Jesus Christ the Son of God -
Theodore Beza (1519-1605)The following article by Theodore Beza was taken from chapter three (sections 16-26) of his book The Christian Faith, translated into English by James Clark (Focus Christian Ministries Trust, East Essex England, 1992). This book was a "best seller" during the Protestant Reformation, and appeared in 1558 under the original title of Confession De Foi Du Chretien.
How God has turned the sin of man to His glory
There would remain nothing more for the whole world, except to go to its ruin (Rom 3:19). But God, being not only very righteous, but also very merciful, had according to His infinite wisdom, eternally established a way to turn all the evils to His great glory: to the greater manifestation of His infinite goodness (Rom 3:21-25), towards those whom He has chosen eternally so as to be glorified in their salvation (Rom 8:29; 9:23). And, on the other side, He has turned the sin of man to the manifestation of His sovereign power and His wrath, by the just condemnation of the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction (Rom 9:22; Ex. 9: 6).
As St. Augustine well says;
"If all were saved, the wages of sin demanded by justice would be hidden. If none were saved, no-one would see what grace bestows."
Jesus Christ is the sole Mediator chosen and promised by God This sole and unique way is the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God with all which flows from it. Bit by bit this was promised from Adam to John the Baptist, published and preached by the patriarchs and the prophets, and also typified in various ways under the Law (Gen 3:15; 12:3; 18:18; 22:18; Deut. 18:15-18; 2 Sam 7:12; Rom 1:2-3 etc.) Thus, the Son is fully contained in the books of the Old Testament, so that the men of those times were saved by faith in Jesus Christ who was to come. The similarity and the difference between the Old and the New Testament Therefore there has never been and there never shall be but one covenant of salvation between God and men (Heb. 13:8; Rom 3:25; 1 Tim 2:5-6; 1 Cor. 10:1-11; Eph. 1:7-10; see the whole Epistle to the Hebrews). The substance of this covenant is Jesus Christ. But, having regard to the circumstances, there are two Testaments or 'Covenants'. We have the authentic titles and contents of them; which we call 'Holy Scripture' and the 'Word of God'. One is called 'Old' and the other 'New' (Jer. 31:31,32; Heb 8:6). The second is much better than the first, for the first did declare Jesus Christ, but from afar off, and hidden under the shadows and images which vanished at His coming; He Himself is the Sun of Righteousness (John 4:23,24).
Why it was necessary that Jesus Christ be true man in nature, in His body and in His soul, but without any sin
It was necessary that the Mediator of this covenant and this reconciliation be true man, but without any stain of original sin or any other, for the following reasons:
Firstly, since God is very righteous and man is the object of His wrath, because of natural corruption (1 Tim 2:5; John 1:14; Rom 1:3; Gal 4:4; Rom 8:2-4; 1 Cor. 1:30), it was necessary in order to reconcile men with God, that there be a true man in whom the ruins caused by this corruption would be totally repaired.
Secondly, man is compelled to fulfill all the righteousness, which God demands from him in order to be glorified (Matt 3:15; Rom 5:18; 2 Cor. 5:21). It was therefore necessary that there be a man who would perfectly fulfill all righteousness in order to please God.
Thirdly, all men are covered with an infinite number of sins, as much internal as external; that is why they are liable to the curse of God (Rom 3:23-26; Is 53: 11, etc). It was therefore necessary that there be a man who would fully satisfy the justice of God in order to pacify Him.
Finally, no corrupt man would have been able, in any way, to even begin to fulfill the least of these actions. He would first of all have had need of a Redeemer for himself (Rom 8:2; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb 4:15; 1 Pet 2:22; 3:18; 1 John 2:1-2). So much was necessary for himself before he could buy back the others, or could do anything pleasing or satisfying to God (Rom 14:23; Heb 11:6). It was therefore necessary that the Mediator and Redeemer of men be true man in his body and in his soul, and that he be, nevertheless, entirely pure and free from all sin.
To be continued.