Did Jesus have a divine AND human nature, as taught by Luther?


#1

It would be helpful to clarify whether Jesus had two natures or one. This teaching is connected to the protestant teaching of justification, which Luther concludes with Christians being as a pile of dung, covered with white snow.

Thank you,
Journey


#2

The Catholic Church infallibly teaches that Jesus is one Person with two nature: a human nature (body and sou), and the Divine Nature.

Pope Saint Leo: “the proper character of both natures was maintained and came together in a single person.”

Council of Chalcedon: “So, following the saintly fathers, we all with one voice teach the confession of one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: the same perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity, the same truly God and truly man, of a rational soul and a body; consubstantial with the Father as regards his divinity, and the same consubstantial with us as regards his humanity; like us in all respects except for sin; begotten before the ages from the Father as regards his divinity, and in the last days the same for us and for our salvation from Mary, the virgin God-bearer as regards his humanity; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only-begotten, acknowledged in two natures which undergo no confusion, no change, no division, no separation; at no point was the difference between the natures taken away through the union, but rather the property of both natures is preserved and comes together into a single person and a single subsistent being; he is not parted or divided into two persons, but is one and the same only-begotten Son, God, Word, Lord Jesus Christ, just as the prophets taught from the beginning about him, and as the Lord Jesus Christ himself instructed us, and as the creed of the fathers handed it down to us.”


#3

My next question follows: Do we, as baptized believers, in the Holy Spirit, also have two natures?


#4

nope, instead we get grace,


#5

And we differ with Luther* in believing that grace is infused into our souls and actually changes us, rather than simply being a layer on top or a change in legal status that reflects no real change.

  • Or at least, the common Catholic understanding of Luther’s position. Perhaps a Lutheran will come along to illuminate the full complexities of Luther’s theology. I’m sure he left room for sanctification, even if he strictly walled it off from the moment of justification.

#6

Why would we have divine nature? We’re not divine. Just because the Holy Spirit is in us doesn’t make us “Him”. I think of it as honey in a tree. Is the tree different or “better” than a tree without honey? Sure! But does that mean the tree “is” honey, or is even like honey? Of course not.

I hope I didn’t just make matters worse; there are a myriad of metaphors that can be used to show this, this was just the first that came to mind. :slight_smile:


#7

We can become partake in the divine nature through grace.

***His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature. **(2 Peter 1:3-4) *

Ubenedictus said this in post #4.

-Tim-


#8

I think the distinction we have to make here is that in one case, the person is God, and in the other the person is a temple for God. Jesus, is God. So he has two natures. Human and divine. We are human. Not God. God comes to live in us.

I think we have to be careful with analogies that reduce it to something simplistic like snow covering dung, or honey on a tree. They assume that we don’t change, but that we are just covered by the blood and remain dung or a tree. The thing about the Eucharist is that it’s the only food that consumes you when you eat it, if you let it. We as Catholics believe in the concept of divinization, that is that by the power of the Holy Spirit we begin to slowly become like God. We are changed. We don’t remain dung, but rather we become Holy, Saints. We partake of the divine life. We become like Christ… we become little Christs. That’s an important distinction.

The incarnation of the Word is continued through the sacraments, above all in the Holy Eucharist. The Bread of Life is not changed into our nature like earthly food; on the contrary, it transforms us into him. ‘Nor shalt thou convert me, like common food, into thy substance; but thou shalt be converted into me’ [St Augustine: Confessions, Bk. VII, 10 (Here, Augustine is writing “in the Person of Christ”)]. By the sacramental life and by our life of interior prayer and contemplation, given birth to and sustained in our souls by the sacraments, we become ‘sons of the Father,’ identified in some way with the Word and truly divinized. The Word was made flesh in order to give to all who receive him the power to be made the sons of God [John 1:12]. God became man, that men bight become God. (p. 122) The Prayer of Love and Silence

Saints Aquinas, Athanasius and Augustine treated on this subject in a great affirmation that God became man, that man might be transformed into God. Partakers of divine nature.

“Now the gift of grace surpasses every capability of created nature, since it is nothing short of a partaking of the Divine Nature, which exceeds every other nature. And thus it is impossible that any creature should cause grace. For it is as necessary that God alone should deify,1 bestowing a partaking of the Divine Nature by a participated likeness, as it is impossible that anything save fire should enkindle.” (ST Ia IIae, Q. 112, A. 1)

Saint Augustine: “God was made man, that man might be made God.” (Sermo xiii de Temp, cited in Saint Thomas, ST III, Q I, A. 2)

Saint Athanasius: “He [Christ] became man so that we might be made God.” (Treatise on the Incarnation of the Word, in William A Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. I, [Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1970] p. 322.)


#9

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