God is not our Brother: Calvin on Christ’s Submission in I Cor. 11:3

We know that our Lord Jesus Christ is God manifested in the flesh; and God is not divided; He cannot be inferior to himself. How is it then, that Jesus Christ is set below God, his Father, as if he were not equal with in majesty and glory?

Now let us observe that there are two things to consider in Jesus Christ. One is that he is the Wisdom of God before the creation of the world. Here then, is the way which he has always been exalted over all things. Yet, inasmuch as he became a Mediator in order to bring us near to God, his Father, he is set beneath, not in that divine essence, which resides in him in all fullness, and in which he does not differ from his Father at all, but as to making himself our Brother. It is not to be said that God is our Brother; that would not do; yet Jesus Christ is such; even inasmuch as he has put on our flesh and nature, and being thus abased he stretched out his hand to us to join and unite us to God.

Thus there is no problem with saying that Jesus Christ has his sovereign lordship and majesty right along with God, his Father, insofar as he is the Eternal Wisdom who has always been; yet insofar as he became the Mediator, it is said that he humbled himself, yea, made himself as nothing, as St. Paul discusses in Philippians [2:8]. This is also why he is called the servant of God by the prophet in Isaiah [52:13, 53:11]; and he even came to serve us , which is an amazing thing: the One Who is The Glorious God, the One Who is adored by the angels, was willing to humble himself so far as to serve our salvation, and made himself as nothing, as we already said. (Sermon on I Cor. 11:2-3)

One thought on “God is not our Brother: Calvin on Christ’s Submission in I Cor. 11:3

  1. Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” – Matthew 12:49-59


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