st-irenaeus-of-lyonFor it was for this end that the Word of God was made man, and He who was the Son of God became the Son of man, that man, having been taken into the Word, and receiving the adoption, might become the son of God.

For by no other means could we have attained to incorruptibility and immortality, unless we had been united to incorruptibility and immortality.

But how could we be joined to incorruptibility and immortality, unless, first, incorruptibility and immortality had become that which we also are, so that the corruptible might be swallowed up by incorruptibility, and the mortal by immortality, that we might receive the adoption of sons?

For this reason [it is said], “Who shall declare His generation?” (Is. 53:8), since “He is a man, and who shall recognise Him?” (Jer. 17:9).

But he to whom the Father which is in heaven has revealed Him (Matt. 16:16) knows Him, so that he understands that He who “was not born either by the will of the flesh, or by the will of man” (John 1:13) is the Son of man, that is, Christ, the Son of the living God.

For I have shown from the Scriptures that no one of the sons of Adam is as to everything, and absolutely, called God, or named Lord.

But that He is Himself in His own right, beyond all men who ever lived, God, and Lord, and King Eternal, and the Incarnate Word, proclaimed by all the prophets, the apostles, and by the Spirit Himself, may be seen by all who have attained to even a small portion of the truth.

Irenaeus of Lyons (2nd century AD – c. 202): Adversus Haereses 3,19,1-2.