Relationships Part Three
Jesus - God with us, Christ in us: The New Covenant
God has always been with us, “In Him we live and move and have our being.” 
Psalm 139 extols:
“Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night,
even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.”
If God has always been with us, within an existential and relational paradigm, then what, if any, is the difference that is to be found in the “God with us”, the new covenant, the new relationship? What is new?
This depends on who Jesus of Nazareth is, and our answer to the latter of the two questions that Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do men say that I am?”, “Who do you say that I am?”
Peter’s answer as recorded in Matthew was: “ You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Martha’s answer in John’s Gospel was “I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming to the world.”
Other statements made of Jesus in the Gospels include: Emmanuel-God with us,Jesus Christ, Son of God, Son of Man Word ..with God.. was God…became flesh,” “John the Baptist, ..Elijah, …Jeremiah, …one of the prophets”.
The answers are varied and unending. They evolve and change, even as perceptions, understandings, relationships and experiences, grow and change, for each of us, respectively.
Many in the early church struggled as they grappled with this.
Giving an answer is one thing. But what does our answer really mean? The extent of our ability to express with clarity what our answer really means is one measure of our understanding of our answer and consequent significance, ramifications, impact and consequences. Clarity will also enable us to better communicate, reveal and share with greater simplicity our thoughts and actions with others.
Many views and perceptions, as to Who Jesus, are also found in the historical records of creeds and writings in the early church. Though, the overwhelming answers were that Jesus was “the Christ, the Son of the living God” and ‘Word. Who was God, became flesh”, the meanings that were attached to these answers were not the same.
 Acts 17:28
 Psalm 139:
 Mark 8:27
 Mark 8:29
 Matthew 16:16
 Mark 8:29 only records the answer as “You are the Christ”.
 John 11:27
 Matthew 1:23
 Mark 1:1
 Luke 5:24
 Matthew 16:14
The deliberations and Creeds (statements of faith and belief) of the first four Councils of the early church easily attest to this.
However, with regards to understanding the “newness” of “God with us and Christ in us,” the Creed of Chalcedon is immensely significant and instructive.
The Creed states:
“We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable [rational] soul] and body; consubstantial [coessential] with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, as the prophets from the beginning [have declared] concerning him, and the Lord Jesus Christ himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.”
The focus in Chalcedon was on the two natures, one divine and the other human, that were believed to be evident in Jesus, and confessed in the Creeds at Nicaea and the Constantinople.
The deliberations at Chalcedon centred on how to convey the meaning of the participants’ belief that “in the person of Jesus Christ the Divine and human natures are united, so that He is truly and properly God and truly and properly man”.
To achieve this, the Council at Chalcedon used the Greek word “ὁμοούσιον - homoousion” meaning of same (homo) and substance or essence (ousion). In Nicene-Constantinople, this word was used to describe Son-Father nature and essence (ousion), within the Being of God. In Chalcedon, this word “ὁμοούσιον - homoousion” was interpolated into the human nature of Christ Jesus such that his human nature is also the same nature and essence of and with our humanity.
The word “ὁμοούσιον - homoousion” allowed the divine nature and essence of and in Jesus of Nazareth to be identified as being one and the same as that of God. At the same time it enabled his human nature and essence to be identified with our Adamic humanity, according to the Scriptures.
The influence of the thoughts of Gregory of Nyssa (335-after 394AD) and Cyril of Alexandria (376-444AD) with regards to the human nature of Christ can easily be perceived by the interpolation of the “ὁμοούσιον - homoousion” idea into the human nature of the Son at Chalcedon.
Gregory of Nyssa : Epistle 101
“ What Christ has not assumed, He has not healed…
If only half Adam fell, then which Christ assumes and saves may be half also; but, if the whole of his nature fell, it must be united to the whole of Him who was begotten, and so be saved as a whole. “
Cyril of Alexandria : In Ioannis Evangelium
“ The word of God united with Himself the whole nature of men that He might saved the whole man. For what has not been taken up has not been saved.”
I, wholeheartedly and fully, embrace the confession at Chalcedon concerning the two natures in one person of Jesus. I am indebted to Chalcedon in fleshing out the natures in terms of “ὁμοούσιον - homoousion”. In so doing, Chalcedon has introduced the idea that in the One Person of Christ the essence and nature of the Creator and creature (created) are joined together as one: “ the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son”.
Taking a careful look at the words of the Chalcedonian Creed, we also see in the person of Christ, a description of the inter-relational joint, where in the one sameness (joint), there are the two (distinct several natures) and the two (distinct several natures) are one in the joint sameness. Isn’t this also the two becoming one flesh imagery and principle from Genesis, where two distinct and unique individuals are now considered as one, in their union together?
The “newness” of “God with us” can be more easily understood using the descriptions of the inter-relational dynamics, in the following sequential order:
This is the newness of God with us and Christ in us. The words of Paul, “heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ” in Romans 8:17, bear the seeds of this newness in them. The latter part of the prayer of Jesus as recorded in John 17 is also pregnant with this newness:
“Neither for these only do I pray, but for them also that believe on me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us: that the world may believe that thou didst send me. 22 And the glory which thou hast given me I have given unto them; that they may be one, even as we are one; 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be perfected into one; that the world may know that thou didst send me, and lovedst them, even as thou lovedst me. 24 Father, I desire that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, the world knew thee not, but I knew thee; and these knew that thou didst send me; 26 and I made known unto them thy name, and will make it known; that the love wherewith thou lovedst me may be in them, and I in them.”
