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Trinitarian Will And The Incarnation

trinity_shield2The subject of the incarnation, or he who became man, is not the Father, nor the Holy Spirit, but the Son alone. “The Word was made flesh” (John 1:14). “God sent for this Son, made of a woman” (Galatians 4:4). “Jesus Christ is come in the flesh” (I John 4:2). Although the essence and operation of the three persons in the godhead are the same, the flesh was not assumed by the divine essence, but by a certain person. It was at least assumed by the divine essence, only as it is characterized, and, so to speak, restricted, in the person of the Son. Neither the Father, nor the Holy Spirit, indeed, was unconcerned in the incarnation of the Son. The glory of the whole adorable Trinity is displayed in the human nature of Christ (see John 14:7, 9; John 1:18; II Cor. 4:6). But though the Father is in the Son, he is not therefore incarnate with the Son; he is only in his incarnate Son (John 14:10). A body was formed to be the future residence of the Deity, by that will which is common to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. But whilst it was determined by the will of the Father and the Holy Spirit that that body should belong to the Son, the Son, by the same will, determined that it should be his own; and thus by the united consent of all the Three, it could be the body of none but the Son (Hebrews 10:5).

 

Symbolum XIV.iv

Forgiveness Unto Intimacy

From Witsius’ Sacred Dissertations on The Lord’s Prayer (p. 330 – 31):

The pardon of sin does not only free the sinner from the wrath of God, but restores him to the Divine favor and friendship. As it originated in a love of benevolence, and in the gracious purposes of God; so it places the sinner in such a condition that God regards him with a love of complacency, and bestows upon him the enjoyment of his grace in the most delightful manner. He is then enabled to behold the face of God as an indulgent Father, to hear his gracious voice, and in the sweetest intimacy of Divine fellowship to declare, ‘Thy love is better than wine” (Song 1:2). ‘For I will not,’ saith God, ‘contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth; for the spirit should fail before me and the souls which I have made. I have seen his ways, and will heal him. I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners’ (Isa. 57:16, 18).

Orationem xxlx.xvi

The Church Will Stand, For Christ Must Have His Reward

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The Church must stand. Witsius was sure of this. Formed from the very beginning, and continuing until the parousia of Christ, God would keep His Church. Against all attacks of the world, the Evil one, heresies, schism, and more, Witsius was certain:
For it is utterly impossible that the decree of God should fail; that the promises of God should come to nought; that the word of salvation should be preached in vain; that the prophecies respecting the perpetuity of Christ’s kingdom should fall to the ground; or that Christ should lose the reward of His labor, and become a Master without disciples, a King without subjects, a Bridegroom without a bride, a Head without a body.

Do you share Witsius’ certainty? And perhaps even more importantly, is your certainty based on factors sociological, historical, or coincidental? Or do you, like Witsius, know the security of the Church of God rests in the infallible work of her Savior and Eternal Beloved?

(Quote: Symbolum XXIV.xxiii)

Preaching Law and Gospel Constitutes the Church

This gathering is effected by the word of the Gospel; for although God in some respect invites men to himself by the works of nature (Acts 17:27; Rom 2:4), no invitation of that sort is sufficient for constituting the Church; but the word of supernatural revelation must be added (I Cor 1:21)… The preaching of the Law, that the minds of men may be rightly prepared: “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” But the preaching of the Gospel is chiefly made use of: “This only would I learn of you: did you receive the Spirit by works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” The invitation given by the Gospel is termed our Calling: “Them he also called” (Rom 8:30). Hence, too, the frequent designation of “the called,” and the very word Ecclesia, the Church.

Quoted from Sacred Dissertations on the Apostles’ Creed XXIV.vi p. 352

Witsius: God Hates the Sin and the Sinner

“From the holiness of God flows a mortal and implacable hatred of sin. It is as much the nature of holiness to ‘hate iniquity, as to love righteousness’ (Ps. 45:8). Sin is ‘an abomination to his soul’ (Prov. 6:16), that is, to his very essence, and essential holiness: and neither sin only, but also the sinner is the object of his hatred. ‘For all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously, are an abomination to the Lord thy God,’ (Deut. 25:16). He therefore separates from himself, and from his chosen people, all whom he cannot make partakers of his favour: and so he cannot but inflict upon them that punishment which is the effect of his hatred. According to Solomon’s reasoning, Prov. 16:5, ‘Every one that is proud in heart, is an abomination to the Lord.’ And the consequence is, He shall not be unpunished. In the same manner David reasons, Ps. 5:4, 5, 6, ‘Thou art not a God that hast pleasure in wickedness.’ Thou hatest sin, and the sinner too, because of it. ‘Thou hatest all the workers of iniquity.’ And surely the fruit of this must be exceeding bitter: ‘Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing.’ And thus from the holiness of God, arises a hatred of sin and the sinner; from hatred, punishment.”

Economy of the Covenant Between God and Man (Escondido, CA: den Dulk Christian Foundation, 1990), vol. 1, p. 96.