Why must Jesus be “true God from true God”?

Celtic Knot 1 colorThe Son of God became human so that we could become full participants in the life of God.

Consider one of the more profound implications of this idea: it means that Jesus would have existed even if humanity never sinned. God’s purpose to make us full participants in the life of God was a plan that preceded our sin, and even our existence, and it was a plan that did not require human failure to bring it to fruition. Human failure meant that the Son’s incarnation would be an experience fraught with rejection, pain, and death, but it was not human failure that prompted the Son to take the radical action of becoming one of us. The Son’s entrance into our existence was motivated first and foremost by God’s desire to unite us to herself and make us participants in her life.

It was this concept of being joined to God by Jesus that motivated a spirituality among the 4th century defenders of the Nicene Creed that focused on Jesus being both fully God and fully human. Athanasius would say “Humanity would not have been deified if joined to a creature, or unless the Son were very God; nor had humanity been brought into the Father’s presence, unless He had been His natural and true Word who had put on the body. “[i] A created being could not join God and humanity together and make us participants in the life of God. Only God could join us to himself and make us participants in his life. Therefore, if Jesus is the one who makes humanity participants in God then Jesus must be God from God, light from light, true God from God, the begotten Son of the Father and not just another member of the creation.

~ Jonathan Stepp

[i] Against the Arians, Discourse 2, Chapter 21, paragraph 70

1 comment so far

  1. Pat on


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