Perkins: Two Natures, One Christ

The second question is, how Christ could obey, being God, and satisfy for us, being man? Answer. Christ must be considered, not merely as God, or as man, but as God-man or man-God. For the Godhead does not redeem us without the manhood, nor the manhood without the Godhead. Nevertheless, Christ as God and man may both obey and satisfy. For, as there are in Christ two natures, so there are two distinct operations of the said natures. And as the said natures united make one Christ, so the operations of the natures concurring and being united in one make the compound work of a mediator. Therefore the obedience of Christ, being the work of a mediator, has in it the operations of both natures. The practice, exercise, or execution of obedience is from the manhood. Therefore it is said, that “Christ bare our sins in His body upon the cross” (1 Peter 2:24); that “he suffered in the flesh” (1 Peter 4:1); that “he made a living way by the veil of his flesh” (Heb. 10:20); that “we are reconciled in the body of his flesh” (Col. 1:22). Obedience is properly a subjection of the will in reasonable creatures to the will of God. Now the will of the Godhead of Christ admits no subjection to the will of God, because the will of the Godhead (or of God) is one and the same in all the persons. Christ therefore yields subjection only in respect of the will of the manhood in which He performs obedience. Moreover, the operation of the Godhead is to make the said obedience meritorious and satisfactory for all that shall believe. In this respect Paul says, “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself” (2 Cor. 5:19), and that “God shed His blood” (Acts 20:28), namely, in that nature which the Son of God assumed. Hence arises the value, price, and dignity of the obedience of Christ.
William Perkins | The Works of William Perkins, ed. Paul M. Smalley, Joel R. Beeke, and Derek W. H. Thomas, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2015), 114–115.


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Posted by Tony Phelps | Monday, October 23, 2023 | Categorized Christian Life, HeidelQuotes, Trinity | Tagged Bookmark the permalink.

About Tony Phelps

Tony grew up in Rhode Island. He was educated at BA (University of Rhode Island) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He worked in the insurance industry for ten years. He planted a PCA church in Wakefield, RI where he served for eleven years. In 2015–18 he pastored Covenant Reformed Church (URCNA) in Colorado Springs. He is currently pastor of Living Hope (OPC). Tony is married to Donna and together they have three children. Meet all the Heidelberg contributors»

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