Peter Riedemann

We acknowledge also Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God 

We have said and acknowledge it is one, and apart from him there is none that remains of himself unchanging in his clarity and who lives for ever; for he is truth, and that is his name in all eternity. Therefore we acknowledge also his Son, who was in the father before the world was made, and in whom it was prepared; who modeled all things together with the Father – that is the Word that in the beginning was with God, through whom all things were created, are maintained, and shall be completed. Thus, we have the Father and the Son -not, however, two, but one God, for the Son is not without the Father nor is the Father without the Son, for they are not two but one, the Son in the Father and the Father in the Son.

This word proceeded from the Father that the harm brought by the transgression of Adam might be healed, and the fall restored; he took upon himself human nature and character, became man, became flesh, that even as though a man death came, even so resurrection from the dead and salvation might come through a man.

Now since in him and in none other is salvation, he brought his true name with him: the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in his mother’s womb- “Jesus,” this is Saviour. He is the Saviour who has robbed death of its power, torn its bond and snare asunder and set us, his people, free.

Now, since death, which could be crushed and overpowered by the strength of no hero or giant, nor by any human strength, held such sway over us that we were not able to be free, a power other than human strength was necessary. Therefore the Word, that is God himself, although he took upon himself human nature, lost nothing of his strength, through which all things were created, that death might thereby be overwhelmed and overcome.

For although the Word put on human nature and became flesh, yet the divine nature remains completely in the same, as Paul testifies, “in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily and in essence.”  Hence is he also a named “Christ” or the anointed of God, as is written of him, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; therefore he has anointed me and sent me to preach the gospel.”  Thus he alone has the power to overcome death, and to quicken whom he will and to give us his fullness to whomsoever and in what abundance he will. And those who take from and receive of him become through him likewise “God’s anointed” or Christians – failing this, they have the name in vain.

That is the only begotten Son of the Father, come as a light into the world that he might lighten and make bright the darkness in which we were bound and by which we were encompassed, as it is written, “The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death a great light is sprung up.”  And he also himself testifies, “I am the light of the world; he that believes in me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life.”

He is the only begotten in that he proceeded in a unique way from the Father, being quite different from all other created things, in that he has inherited a better name than the angels. For he is the unique power of God by means of which all his holy angels and all other created things were formed, moulded and given shape, therefore he has from the Father the birthright of the first-born, that every knee should bow and confess that he is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Now, since the Word proceeded forth from Truth and was spoken by Truth it is named the Son, but the Truth which spoke is named the Father, as that from which the Word came. Now it came from God, yet it remained in him, for he is everywhere and in all places, filling the Earth with his breadth and with his height reaching unto heaven. A word which proceeds from a man breaks away from him because he is weak, but the word that precedes from God because of his strength, greatness, and power remains for ever and ever in him, and can in no way break away from him. Thus the Word and Truth, or the Son and Father, one; yea, one strength and one nature (although there are two names) which upholds all things, in which also we live and move and are, and without his strength can no one have being; and it is the Son, the brightness of the glory of the Father and the likeness of his nature, who has now taken us captive into his obedience and leads us in his way, teaches us his character, ways, and goodness that he may thereby become more and more known to the children of men.

As we know right well that no one can call Jesus Lord except in the Holy Spirit, and that all those who confess him in truth to be Lord must be children of his Spirit or have the same, and since we are not unaware of his grace which has been given us by God through him and experienced by us, we likewise confess him to be Lord; as, indeed, he truly is, for all power is given him by the Father, not only in heaven but also on earth and in the abyss. For this reason also all unclean spirits fear and tremble before him, for he has overcome and bound them, and taken from them their power delivered and set free the prey, namely us, whom they have held captive in death.

But none may in truth give or ascribe to him such glory and honour except he experienced such a victory in himself, namely that Christ has overcome the devil in him also, and rent and removed his snare, that is sin;  delivered him, set him free, and reconciled him with God. For whosoever else may do so, speaks not from truth but out of delusion and from an improvised faith, or because others say so, therefore is Christ not confessed to be Lord as is said above by Paul, no man can say that Christ is Lord but by the Holy Spirit. For he in whom Christ is thus to overcome must surrender himself wholeheartedly to him, and endure and suffer his work. Since, however, this is not so, Christ works not in the same; therefore he remains forever in his sins.