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Chapter XVIII.

How we are to understand the Apostle’s words: “He appeared in the flesh, was justified in the Spirit,” etc.

For to begin with this assertion of yours that the Spirit filled with righteousness (justitia) what was created, and your attempts to prove this by the evidence of the Apostle, where he says that “He appeared in the flesh, was justified in the Spirit,” you make each statement in an unsound sense and wild spirit. For you make this assertion; viz., that you will have it that He was filled with righteousness by the Spirit, in order to show how He was void of righteousness, as you assert that the being filled with it was given to Him. And as for your use of the evidence of the Apostle on this matter, you garble the arrangement and meaning of the sacred passage. For the Apostle’s statement is not as you have quoted it, mutilated and spoilt. For what says the Apostle? “And evidently great is the mystery of Godliness, which was manifested in the flesh, was justified in the Spirit.” 2638 You see then that the Apostle declared that the mystery or sacrament of Godliness was justified. For he was not so forgetful of his own words and teaching as to say that He was void of righteousness, whom he had always proclaimed as righteousness, saying: “Who was made unto us righteousness and sanctification and redemption.” 2639 Elsewhere also he says: “But ye were washed, but ye were justified, but ye were sanctified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2640 How far then from Him was it to need being filled with righteousness, as He Himself filled all things with righteousness, and for His glory to be without righteousness, whose very name justifies all things. You see then how foolish and wild are your blasphemies, since you are trying to take away from our Lord what is ever shed forth by Him upon all believers in such a way that still in its continuous supply it is never diminished.



1 Tim. iii. 16.


1 Cor. i. 30.


1 Cor. vi. 11.

Next: Chapter XIX. That it was not only the Spirit, but Christ Himself also who made Him to be feared.