The Two Estates
Implicit in the classical christological method is a descending and ascending order (the two estates). The Son descended from an exalted state and, after accomplishing his work, ascended to return to exaltation (Philippians 2: 1-11). This descending and ascending order forms the basic outline of the early christological narrative. Notice the contrast:
He must come
He is sent from the Father
The Son who descends
From incarnation to death
He must go
He returns to the Father
The Son who ascends
From resurrection to judgment
Corresponding to this are the three office of Christ: prophet, priest, and king. The three offices correspond to the two estates. Christ was humbled to undertake his early prophetic ministry which ends in his priestly ministry on the cross. He is exalted to complete his ministry as king in his resurrection and ascension.
The next logical question then-- "Is Christ truly divine?" That's the subject of the next post.
Previous Posts in the Series
The Question of Christ in the Earliest Centuries #1
The Question of Christ in the Earliest Centuries #2