Theology Summary Bible Class Pt. 19: The Modes of Christ’s Presence

The Scriptures speak of at least three modes of Christ’s presence: illocal, local, and supernatural.  This study continues to explain the second genus in which Christ’s divine attributes were communicated to His human nature so that it was enriched.

Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, VII:  4. The fourth, that God has and knows of many modes of being in any place, and not only the single one concerning which the fanatics talk flippantly, and which philosophers call localem, or local.  98] Also: The one body of Christ [says Luther] has a threefold mode or all three modes of being anywhere.

99] First, the comprehensible, bodily mode, as He went about bodily upon earth, when, according to His size, He vacated and occupied space [was circumscribed by a fixed place]. This mode He can still use whenever He will, as He did after the resurrection, and will use at the last day, as Paul says, 1 Tim. 6, 15:Which in His times He shall show, who is the blessed God [and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords].” And to the Colossians, 3, 4: “When Christ, who is our Life, shall appear.” In this manner He is not in God or with the Father, neither in heaven, as the mad spirits dream; for God is not a bodily space or place. And this is what the passages how Christ leaves the world and goes to the Father refer to which the false spirits cite.

100] Secondly, the incomprehensible, spiritual mode, according to which He neither occupies nor vacates space, but penetrates all creatures wherever He pleases [according to His most free will]; as, to make an imperfect comparison, my sight penetrates and is in air, light, or water, and does not occupy or vacate space; as a sound or tone penetrates and is in air or water or board and wall, and also does not occupy or vacate space; likewise, as light and heat penetrate and are in air, water, glass, crystal, and the like, and also do not vacate or occupy space; and much more of the like [many comparisons of this matter could be adduced]. This mode He used when He rose from the closed [and sealed] sepulcher, and passed through the closed door [to His disciples], and in the bread and wine in the Holy Supper, and, as it is believed, when He was born of His mother [the most holy Virgin Mary].

101] Thirdly, the divine, heavenly mode, since He is one person with God, according to which, of course, all creatures must be far more penetrable and present to Him than they are according to the second mode. For if, according to that second mode, He can be in and with creatures in such a manner that they do not feel, touch, circumscribe, or comprehend Him, how much more wonderfully will He be in all creatures according to this sublime third mode, so that they do not circumscribe nor comprehend Him, but rather that He has them present before Himself, circumscribes and comprehends them! For you must place this being of Christ, who is one person with God [for you must place this mode of presence of Christ which He has by His personal union with God], very far, far outside of the creatures, as far as God is outside of them; and again as deep and near within all creatures as God is within them. For He is one inseparable person with God; where God is, there must He also be, 102] or our faith is false.

Handout 1:Second-Genus-and-Omnipresence-b.pdf
Handout 2:  Comm-of-Attributes-Application-WITHOUT-ANSWERS-b.pdf
Handout 2A:  Communication-of-Attributes-PAGE-3-ANSWERS.pdf

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