This new relationship was not in existence until the Son became flesh(human), God with us, residing in us in the joint, while maintaining his distinct individuality.
With this in mind, the profundity of the words in John 1:14 is brought to the fore:
“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us: In Greek: “Καὶ ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο καὶ ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν””. The Greek word ‘ἐσκήνωσεν-eskenosen’ dwelt also means reside. The Greek preposition ‘ἐν-en’ translated as ‘among’ in most translations, literally means “in”. So the words “ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν” not only has the meaning of residing among us but also carries, for me, the richer meaning of residing in us. The joint and several was key in allowing me to perceive how he could be among and in us at the same time. The words among and in may not be the either or translation of the Greek word “ἐν”. Rather, the word “ἐν” in this context may have the meanings of both prepositions at the same time.
The word “ὁμοούσιον - homoousion” as descriptive of the nature of the Son with the Father coupled with the joint and several provides us with new overlapping lenses to view and conceive with a little more clarity the ThreeOne Being and Nature of God. It also provides us with a practical relational platform to navigate and perceive the participatory union and communion of Triune God, Father, Son and Spirit, as ThreeOne and OneThree at the same moment.
Using the ‘joint’ to describe their Sameness, Oneness in Essence, Nature and Being, we can perceive and relate to Father, Son and Spirit as several within the joint and several. Hence, the action of one is not only the action of that one alone but also the action of all in the joint. In this manner, we can grasp how when only the Son became human, it can also be said that God became human. Yet, it is also proper to say that it is not Father or Spirit who became a man but only the Son.
As in the Son (several), the fullness (jointly) of the Godhead (joint) dwells, so in the man Jesus that Son has become, it is also right and proper to say that the fullness of the Godhead (Father, Son and Spirit jointly) dwells bodily.
As the Son is also one and same “ὁμοούσιον – homoousion-same” with us in our humanity, it is proper to say that we are one and same “ὁμοούσιον – homoousion-same” with him in his humanity.
This being the case, not only is it right to speak of him as with us and for us, it is also right to speak of him as in us (joint). More than just a simple joint, Christ Jesus is also joint and several with us in our humanity. This means that our respective actions are his actions (in the joint) and his actions are our respective actions (in the joint) also.
His baptism at the Jordan by John the Baptist is a clear case of this. John’s baptism was a baptism to repentance for wrongs committed by the person being baptised. At first instance John refused and tried to prevent Jesus being baptised by him. It is recorded that he said to Jesus, “I have need to be baptised of(by) you, and you come to me?” Jesus’ reply was telling, ““Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfil all righteousness.”. Then he permitted.
The pertinent points to note:
Another case is seen in found in John 1:29, in the exclamation of John the Baptist concerning Jesus. “Lo, the Lamb of God, who is taking away the sin of the world.”.
More than being a mere Substitute or a Representative, Christ Jesus was and is fully and completely joint and several with us, for us and as us in all things. As such, He was and is the full and complete embodiment and revelation of what the meaning of the “two becoming one flesh” would eventually mature into.
With the ‘newness’ of God with us and Christ in us in mind, my present answer to Jesus’ question, “Who do you say that I am?”
“Christ Jesus, God with us, Christ in us, the New Covenant of God and man in ‘ousia’ and joint and several dynamics, in Whom the Divine and human natures are in union, so that You are truly and properly God and truly and properly man”.
 First Council of Nicaea in 325, First Council of Constantinople in 381, the Council of Ephesus in 431 and the Council of Chalcedon in 451
 “Council of Chalcedon, the fourth ecumenical council of the Christian Church, held in Chalcedon (modern Kadiköy, Tur.) in 451. Convoked by the emperor Marcian, it was attended by about 520 bishops or their representatives and was the largest and best-documented of the early councils. It approved the creed of Nicaea (325), the creed of Constantinople (381; subsequently known as the Nicene Creed), two letters of Cyril against Nestorius, which insisted on the unity of divine and human persons in Christ, and the Tome of Pope Leo I confirming two distinct natures in Christ and rejecting the Monophysite doctrine that Christ had only one nature. The council then explained these doctrines in its own confession of faith.
Besides reinforcing canons of earlier church councils as well as declarations of some local synods, the council issued disciplinary decrees affecting monks and clergy and declared Jerusalem and Constantinople patriarchates. The overall effect was to give the church a more stable institutional character.”
Written by the Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica
 Christian Classics Ethereal Library III. SYMBOLUM CHALCEDONENSE.
THE SYMBOL OF CHALCEDON. Oct. 22d, 451.
