The Definition of Chalcedon

Over the past month or so I have mentioned the Definition of Chalcedon several times in sermons, Sunday School and various conversations. I wanted to post it in full for those who want to read it but don’t know where to find it, and for those who have intended to read it but keep forgetting.

Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the Godbearer; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from earliest times spoke of him, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the creed of the fathers has handed down to us. (The Definition of Chalcedon, 451)

Carl Trueman wrote this about Chalcedon:

The Chalcedonian Formula effectively puts into place four boundaries for future Christological discussion, boundaries which theologians must not transgress in order to remain orthodox: Christ must be fully God; Christ must be fully human: the two natures must not be so mixed together that either disappears into the other or that a third, hybrid nature is produced; the two natures must not be separated so as to undermine the unity of the one person.

Following the understanding of Chalcedon, The Second London Baptist Confession 1689 states:

The Son of God, the second person in the Holy Trinity, being very and eternal God, the brightness of the Father’s glory, of one substance and equal with Him, who made the world, who upholds and govern all things He has made, did, when the fullness of time was come, take upon Him man’s nature, with all the essential properties and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin; being conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, the Holy Spirit coming down upon her, and the power of the Most High overshadowing her, and so was made of a woman, of the tribe of Judah, of the seed of Abraham and David, according to the Scriptures; so that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion; which person is very God and very man, yet one Christ, the only mediator between God and man. (Chapter 8, paragraph 2)

About Pastor Matt

Matt Baker is the Pastor of Redeemer Fellowship Church.
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