We’re still on the refutation of Arius and his followers.
1 From these considerations, of course, it appears that the points from Scripture which both Photinus and Sabellius used to bring up in support of their opinions cannot confirm their errors.
2 For what our Lord says after the resurrection, “All power has been given to Me in heaven and in earth” (Mat. 2-8: 18), is not said for this reason: that at that time He had newly received this power; but for this reason: that the power which the Son of God had eternally received had—because of the victory He had had over death by resurrection—begun to appear in the same Son made man.
3 Now, as to the Apostle’s word concerning the Son, “Who was made to Him of the seed of David” (Rom. 1:3), one sees clearly how it should be understood from the addition: “according to the flesh.” For he did not say that the Son of God had been made simply, but that He had been made of the seed of David, according to the flesh,” by the assumption of human nature as John (1:14) puts it: “The Word was made flesh.” Hence, also, the following phrase—“Who was predestinated the Son of God in power”—clearly refers to the Son in His human nature. For, that a human nature he united to the Son of God, that thus a man could be called the Son of God, was not a matter of human merit. It was by the grace of God’s predestination.
Notes Incidentally, it’s been clear in this book we’re dealing with a new translator. Some may have noticed the differences.
4 In a, similar fashion, what the Apostle says in Philippians, “God exalted Christ through the merit of His passion,” must be referred to the human nature; the humility of the passion was in this human nature. Hence, also, what follows—“He has given Him a name which is above all names”—must be referred to this: the name belonging to the Son in His eternal birth had to be manifested in the peoples’ faith as belonging to the incarnate Son.
5 In this way it also is plain that what Peter says, “God has made both Lord and Christ, this same Jesus,” (Acts 2:36), must be referred to the Son in His human nature; in which He began to have temporally what He had in the nature of divinity eternally.
6 The point which Sabellius introduces on the unity of the Deity—“Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord” and “See that I alone am, and there is no other God besides Me”—is not hostile to the teaching of the Catholic faith, which holds that the Father and the Son are not two gods, but one God, as we said before.
7 In the same way, the sayings, “The Father who abides in Me, He does the works,” and “I am in the Father and the Father in Me,” do not show a unity of person, as Sabellius chose to understand, but that unity of essence which Arius denied. For, if there were one person of the Father and the Son, one could not say suitably that the Father is in the Son and the Son in the Father, since properly the same supposit is not said to be in its very self; this is said only with reference to its parts.
For, seeing that parts are in a whole, and that what is proper to parts can be attributed to a whole, sometimes a whole is said to he in itself. But this manner of speech does not suit speech about divinity, in which there can be no parts, as was shown in Book I. It remains true, then, that, when the Father is said to be in the Son and the Son in the Father, the Father and Son are not identical in supposit.
One can see from this that the essence of the Father and the Son is one. For, once this is given, it is very clear in what way the Father is in the Son and the Son in the Father. For, since the Father is His essence, because in God essence is not other than what has essence, as we showed in Book I, it follows that in anything in which the essence of the Father is the Father is; and by the same reasoning in anything in which the essence of the Son is the Son is. Hence, since the essence of the Father is in the Son and the essence of the Son in the Father, because the essence of each of the two is one essence (as the Catholic faith teaches), it clearly follows that the Father is in the Son and the Son in the Father. Thus, the selfsame saying (John 14:11) confutes the error of Sabellius as well as that of Arius.