St. Ambrose – Bk 5 – Chapter 15

Jesus, help us to be obedient to the Will of the Father!

Jesus, help us to be obedient to the Will of the Father!

He briefly takes up again the same points of dispute, and shrewdly concludes from the unity of the divine power in the Father and the Son, that whatever is said of the subjection of the Son is to be referred to His humanity alone. He further confirms this on proof of the love, which exists alike in either.

182. Let us then shortly sum up our conclusion on the whole matter. A unity of power puts aside all idea of a degrading subjection. His giving up of power, and His victory as conqueror won over death, have not lessened His power. Obedience works out subjection. Christ has taken obedience upon Himself, obedience even to taking on Him our flesh, the cross even to gaining our salvation. Thus where the work lies, there too is the Author of the work. When therefore, all things have become subject to Christ, through Christ’s obedience, so that all bend their knees in His name, then He Himself will be all in all. For now, since all do not believe, all do not seem to be in subjection. But when all have believed and done the will of God, then Christ will be all and in all. And when Christ is all and in all, then will God be all and in all; for the Father abides ever in the Son. How, then, is He shown to be weak, Who redeemed the weak?

183. And lest you should by chance attribute to the weakness of the Son, that it is written, that God has put all things in subjection under Him; learn that He has Himself brought all things into subjection to Himself, for it is written: Our conversation is in heaven, from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus, Who shall change our vile body that it may be fashioned like His glorious body according to the working, whereby He is able to subdue all things unto Himself. Philippians 3:20-21 You have learned, therefore, that He can subdue all things unto Himself according to the working of His Godhead.

184. Learn now how He receives all things in subjection according to the flesh, as it is written: Who wrought in Christ, raising Him from the dead, and setting Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, above principality and power and might and dominion and every name that is named not only in this world, but also in that which is to come; and has put all things under His feet. Ephesians 1:20-21 According to the flesh then all things are given to Him in subjection; according to which also He was raised from the dead, both in His humansoul and His rational subjection.

185. Many nobly interpret that which is written: Truly my soul will be in subjection to God; He said soul not Godhead, soul not glory. And that we might know that the Lord has spoken through the prophet of the adoption of our human nature, He added: How long will you cast yourselves upon a man? As also He says in the Gospel: Why do you seek to kill Me, a man? John 8:40 And He added again: Nevertheless they desired to refuse My price, they ran in thirst, they blessed with their mouth, and cursed with their heart. For the Jews, when Judas brought back the price, Matthew 27:4 would not receive it, running on in the thirst of madness, for they refused the grace of a spiritual draught.

186. This is the reverent interpretation of subjection, for since this is the office of the Lord’s Passion, He will be subject in us in that in which He suffered. Do we ask wherefore? That neither angels, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor things present, nor things to come, nor any other creature may separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:38-39 We see then, from what has been said, that no creature is excepted; but that every one, of whatever kind it may be, is enumerated among those he mentioned above.

187. At the same time, we must also think of the words which, after first saying Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Romans 8:35 he wrote next: Neither death, nor life, nor any other creature can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus. We see, then, that the love of God is the same as the love of Christ. Thus it was not without reason that he wrote of the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, lest otherwise you might imagine that the love of God and of Christ was divided. But there is nothing that love divides, nothing that the eternal Godhead cannot do, nothing that is unknown to the Truth, or deceives Justice, or escapes the notice of Wisdom.

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