"Come out of her My people" - Jesus Christ
THE HISTORIC CHRIST
|In the previous studies we have set forth from the Scriptures alone the doctrine of Christ’s pre-existence and his “Eternal Sonship” [that is, he was begotten from the Father as a distinct person before creation]. Now we wish to show that this doctrine is also the historic teaching of the Church concerning Christ; that from the Apostles even until today, God’s people have believed that Jesus is indeed, “The Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God”.
Ignatius [A.D. 30-107]
"But our Physician is the only true God, the unbegotten and unapproachable, the Lord of all, the Father and Begetter of the only-begotten Son. We have also as a Physician the Lord our God, Jesus the Christ, the only-begotten Son and Word, before time began, but who afterwards became also man, of Mary the virgin." ("Ante-Nicene Fathers," Volume 1, Ignatius, "Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians," chapter 7)
"Do ye all come together in common, and individually, through grace, in one faith of God the Father, and of Jesus Christ His only-begotten Son, and "the first-born of every creature,'..." ("Ante-Nicene Fathers," Volume 1, Ignatius, "Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians," chapter 20)
"...Jesus Christ. He, being begotten by the Father before the beginning of time was...the only-begotten Son, and remains the same for ever; for "of His kingdom there shall be no end," says Daniel the prophet." ("Ante-Nicene Fathers," Volume 1, Ignatius, "To the Magnesians," chapter 6)
"...there is but one unbegotten Being, God, even the Father; and one only-begotten Son." ("Ante-Nicene Fathers," Volume 1, Ignatius, "To the Philadelphians," chapter 5)
Justin Martyr [A.D. 110-165]
"For I have already proved that He was the only-begotten of the Father of all things, being begotten in a peculiar manner Word and Power by Him, and having afterwards become man through the Virgin, as we have learned from the memoirs." ("Ante-Nicene Fathers," Volume 1, Justin Martyr, "Dialogue with Trypho," chapter 105)
Justin Martyr, quoting from Proverbs 8, refers to Christ in the following statement:
“ The Lord possessed me the beginning of His ways for His works.… He begets me before all the hills.” He adds: “You perceive, my hearers, if you bestow attention, that the Scripture has declared that this Offspring was begotten by the Father before all things created; and that which is begotten is numerically distinct from that which begets, any one will admit.” (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, Chapter CXXIX)
Theophilus [AD 181]:
“He that is uncreated stands in need of nothing. God, then, having His own Word internal with in His bowels, begat Him, emitting Him along with His own wisdom before all things.” Theophilus of Antioch, To Autolycus, II:10 (c.A.D. 181), in ANF, II:97-98
Irenaeus of Lyons [189 AD] wrote:
“For the Church, although dispersed throughout the whole world even to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and from their disciples the faith in one God, Father Almighty, the creator of heaven and earth and sea and all that is in them; and in one Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” (Against Heresies 1:10:1, A. D. 189)
Tertullian [216 AD] wrote:
“We do indeed believe that there is only one God, but we believe that under this dispensation, or, as we say, oikonomia, there is also a Son of this one only God, his Word, who proceeded from him and through whom all things were made and without whom nothing was made.” (Against Praxeas 2, A. D. 216)
Tertullian quoted the following verse to prove that the Father and Son are two beings when refuting Praxeas: “The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, shall never thirst at all, nor be hungry;” (Isaiah 40:28 Septuagint) [GOD] has promised that he would never be wearied, he would never hunger and he would never thirst, thus in the person of Jesus Christ he proves that you have not the Almighty GOD but the Son of GOD, his begotten Word, the mediator between God and man.
