Our faith is not founded upon empty words; nor are we carried away by mere caprice or beguiled by specious arguments. On the contrary, we put our faith in words spoken by the power of God, spoken by the Word himself at God’s command. God wished to win men back from disobedience, not by using force to reduce him to slavery but by addressing to his free will a call to liberty.
The Word spoke first of all through the prophets, but because the message was couched in such obscure language that it could be only dimly apprehended, in the last days the Father sent the Word in person, commanding Him to show Himself openly so that the world could see Him and be saved.
We know that by taking a body from the Virgin He refashioned our fallen nature. We know that his manhood was of the same clay as our own; if this were not so, He would hardly have been a teacher who could expect to be imitated. If He were of a different substance from me, He would surely not have ordered me to do as He did, when by my very nature I am so weak. Such a demand could not be reconciled with His goodness and justice.
No. He wanted us to consider Him as no different from ourselves, and so He worked, He was hungry and thirsty, He slept. Without protest He endured His passion, He submitted to death and revealed His resurrection. In all these ways He offered His own manhood as the first fruits of our race to keep us from losing heart when suffering comes our way, and to make us look forward to receiving the same reward as He did, since we know that we possess the same humanity.
St. Hippolytus of Rome
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