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White Horse Inn: Conversational Theology

What Child Is This?

“What child is this, who laid to rest, on Mary’s lap is sleeping?” This wonderful hymn reminds us every Christmas of the sublime mystery of the incarnation. But what does it really mean to confess that Jesus is God in human flesh? On this edition of the program the hosts will continue their discussion of The Meaning of Christmas by taking a look at the two natures of Christ and his threefold office as prophet, priest, and king.


“Jesus is not a rung on the ladder of our ascent to God. He is the ladder. The situation would surely have been hopeless had the very majesty of God not descended to us since it was not in our power to ascend to him. Hence, it was necessary for the son of God to become for us Immanuel, that is, ‘God with us,’ and in such a way that his divinity and our humanity might, by mutual connection grow together. Therefore, relying on this pledge, we trust that we are sons of God, for God’s natural son fashioned for himself a body from our body, flesh from our flesh, and bones from our bones that he might be one with us.”

John Calvin


“Of the Eternal Deity of Christ”

We believe that Jesus Christ, according to his divine nature, is the only Son of God—eternally begotten, not made nor created, for then he would be a creature. He is one in essence with the Father; coeternal; the exact image of the person of the Father and the “reflection of his glory,” being in all things like him. He is the Son of God not only from the time he assumed our nature but from all eternity, as the following testimonies teach us when they are taken together.

Moses says that God “created the world”; and John says that “all things were created by the Word,” which he calls God. The apostle says that “God made the world by his Son.” He also says that “God created all things by Jesus Christ.” And so it must follow that he who is called God, the Word, the Son, and Jesus Christ already existed when all things were created by him. Therefore, the prophet Micah says that his origin is “from ancient times, from eternity.” And the apostle says that he has “neither beginning of days nor end of life.” So then, he is the true eternal God, the Almighty, whom we invoke, worship, and serve.

(The Belgic Confession, Article 10)

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