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HOW THE DIVINE WORD, IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME, ACCORDING TO
THE SCRIPTURES, WAS MADE FLESH.
You have heard that God, the Father, is a true Father of the whole Christ, and that the whole Christ is the true Son of God, his Father. We will now show you, by the grace of the Lord, by virtue of the holy, divine Scriptures, what kind of divine substance, matter, seed, or being it was of which this same Son of God and Mary was brought forth, that you may confess and see the clearness of the human birth of Jesus Christ, according to the Scriptures, through the smoke of the bottomless pit, cleared away by the power of the strong word and scattered by the breeze of the Holy Ghost.
Thus John teaches us, saying, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men." "And the Word (which was in the beginning) was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth," Jn. 1.
Behold, dear reader, here John shows us as a true witness of the truth, the divine being of the man Christ, the ineffable, eternal Word.
If you would have an immutable, true and firm foundation of faith, and the true sense of these words of John, and not be deceived by the lying seed of the old serpent, nor be robbed of your Savior by the subtle deceit of anti‑christ, you must well observer and hold to these facts. First, that God the Father is confessed to be the true Father of his Son Christ, by the Scriptures, Matt. 3:17; 16:16; 17:5; Luke 1:31; Jn. 1:45; 3:16; 5:22.
Secondly, that Christ Jesus is confessed to be the true Son of God, his Father, by all the Scriptures, Matt. 3:17; 14:33; 18:16; 17:5; Mark 1:11; 9:7; 15:39; Luke 2:48; Jn. 9:37.
As it is plain that God the heavenly Father is a true Father of Christ, his Son, and that Christ is a true Son of God, his Father, as is testified all through the Scriptures; therefore it is sure and manifest that we should leave the testimony of John unglozed and unbroken, where he says, "The word was made flesh." For since Christ is God's true Son, and God the Father, Christ's true Father, the Father must also have had his ineffable Word, by which all things were made that are made, as was heard.
If our opponents should say, "That the Word was Spirit from the beginning, and could therefore not become flesh," then you may answer, first, If the Word could not become flesh, as you say, the power of the Father is made less and his arm is shortened, by which he can do anything he pleases; and the angel bore a false testimony to Mary, when he said that there is nothing impossible with God, Luke 1:37.
Secondly, you may answer: If the Word was not made flesh, as you say, then all the Scriptures deceive us, which testify and teach, without any division, union, or exception as to nature, sons or persons, that Christ Jesus is God's Son, and that God is his Father, as was said.
Thirdly, you may answer: If the Word 396was not made flesh, as you say, then the Holy Scriptures testify falsely, that he is of heaven and not of earth, Jn. 3:31; 8:23; Eph. 4:10, that he came forth from the Father, Jn. 16:28, that he is the bread and Lord from heaven, Jn. 6:35; 1 Cor. 15:47, that he is the Alpha and Omega, Rev. 1:8; 22:13, and other like Scriptures.
Fourthly, you may answer: If the Word could not become flesh, as you say, then one or the other of you must be wrong. Either you who say that he could not become flesh, or John, who says that he was made flesh, as was heard.
If they should further say, that the Word put on, by generation, of Mary's seed, as they actually do, you may answer then thus: First, Then we desire that you show to us where this is written in the Scriptures or else we say, that it is the flattering and falsehood of the old serpent, and not the Lord's truth.
Secondly, you answer: By such acceptation you rob the Father of his Son, and the Son of his Father. You divide Christ into two parts, into good and evil, into righteous and unrighteous, into heavenly and earthly. You point us to a sinful creature and an impure offering. You idolize the earthly and sinful flesh of Adam. You make all the pious witnesses of Christ, such as John the Baptist, Peter, &c., false and lying, and yourselves anti‑christ; and make the Scriptures contradictory.
Thirdly, you may answer: Becoming is becoming, and putting on is putting on; nor will it be found otherwise in the Scriptures. Thus when Christ became twelve years of age, he did become twelve years of age, counting from the time of his human birth. Christ became a curse, Gal. 3:13. He became such, so as to be hung between two murderers, on the cross, Matt. 27:38; Mark 15:27; Luke 23:32. Water was made wine, and it was made, John 2:9; Lot's wife became a pillar of salt, and she did become one, Gen. 19:26. For becoming I say, is becoming, and cannot be explained in any part of the Scriptures as meaning putting on.
If they would still follow their intellect and say, "If the Word is become flesh, it has lost its first being by the change," you might answer, first: John has taught us that it was made flesh, and he has not said a word further, as to how or to what extent it was changed; something that you, inquisitive ones, want to know and hear of us, without any Scripture.
Thirdly, you might reply: We ought to believe sincerely, and not intellectually comprehend. For Paul says, that "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen," Heb. 11:1.
Fourthly, you might reply: Paul says, That he is God, and Christ says that he is a Spirit. Zophar the Naamathite says, "It is as high as heaven; deeper than hell; longer than the earth; and broader than the sea," Job 11:8, 9. And the prophet says, that he comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, Isa. 40:12; also, "saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool," Isa. 66:1. There is no man born of Adam who is so intellectual and wise that he can measure this God and Spirit, or comprehend his being, therefore it would be well for them to abandon their high, soaring intellect to search such ineffable profundity, to humbly bow themselves under the word of the Lord, and to ponder on the saying of Solomon, "It is not good to eat much honey; so for men to search their own glory is not glory," Prov. 26:27. Read also Syrach 3:21.
