begetting and not a making from the will, and the Spirit, Sanctifier of the entire creation, is eternally breathed out from the essence of the Father through the Son.

34. We confess that the Word both became incarnate and appeared by a fleshly birth from the Virgin and did not just work within a man. As for those who share with them who throw out “consubstantial” as being foreign to the Scriptures and say that any of the Triad are created and separate the deity which by nature is one, we consider them foreigners and have no share with any of them.

35. There is one God, the Father, the only deity, and the Son is also God, truly being the image of the one and only deity according to his generation and nature which he has from the Father. The Son is the one Lord, and so also is the Spirit, sending out the lordship of the Son to the sanctified creation. The Son redeemed the world after taking on flesh from a virgin, which he filled with the Holy Spirit for the sanctification of us all. After surrendering that flesh to death he destroyed death through the resurrection for the resurrection of us all. He went up into heaven, exalting and glorifying men in himself. He is coming a second time, to restore eternal life to us who believe and keep his commands.

36. There is one Son. Both before the incarnation and after the incarnation he is the same. Man and God, each as one. And God the Word is not one person and the man Jesus another, but the preexistent Son arrived united to the flesh from Mary, joining himself as a whole and holy and sinless man and arranging for the renewal of humanity and the salvation of all the world.

37. The Father is God, being a whole person. He has the whole Son truly begotten from him, not as spoken word or as a son by adoption, as angels and people are called “sons of God,” but as a Son by nature God. The Holy Spirit also is whole, furnished from God through the Son for the adopted sons, living and life-giving, holy and sanctifying those who have a share of him, not as an impersonal breath breathed by a man but living from God. Because of this, the Triad is worshipped and glorified and honored and adored. The Father is understood in the Son as the Son is from him and the Son is glorified in the Father as he is from the Father and revealed in the Holy Spirit to those who are sanctified.

38. That the holy Triad is adored without being separated or estranged Paul teaches us in his second epistle to the Corinthians, saying this: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Co 13:13) And again he makes it clear through this epistle, saying, “The God who confirms us with you for Christ and anointed and sealed us and gave the deposit of the Spirit into our hearts” (2 Co 1:21-22). Still clearer in the same letter he writes this: “When Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. And whenever he turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. The Lord is the Spirit. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. We all, mirroring with unveiled face the glory of the Lord, are transformed to the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit” (2 Co 3:15-18).

39. And again Paul says, “so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. The God who acquired us for this very thing, who gave us the deposit of the Spirit” (2 Co 5:4-5). And again he says, “commending ourselves as the servants of God in all endurance, in tribulations, in needs, in straits” and so on (2 Co 6:4). Then he continues saying, “in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in un-hypocritical love, in the Word of truth, in the power of God” (2 Co 6:6-7). For behold, here also the saint marks out the holy Triad, having named God and the Word and the Holy Spirit.

40. And again he says, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? If anyone destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him” (1 Co 3:16-17). And again, “But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Co 6:11). And again, “Or do you not know that your bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit in you which you have from God? For I think I too have the Spirit of God” (1 Co 6:19; 7:40).

41. And again speaking also about the sons of Israel as being baptized in the cloud and in the sea he says, “They all drank the same spiritual drink, for the drank from the spiritual rock which followed them. The rock was Christ” (1 Co 10:4). And again he says, “Therefore I am making known to you that no one speaking in the Spirit of God says, ‘Jesus be anathema,’ and no one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. There are diversities of gifts but the same Spirit. There are distinctions of service but the same Lord. There are differences of workings but the same one is God who works them all in all. The manifestation of the Spirit is given to each for what is beneficial. For through the Spirit to one is given a word of wisdom, to another a word of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another the gift of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of powers, to another, prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. One and the same Spirit works all these, dividing what is his own to each as he wishes. And as the body is one and has many parts and all the parts of the body, although they are many, are one body, so also with Christ. For we all were baptized into one body in one Spirit” (1 Co 12:3-13). And again he says, “For if the one who comes preaches another Jesus which we did not preach, or you receive another spirit which you did not receive, or another gospel which you did not accept, you were well enough with it” (2 Co 11:4). You see that the Spirit is unseparated from the deity and anyone thinking in a godly way would not take him to be a creature.

42. In the letter to the Hebrews he again says this: “How will we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? Having begun to be spoken about by the Lord, it was confirmed to us through those who heard it as God bore witness to it with signs and wonders and many kinds of powers and distributions of the Holy Spirit” (Heb 2:3-4). And again in the same epistle he says, “Therefore as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, like the day of the testing in the desert when your fathers tested me. They tried me and saw my works for forty years. Therefore I was angry with this generation and said, “They will always wander with their heart, because they did not know my ways.” So I swore in my wrath, “They will not at all enter into my rest”’” (Heb 3:7-11). Let them listen here as Paul by no means separates the Holy Spirit from the deity of the Father and the Son but clearly makes plain that the language of the Holy Spirit exists from a person of God and is spoken from God as it is relayed in the aforementioned words.

43. For because of this the holy Triad is believed and worshipped as one God according to the things witnessed from the divine Scripture, and especially since we everywhere have innumerable teachings from the divine Scriptures corroborating the apostolic and church faith.

An additional excerpt found in Theodoret Eranistes I, t. IV:

Fragment 1: We worship God, who took on flesh from the holy Virgin, and because of this is man according to the flesh but God according to the spirit.

Translated by AMJ

Last updated: 6-13-2013

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