Introduction to Cyril of Jerusalem and his message: “On the words Incarnate, and Made man”
If you would had been a new convert to the Christian faith living in the mid to late fourth century, what would you had experienced before getting baptized? Dr. Norman Geisler explains the context for our ancient advent mediation as coming from a series of 23 sermons delivered by Cyril to new converts preparing for baptism. Geisler writes on page 428-429 of his book: A General Introduction to the Bible: “Cyril wrote a series of lectures in Greek, Twenty-three Catechises, which he gave to candidates for baptism. He was later elected bishop of Jerusalem (350 A.D).” Dr. Geisler later writes: “Cyril died in 386 after having spent sixteen years in exile and being recalled and highly esteemed. He was known for his willingness to suffer for his beliefs, and he freely quoted the New Testament in his catechises, which are actually a compendium of the Christian religion.”
Today’s post is an excerpt from that much larger work and will comprise the focal point of today’s ancient advent mediation. Let the reader note that the entirety of Cyril’s text, including his 23 sermons or lectures, can be found at the following link at biblehub.com: http://christianbookshelf.org/cyril/lectures_of_s_cyril_of_jerusalem/index.html. Also too, let the reader note that today’s ancient advent mediation is taking from a portion of that much larger work composed by Cyril of Jerusalem and can be found at: http://christianbookshelf.org/cyril/lectures_of_s_cyril_of_jerusalem/lecture_xii_on_the_words.htm
May these series of ancient advent meditations prove glorifying to the Lord Jesus Christ and edifying to those readers who read them.
Excerpts from Lecture XII. “On the words Incarnate, and Made Man”.
“Isaiah vii.10-14 “And the Lord spoke again unto Ahaz, saying, Ask thee a sign, &c.:” and “Behold! a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Emmanuel, &c.”
“Nurslings of purity and disciples of chastity, raise we our hymn to the Virgin-born God with lips full of purity. Deemed worthy to partake of the flesh of the Spiritual Lamb, let us take the head together with the feet, the Deity being understood as the head, and the Manhood taken as the feet. Hearers of the Holy Gospels, let us listen to John the Divine. For he who said, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, went on to say, and the Word was made flesh.”
“For neither is it holy to worship the mere man, nor religious to say that He is God only without the Manhood. For if Christ is God, as indeed He is, but took not human nature upon Him, we are strangers to salvation. Let us then worship Him as God, but believe that He also was made Man. For neither is there any profit in calling Him man without Godhead nor any salvation in refusing to confess the Manhood together with the Godhead. Let us confess the presence of Him who is both King and Physician. For Jesus the King when about to become our Physician, girded Himself with the linen of humanity, and healed that which was sick. The perfect Teacher of babes became a babe among babes, that He might give wisdom to the foolish. The Bread of heaven came down on earth that He might feed the hungry.”
“But the sons of the Jews by setting at nought Him that came, and looking for him who cometh in wickedness, rejected the true Messiah, and wait for the deceiver, themselves deceived; herein also the Saviour being found true, who said, I am come in My Father’s name, and ye receive Me not: but if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. It is well also to put a question to the Jews. Is the Prophet Esaias, who saith that Emmanuel shall be born of a virgin, true or false….”
“For we receive God the Word made Man in truth, not, as heretics say, of the will of man and woman, but of The Virgin and the Holy Ghost according to the Gospel, Made Man, not in seeming but in truth. And that He was truly Man made of the Virgin, wait for the proper time of instruction in this Lecture, and thou shalt receive the proofs: for the error of the heretics is manifold. And some have said that He has not been born at all of a virgin: others that He has been born, not of a virgin, but of a wife dwelling with a husband. Others say that the Christ is not God made Man, but a man made God. For they dared to say that not He—the pre-existent Word—was made Man; but a certain man was by advancement crowned.
“But remember thou what was said yesterday concerning His Godhead. Believe that He the Only-begotten Son of God—He Himself was again begotten of a Virgin. Believe the Evangelist John when he says, And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. For the Word is eternal, Begotten of the Father Before All Worlds: but the flesh He took on Him recently for our sake…..”
- Cyril of Jerusalem (c. 313-386) on the role of Creeds (deovivendiperchristum.wordpress.com)