Christ, the Natural, not the Adopted Son of God *


[From the synodical epistle of the bishops of France to the Spaniards]


311 . . . For in the beginning of your little book we have found written what you have laid down: “We confess and we believe that God, the Son of God before all ages without beginning, was begotten from the Father, co-eternal and consubstantial, not by adoption but by birth.” Likewise after a few words in the same place we read: “We confess and we believe that He was made from a woman, made under the law[cf. Gal. 4:4], that not by birth is He the Son of God but by adoption; not by nature but by grace.” Behold the serpent hiding among the fruit bearing trees of Paradise, that he may deceive every unwary one. . . .


312 That also which you, added in the following [cf.n. 295] we have not found expressed in the profession of the Nicene Creed, that in Christ there are two natures and three substances [cf.n. 295] and “man deified and God made human.” What is the nature of man, but soul and body? or what is the difference between nature and substance, that it is necessary for us to say three substances, and not rather simply, as the Holy Fathers have said, that they confess our Lord Jesus Christ true God and true man in one person? Certainly the person of the Son remained in the Holy Trinity, to which person human nature was joined so that it was one person, God and man, not man deified and God made human, but God man and man God, on account of the unity of the person one Son of God, and the same Son of man, perfect God, perfect man . . . Ecclesiastical custom is wont to name two substances in Christ, namely of God and of man. . . .


313 If, therefore, He is true God, who was born of the Virgin, how then can He be adopted or a servant? For by no means do you dare to confess God a servant or one adopted; and if the prophet called Him servant, it is not, however, from the condition of servitude, but from the obedience of humility, by which He was made obedientto the Fatherevenunto death [Phil. 2:8].


[From “Capitulari”]


314 (I). . . In the beginning of the chapters there arose the question concerning the impious and abominable heresy of Elephandus, Bishop of the see of Toledo, and of Felix of Orgellitana, and of their followers, who, thinking wrongly, asserted adoption in the Son of God; the most Holy Fathers, who previously rejected all these, have unanimously protested against this and they have determined that this heresy must be thoroughly eradicated from the Holy Church.