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Chapter V.

Passages brought forward from Scripture to show that “made” does not always mean the same as “created;” whence it is concluded that the letter of Holy Writ should not be made the ground of captious arguments, after the manner of the Jews, who, however, are shown to be not so bad as the heretics, and thus the principle already set forth is confirmed anew.

35. At the same time, becoming21662166    i.e.we are not to infer from the fact that the Word became flesh, that the Word is a created being. For that which becomes is already existing—that which is created did not exist before it was made. does not always imply creation; for we read: “Lord, Thou art become our refuge,”21672167    Ps. xc. 1. The R.V. runs: “Lord, thou hast been our refuge” (hast been, and still art). and “Thou hast become my salvation.”21682168    Ps. cxviii. 14. The “becoming” is rather in us. It is we who have come into being, to find a refuge and salvation in the Lord. Plainly, here is no statement of the fact or purpose of a creation, but God is said to have become my “refuge” and have turned to my “salvation,”21692169    Lat. “conversus ad salutem. even as the Apostle hath said: “Who became for us21702170    1 Cor. i. 30. Wisdom from God, and Righteousness, and Sanctification, and Redemption,”21712171    Note that it is Christ Himself Who is our justification, etc., not a certain course of life; in other words the saving power is not so much in the mere example of Christ’s life on earth, but primarily and necessarily in Himself, now seated in heaven at the Father’s right hand, interceding for us, and communicating His grace, especially through the sacraments. that is, that Christ was “made” for us, of the Father, not created. Again, the writer has explained in the sequel in what sense he says that Christ was made Wisdom for us: “But we preach the Wisdom of God in doctrine of mystery, which Wisdom is hidden, foreordained by God before the existence of the world21722172    Cf. 1 Pet. i. 19–21; Eph. i. 4; Col. i. 26, 27. for our glory, and which none of the princes of this world knew, for had they known they would never have crucified the Lord of glory.”21732173    1 Cor. ii. 6 ff. When the mystery of the Passion is set forth, surely there is no speaking of an eternal process of generation.

36. The Lord’s Cross, then, is my wisdom; the Lord’s Death my redemption; for we are redeemed with His precious blood, as the Apostle Peter hath said.21742174    1 Pet. i. 19. With His blood, then, as man, the Lord redeemed us, Who also, as God, hath forgiven sins.21752175    S. Mark ii. 8–12.

24837. Let us not, therefore, lay snares as it were in words, and eagerly seek out entanglements therein; let us not, because misbelievers make out the written word to mean that it means not, set forth only what this letter bears on the face of it, instead of the underlying sense. This way went the Jews to destruction, despising the deep-hidden meaning, and following only after the bare form of the word, for “the letter killeth, but the Spirit maketh alive.”21762176    2 Cor. iii. 6.

38. And yet, of these two grievous impieties, to ascribe to the Godhead what is true only of manhood is perchance more detestable than to attribute to spirit what belongs only to letter. The Jews feared to believe in manhood taken up into God, and therefore have lost the grace of redemption, because they reject that on which salvation depends; the Arians degrade the majesty of Godhead to the weakness of humanity. Detestable as are the Jews, who crucified the Lord’s flesh, more detestable still do I hold them who have believed that the Godhead of Christ was nailed to the Cross. So one who ofttimes had dealings with Jews said: “An heretic avoid, after once reproving him”21772177    Titus iii. 10.

39. Nor, again, are these men careful to avoid doing dishonour to the Father, in their impious application of the fact, that Christ was “made” Wisdom for us, to His incomprehensible generation, that transcends all limits and divisions of time; for, leaving it out of account that dishonour done to the Son is an insult to the Father, they do even carry their blasphemy in assault upon the Father, of Whom it is written: “Let God be made truthful, but every man a liar.”21782178    Rom. iii. 4. If indeed they think that the Son is spoken of, they do not foreclose against His generation,21792179    Because generation is quite distinct from absolute creation. but in that they rest on the authority of this text they do confess that which they reject, namely, that Christ is God, and true God.

40. It would be a lengthy matter were I to pass in review each several place where we read of His being “made,” not indeed by nature, but by way of gracious dispensation. Moses, for example, saith: “Thou art made my Helper and Protector, to save me;”21802180    Ex. xv. 2. and David: “Be unto me for a God of salvation, and an house of refuge, that Thou mayest save me;”21812181    Ps. xxxi. 3. and Isaiah: “He is become an Helper for every city that is lowly.”21822182    Isa. xxv. 4. Of a surety the holy men say not to God: “Thou hast been created,” but “By Thy grace Thou art made a Protector and Helper unto us.”

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