Origen [222 AD] wrote:
“The specific points which are clearly handed down through the apostolic preaching are these: First, that there is one God who created and arranged all things, and who, when nothing existed, called all things into existence, and that in the final period this God, just as he had promised beforehand through the prophets, sent the Lord Jesus Christ. Secondly, that Jesus Christ himself, who came, was born of the Father before all creatures; and after he had ministered to the Father in the creation of all things, for through him all things were made.” (The Fundamental Doctrines 1:0:4, A.D. 225)
Novatian [235 AD] wrote:
“God the Father, founder and creator of all things, who alone knows no beginning, who is invisible, immeasurable, immortal, and eternal, is one God. Neither his greatness nor his majesty nor his power can possibly be—I should not say exceeded, for they cannot even be equaled. From him… the Word was born, his Son.… And the latter, since he was born of the Father, is always in the Father. And I indeed say always… He that exists before all time must be said to have been in the Father always, for he that exists before all time cannot be spoken of in relation to time.… Assuredly, he [the Son] is God, proceeding from God, causing, as Son, a second person after the Father, but not taking away from the Father the fact that God is one.” (Treatise on the Trinity 31, A.D. 235)
“the Father also precedes Him [Jesus]... Because it is essential that He who knows no beginning must go before Him who has a beginning; even as He is the less as knowing that He is in Him, having an origin because He is born... He, then, when the Father willed it, proceeded from the Father, and He who was in the Father came forth from the Father.” (Treatise on the Trinity 31, A.D. 235),
If any one should say that the Son is unbegotten, and without beginning, intimating that there are two without beginning, and unbegotten, so making two Gods, let him be anathema: for the Son is the head and beginning of all things; but “the head of Christ is God.”…. For we do not co-ordinate the Son with the Father, but [conceive him to be] subordinate to the Father. For he neither came down to the body without his Father’s will; nor did he rain from himself, but from the Lord (i.e. the Father) who exercises supreme authority: nor does he sit at the Father’s right hand of himself, but in obedience to the Father saying, “Sit thou at my right hand” [let him be anathema].” (Ecclesiastical History By Socrates Scholasticus CHAPTER 30 Creeds Published At Sirmium In Presence Of The Emperor Constantius).
Eusebius -275AD wrote:
“The second cause of the universe next to the Father, the true and only Son of the Father, and the Lord and God and King of all created things, who has received power, and dominion with divinity itself, and power and honour from the Father… Where he introduces the Father and maker as the Ruler of all, commanding with His sovereign nod, but the divine word as next to Him, the very same that is proclaimed to us, as ministering to His Father’s commands… The Son Himself, however, by no means indifferent to the worship of the Father, is appointed to teach the knowledge of the Father to all… Of Him, Moses obviously speaks as the second after the Father,… intrusted with the second rank of sovereignty and rule over all, ‘the captain of the Lord’s host,…’” (Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History, pages 15-17)
In 325 AD there were gathered together over 200 Bishops from all over the known world for the counsel of Nicea. The amazing thing was, ALL were in agreement that Jesus was “Born before all Creation”, and all could agree with the following ancient creed set forth by Eusebius. Clearly the early Christians accepted what the Bible said, That there was ONE GOD ALMIGHTY the Father, and that he beget a Divine SON before creation; Christ Jesus.
“‘I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of all things both visible and invisible, and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, God of God, Light of Light, Life of Life, the only begotten Son, the First-born of every creature, begotten of the Father before all worlds, by whom also all things were made. Who for our salvation was made flesh, and lived amongst men, and suffered, and rose again on the third day, and ascended to the Father, and shall come in glory to judge the quick and the dead. And we believe in one Holy Ghost. Believing each of them to be and to have existed, the Father, only the Father; and the Son, only the Son; and the Holy Ghost, only the Holy Ghost: as also our Lord sending forth His own disciples to preach, said, ‘Go and teach all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:’ concerning which things we affirm that it is so, and that we so think, and that it has long so been held, and that we remain steadfast to death for this faith, anathematizing every godless heresy. That we have thought these things from our heart and soul, from the time that we have known ourselves, and that we now think and say thus in truth, we testify in the name of Almighty God, and of our Lord Jesus Christ, being able to prove even by demonstration, and to persuade you that in the past times also thus we believed and preached.’”
Yet the party of one Alexander requested that the term “Consubstantial” be added to the creed. Consubstantial is a Platonic term, that was once banned in Christendom. Yet the term was inserted, which caused five of the Bishops to reject the Nicean Creed.
NICEAN CREED 325 AD:
“We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, and born of the Father before all ages. Light of light, true God of true God. Begotten not made, consubstantial to the Father, by whom all things were made."
Epiphanius of Salamis [374 AD] wrote:
“We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of all things, both visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of God the Father, only-begotten, that is, of the substance of the Father; God of God, light of light, true God of true God; begotten, not made;…” (The Man Well-Anchored 120, A.D. 374)
St. Patrick [452 AD] wrote:
“There is no other God, nor has there been heretofore, nor will there be hereafter, except God the Father unbegotten, without beginning, from whom is all beginning, upholding all things, as we say, and his Son Jesus Christ,…” (Confession of St. Patrick 4, A.D. 452)
Clearly the teaching that Christ was born before Creation was and is the bedrock doctrine of the Church! It is the only doctrine that guarantees that Christ preexisted as a Divine person, prior to Creation, while leaving intact there is but One God. Those who fight against this truth, are foolishly fighting against the very teaching of Christ.