Hilarion_TroitskyThe Sunday nearest February 9th (Julian calendar) is the feast (Russian Orthodox Church) of the Holy New Martyrs of Russia, one of whom was St Hilarion Troitsky.

Continued from here….

St. Irenaeus of Lyons…points out that the purpose and the essence of Christ’s coming is not in a new teaching.

He writes: “…What new thing then did the Lord bring to us by His advent? Know ye that He brought all [possible] novelty, by bringing Himself Who had been announced.

“For this very thing was proclaimed beforehand, that a novelty should come to renew and quicken mankind.”

The renewal of humanity is therefore the fruit of the very advent, the very Incarnation of the Son of God.

St. Irenaeus expressed this idea especially clearly in his recently discovered work, Proof of the Apostolic Preaching:

“Others do not ascribe any significance to the descent of the Son of God and the dispensation of His Incarnation, which the Apostles proclaimed and the prophets foretold, that by it must be accomplished the perfection of our humanity.… And such men should be counted among those who are lacking in faith.”

Thus the perfection of our humanity, according to the teaching of St. Irenaeus, must be brought to pass by the dispensation of the Incarnation of the Son of God, not by any kind of doctrine, not by the writing of any book.

By taking flesh and becoming man, the Son of God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, made men partakers of the Divine nature. 

Assuming human nature in the unity of His Hypostasis, the Son of God by taking flesh became the New Adam, the Progenitor of the new humanity.

“Beholding him that was in God’s image and likeness fallen through the transgression, Jesus bowed the heavens and came down, and without changing He took up His dwelling in a Virgin womb: that thereby He might fashion corrupt Adam anew.”

St. Irenaeus says that the Son of the Most High became the Son of man in order to make man a son of God.

In the new humanity, built upon the foundation of the Incarnation of the Son of God, the unity of our human nature, broken by sin, is restored. Christ Himself named this new humanity the Church.

[…] We read how the Apostle Peter on behalf of all the Apostles confessed the truth of the Incarnation of the Only-begotten Son of God. And Christ responded to him: Upon this rock (upon the Incarnation, upon the fact that He is the Son of the Living God) I will build My Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matt. 16:16–18).

When Christ parted with and said farewell to His disciples, He promised to send them another Comforter, the Holy Spirit, Who would instruct them, would guide them into all truth, and Who would abide with them forever (cf. John 14:16–17; 15:26; 16:13).

Hilarion Troitsky (1886-1929; Russian Orthodox): Holy Scripture and the Church (1914), translated by Igor Radev in The Orthodox Word № 264-265 @ Pravoslavie.