Ἑπόμενοι τοίνυν τοῖς ἁγίοις πατράσιν ἕνα καὶ τὸν αὐτὸν ὁμολογεῖν υἱὸν τὸν κύριον ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν συμφώνως ἅπαντες ἐκδιδάσκομεν, τέλειον τὸν αὐτὸν ἐν θεότητι καὶ τέλειον τὸν αὐτὸν ἐν ἀνθρωπότητι, θεὸν ἀληθῶς καὶ ἄνθρωπον ἀληθῶς τὸν αὐτὸν, ἐκ ψυχῆς λογικῆς 65 καὶ σώματος, ὁμοούσιον 66 τῷ πατρὶ κατὰ τὴν θεότητα, καὶ ὁμοούσιον 67 τὸν αὐτὸν ἡμῖν κατὰ τὴν ἀνθρωπότητα, κατὰ πάντα ὅμοιον ἡμῖν χωρὶς ἁμαρτίας· πρὸ αἰώνων μὲν ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς γεννηθέντα κατὰ τὴν θεότητα, ἐπ᾽ ἐσχάτων δὲ τῶν ἡμερῶν τὸν αὐτὸν δἰ ἡμᾶς καὶ διὰ τὴν ἡμετέραν σωτηρίαν ἐκ Μαρίας τῆς παρθένου τῆς θεοτόκου κατὰ τὴν ἀνθρωπότητα ,68 ἕνα καὶ τὸν αὐτὸν Χριστόν, υἱόν, κύριον, μονογενῆ, ἐκ δύο φύσεων [ἐν δύο φύσεσιν] ,69 ἀσυγχύτως, ἀτρέπτως ,70 ἀδιαιρέτως, ἀχωρίστως 71 γνωριζόμενον· οὐδαμοῦ τῆς τῶν φύσεων διαφορᾶς ἀνῃρημένης διὰ τὴν ἕνωσιν, σωζομένης δὲ μᾶλλον τῆς ἰδιότητος ἑκατέρας φύσεως καὶ εἰς ἓν πρόσωπον καὶ μίαν ὑπὸστασιν συντρεχούσης, οὐκ εἰς δύο πρόσωπα μεριζόμενον ἢ διαιρούμενον, ἀλλ᾽ ἕνα καὶ τὸν αὐτὸν υἱὸν καὶ μονογενῆ, θεὸν λόγον, κύριον Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν· καθάπερ ἄνωθεν οἱ προφῆται περὶ αὐτοῦ καὶ αὐτὸς ἡμᾶς ὁ κύριος Ιησοῦς Χριστὸς ἐξεπαίδευσε καὶ τὸ τῶν πατέρων ἡμῖν καραδέδωκε σύμβολον.
 Salvation Army Doctrine Number 4
 Romans 8:17 “and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him.”ASV
 John 17:20-26 ASV
 Greek: ἐσκήνωσεν (3rd person of σκηνόω skēnóō, skay-no'-o; from G4636; to tent or encamp, i.e. (figuratively) to occupy (as a mansion) or (specially), to reside (as God did in the Tabernacle of old, a symbol of protection and communion):—dwell, [Strong’s definition 4637]”
 Greek ἐν en; a primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively) [Strong’s definition 1722]
The KJV translates “ἐν en” -Strong's G1722 in the following manner: in (1,902x), by (163x), with (140x), among (117x), at (113x), on (62x), through (39x), miscellaneous (264x). The majority of translators translate this word “ἐν en” as among even though in a ratio of at least 16:1(1902 divided by 117), it was translated as ‘in’. Three out of the 1,902 examples in the New Testament found in Strong’s Concordance are referenced here for consideration: “ ‘En-In’ beginning was the Word.” John1:1. “Our Father who is “ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς –in the heavens” Matthew 6:9. “ὡς ἐν οὐρανῷ - as it is in heaven”Matthew 6:10.
Approached from a purely several inter-relational manner, that would have been the only way to translate that verse. For how can this man be in us and outside of us both at the same time? However, the word ‘ἐν en – in’ in a literal translation can actually be accommodated if the joint and several inter-relational dynamic is applied. Translated as “in” would also be more in sync with Paul’s revealed mystery of “Christ in you, the hope of glory”. This is a personal view as to how John 1:14 is to be read, translated and understood, for consideration.
 Colossians 2:9
 Matthew 3:11
 Matthew 3:14
 Matthew 3:15
 I have to acknowledge the contribution of Dr. Ruth Edwards, my New Testament Greek lecturer in Aberdeen 1982 for pointing the present active participle of the Greek word “αἴρων- is taking” akin to the present continuous
 Young’s literal translation
 When a substitute or representative dies, only the substitute or representative dies, not the person substituted for or represented. This can clearly be seen in the story of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, a fantasy novel for children by C. S. Lewis, published by Geoffrey Bles in 1950, in particular the substitution of Aslan the Lion in place of Edward or as Edward’s representative, representing Edward. The movie version: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) has a scene which illustrates this pointedly.
Wow! For me, exquisite. I feel like comprehension oozes into me as I read this article. I believe you have expounded this critical principle very well. Even touching on Mary's confession,Luke 1:38 "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.' Her confession (of faith) which allowed Gods oneness with her to engender His conception. (Well that is what come to me as I read). Thank You.
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