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39.  Christ as Wisdom and Sanctification and Redemption.

We must not, however, pass over in silence that He is of right the wisdom of God, and hence is called by that name.  For the wisdom of the God and Father of all things does not apprehend His substance in mere visions, like the phantasms of human thoughts.  Whoever is able to conceive a bodiless existence of manifold speculations which extend to the rationale of existing things, living and, as it were, ensouled, he will see how well the Wisdom of God which is above every creature speaks of herself, when she says: 4633   “God created me the beginning of His ways, for His works.”  By this creating act the whole creation was enabled to exist, not being unreceptive of that divine wisdom according to which it was brought into being; for God, according to the prophet David, 4634 made all things in wisdom.  But many things came into being by the help of wisdom, which do not lay hold of that by which they were created:  and few things indeed there are which lay hold not only of that wisdom which conp. 318 cerns themselves, but of that which has to do with many things besides, namely, of Christ who is the whole of wisdom.  But each of the sages, in proportion as he embraces wisdom, partakes to that extent of Christ, in that He is wisdom; just as every one who is greatly gifted with power, in proportion as he has power, in that proportion also has a share in Christ, inasmuch as He is power.  The same is to be thought about sanctification and redemption; for Jesus Himself is made sanctification to us and redemption.  Each of us is sanctified with that sanctification, and redeemed with that redemption.  Consider, moreover, if the words “to us,” added by the Apostle, have any special force.  Christ, he says, “was made to us of God, wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”  In other passages, he speaks about Christ as being wisdom, without any such qualification, and of His being power, saying that Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God, though we might have conceived that He was not the wisdom of God or the power of God, absolutely, but only for us.  Now, in respect of wisdom and power, we have both forms of the statement, the relative and the absolute; but in respect of sanctification and redemption, this is not the case.  Consider, therefore, since 4635 “He that sanctifies and they that are sanctified are all of one,” whether the Father is the sanctification of Him who is our sanctification, as, Christ being our head, God is His head.  But Christ is our redemption because we had become prisoners and needed ransoming.  I do not enquire as to His own redemption, for though He was tempted in all things as we are, He was without sin, and His enemies never reduced Him to captivity.



Prov. viii. 22.


Ps. civ. 24.


Heb. ii. 11.

Next: Chapter XL