6. This also does likewise meet [the case] of those who maintain that
He suffered only in appearance. For if He did not truly suffer, no thanks
to Him, since there was no suffering at all; and when we shall actually
begin to suffer, He will seem as leading us astray, exhorting us to endure
buffering, and to turn the other cheek, if He did not Himself before
us in reality suffer the same; and as He misled them by seeming to them
what He was not, so does He also mislead us, by exhorting us to endure
what He did not endure Himself. [In that case] we shall be even above the
Master, because we suffer and sustain what our Master never bore or endured.
But as our Lord is alone truly Master, so the Son of God is truly good
and patient, the Word of God the Father having been made the Son of man.
For He fought and conquered; for He was man contending for the fathers,
and through obedience doing away with disobedience completely: for He bound
the strong man, and set free the weak, and endowed His own handiwork
with salvation, by destroying sin. For He is a most holy and merciful Lord,
and loves the human race.
7. Therefore, as I have already said, He caused man (human nature) to
cleave to and to become, one with God. For unless man had overcome the
enemy of man, the enemy would not have been legitimately vanquished. And
again: unless it had been God who had freely given salvation, we could
never have possessed it securely. And unless man had been joined to God,
he could never have become a partaker of incorruptibility. For it was incumbent
upon the Mediator between God and men, by His relationship to both, to
bring both to friendship and concord, and present man to God, while He
revealed God to man. For, in what way could we be partaken of the adoption
of sons, unless we had received from Him through the Son that fellowship
which refers to Himself, unless His Word, having been made flesh, had entered
into communion with us? Wherefore also He passed through every stage of
life, restoring to all communion with God.