Before, I thought that by the time Jesus died, that's the end of His incarnation state after He fulfilled His role, spilling His blood for the forgiveness of sins.

Below is an article I found in this link about the purpose of the Incarnation :

Second, it was necessary for the Savior to shed His blood for the forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22). A blood sacrifice, of course, requires a body of flesh and blood.

So... from the article above (my own conclusion) :after the purpose of the Incarnation achieved – God return to His original/default state which is a spirit (without flesh) and has one nature only. This state doesn't mean that God cannot "flesh" Himself anymore.

But I just know it today from the internet that God incarnation is permanent. Just like if today there is someone say, then he say : "God in heaven now is not just a spirit but a spirit with a human flesh - God now is not only with one nature but two natures".

My question:
Is there any reading about this matter from Luther or Calvin or any other Reformed Church's father?


2 Answers 2


The idea of permanent incarnation has been most famously expressed in the Council of Chalcedon, long before the Reformation – there Christ's natures are said to exist "indivisibly, inseperably."

Reformers like Luther and Calvin upheld the Chalcedonian definition, and this can be seen in their writings. For example, here's a brief quote from Calvin:

While our whole Mediator is everywhere, he is always present with his people, and in the Supper exhibits his presence in a special manner; yet so, that while he is wholly present, not everything which is in him [i.e., spirit and body] is present, because, as has been said, in his flesh he will remain in heaven till he come to judgment. (Calvin's Institutes, IV.18.30)

In context, Calvin clearly holds that Christ continues to have both a spirit and a body, and that his body is in heaven, while is spirit is everywhere.

Here are two more quotes that come from a foundational document of one branch of the Reformation, the Westminster Confession of Faith:

So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person (Westminster Confession of Faith 8.2)

On the third day He arose from the dead, with the same body in which He suffered, with which also he ascended into heaven, and there sits at the right hand of His Father (WCF 8.4)

So yes, leading reformers held that Christ still has two natures, both human and divine.


The permanent and eternal union of Divine nature and human nature in Jesus Christ is clearly stated by Martin Luther (in XXX111 articles) in his 'disputation' :

On the Divinity and Humanity of Christ


I would not wish to merely transpose text en masse from that document as I think it speaks for itself.

But in answer to the comment, I would quote Luther's article IX :

The humanity joined with the divinity is worshipped; the humanity of Christ is worshipped, and not falsely, for it is inseparable from the divinity

  • Thanks for the link, Nigel. I've just read the link. The English is too hard and very hard to me, that's why maybe I cannot find that the article is talking about permanent Incarnation. When I read the "argument -vs- respond" section, they are all talking about when Jesus live on earth. I don't find an argument something like "today in heaven, God is a spirit without flesh and He has one nature only" and then the respond to affirm that "today in heaven, God not a spirit only but also with flesh and now He has two natures". Hope someone can point me on what number which is talking about it.
    – karma
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 17:16
  • @karma I can answer you from scripture but my knowledge of Luther/Calvin's writings is inadequate to answer you from there, I am afraid. Sorry.
    – Nigel J
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 18:10
  • Nigel, I read again the article regarding your quote. But again, (to me) it seems Luther is talking when Jesus is still on earth : "Christ says that [Philip] sees the Father, when he sees [Christ], because he sees the humanity and the divinity united in one person". But maybe that's my own problem because my own understanding on the word "see" is not literally seeing a corporeal body of Jesus with eyes, but in an abstract sense (I'm sorry I can't describe it). Please, no need to be sorry, Nigel. I really appreciate your explanation and thank you for that.
    – karma
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 19:02
  • @karma Your own answer to a previous question is adequate to this question also : So, the "firstborn" applied to a resurrection body which will not die again. Jesus is the first one who experience this.. Christ is risen from the dead, to die no more. And he is risen bodily - in a perfect union of Deity and humanity.
    – Nigel J
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 19:13
  • Nigel, yes. But from my own answer for that other question, my next conclusion become : The body at birth is different than the body after the resurrection. Although it's in human form, but it's different because without blood. Assuming Theophany is correct, (to me) the Theophany's body is the same with the body after resurrection. And I still don't understand how come God now in heaven has flesh and bone as I read Paul wrote : "and last of all he appeared to me also", I don't think Jesus appear to Paul in flesh & bone but that doesn't mean that I think Jesus cannot appear in flesh & bone.
    – karma
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 22:20

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