Kind reader, if intellect were to avail in this ineffable, deep matter, and not the Scriptures, then I would ask them an intellectual question concerning their faith, of which they could scarcely extricate themselves. It would be this: Whether or not they believe that the Almighty, ineffable Word, of which heaven and earth are full, Wis. 18:16, and which is also, the eternal wisdom and power of the Almighty, eternal Father, has placed itself out and out in such concreto sanguine, as Micron calls it at one place, as is his doctrine now? I presume they will leave the question unanswered. For if they say that it was therein, out and out, than they make a Father 397who has separated his word, wisdom and power from himself, and placed it outside of himself. And if they say that it was not all therein, then they make their own foundation untrue and false; for they say and teach that the Son of God (which is God's eternal Word, wisdom and power) has put on the son of man or of Mary, and that he has united himself therewith into one person.
Therefore I repeat that it would be well for them to leave such ineffable profundity unsearched, to stay under the clouds, and not to soar above heaven, with their earthly, ignorant intellect; for, I presume that when they have measured the height of the heavens and the depth of the abyss, have weighed the mountains and enumerated the drops of rain, then they will give me an intelligent answer, and explain how this thing is, about which I asked concerning their faith, foundation and doctrine. And therefore I say that I do not at all charge my mind with this incomprehensible miracle, but adduce the word of the Lord, whereby I am plainly taught that Mary, the Lord's mother, conceived the Almighty, eternal Word of the Father (by which all things were made that are made), by faith, Luke 1:31, and that the same, by the great power and operation of his Almighty, eternal Spirit, became a true, visible, palpable, passive, mortal, pure and holy man, not of her, but in her, above the comprehension of all mankind. And thus he who was already the first‑born of every creature, and, also, according to his human form, the first and only begotten, true Son of God, was supernaturally born unto God, his Father, of Mary, according to the flesh, as Isaac was naturally born unto Abraham by Sarah; Solomon unto David, by Bath‑sheba, and John the Baptist unto Zacharias, by Elisabeth, Gen. 21; 2 Sam. 12:24; Luke 1:12; which first and only begotten, true Son of God became also, according to the promise, a son of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, and David on account of his mother (but in the genealogy of Christ, Joseph's son, Matt. 1:16; Luke 3:23), who graciously fulfilled the spiritual law which no flesh of Adam could fulfill, for all of the descendants of Adam, in perfect righteousness, Rom. 8:2; and who innocently trod the wine press of bitter death, Isa. 63:3; Rev. 19:15, to whom the law and all the prophets point, and in whom all the glorious promises of the inexpressibly great grace and love of God are fulfilled. And thus, after he had done the service of his divine love he again ascended up where he was before, Jn. 6:62. He has all power in heaven and upon earth, Matt. 28:18, and is, through faith in his blood, our only and eternal Propitiator, Reconciler, High Priest, Mediator, Advocate, and Peace‑maker with God, his Father, Rom. 3:26; Jn. 4:26; 1 Tim. 2:5; 1 Jn. 2:1.
Behold, thus the most high, most gracious, and most merciful God and Father retains his glory, praise and honor through his blessed, eternal Word and Son; and not through the unclean, sinful flesh of Adam, as our opponents teach and pretend.
Mark, now, beloved reader, how our opponents are deceived in this matter by their earthly, carnal intellect which would explain this miracle, not according to the Scriptures, but according to the laws of nature, and therefore, do not believe that the Almighty God had the power to let his eternal Word become flesh, and a true man; for which reason they have depicted me in such unbecoming colors, although these poor souls are doubly what they would make us to be, namely, false teachers, and perverse heretics. For they say and teach without any Scriptures, that the man Christ who died for us, was not the Son of God, and that he had no Father; and we say that he is God's Son, and that God is his Father, according to all Scripture.
They say and teach, without any Scripture, "That the Word has put on a whole man of Mary's flesh and seed;" and we say and teach, according to the plain testimony of John, That the Word was made flesh, not of Mary, but in Mary.
They teach, "That there are two different persons and sons, one divine, the other human, in the one Christ," without Scripture; and we say that there is but one undivided person and Son, according to the Scriptures.
They say and teach, "That the visible Christ was earthly, of the earth," without the Scriptures; and we say and teach that 398he is heavenly, of heaven, according to the Scriptures.
They say and teach, "That he is pure of impure Adam," without Scripture; and we say and teach that he is pure of the pure God, according to the Scriptures.
They point us to an "accursed, sinful offering," without Scripture; and we point to a spotless, innocent offering, according to the Scriptures.
They worship an Adamitic flesh, contrary to all Scripture; and we, the Almighty, eternal Word which became man by the infinite power of God, according to the Scriptures.
In short, they place their whole salvation in the unclean, sinful seed of Adam, that is, in a man, who, according to their fabulous writing, and contrary to the word and ordinance of God, was generated from the seed or blood of Mary, without father; and we, in the Almighty, eternal Word, which became man in the fullness of time, by which all things are made, ruled, and have their being, forever, which was from everlasting the eternal wisdom, power and glory of God, his Father, one with God, his eternal Father and the eternal Holy Ghost, blessed forever, Amen.
Invincible and firm remains the word: "The word was made flesh," Jn. 1:14; 1 Jn. 1:1. O, merciful, gracious Lord, enlighten the eyes of all the blind, that they may see thy heavenly brightness and rightly confess the majesty of thy honor, Amen. Dear Lord, Amen.
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