The Son of God suffered and died as the propitiation for the sins of men (1 John 2:2). The Father did not become man, or suffer, or die for our sins; and so this shows that the Son must be a distinct person and a distinct individual being from the Father. For if the Father and Son are the same person, then for the Son to have become incarnate, and suffer, and die, would be for the Father to do so equally; ‘Son’ and ‘Father’ being nothing more than two names for the same person. And as a person is a rational individual being, it then follows that the Son must be a distinct individual being, if He is a distinct person.
But some false teachers redefine ‘person’ as a consciousness alone, or as a mode of subsistence, and propose that the Father and Son are two persons inasmuch as They are two consciousnesses, or two modes of subsistence, but yet are still both the consciousnesses or modes of one and the same being. We must examine this possibility: for if this is possible, then showing that the Father and Son are two persons will not make Them two distinct individual beings. We must inquire: when they say that the Son is the same individual being as the Father, the same God as the Father, do they mean that He is a part of this one God, this one individual being, or that He is the one God? For certainly, if the Father and Son are each a part of the one God, then what is done by one, need not be done by the other, and what is experienced by one need not be experienced by the other, for they are distinguished as one part from another. Yet if this were the case, then it follows that neither the Father nor the Son is equated with the one God, but each is only a part of Him. For just as a man’s foot will not be made equal to the whole man, so a part cannot be equated to the whole. If then the Father and Son, as two mere modes or consciousness of one God, are parts of that one God, then although They can be distinct, neither truly is that one God. And such a notion is utterly repugnant to scripture, which says not that the Father is part of the one God, but that He is the one God.
It follows then, that, as they say, they believe that the Son is God, the one God, in that He is not a part of the one God, but the whole of the one God. And they teach that the Father likewise, is not a part of the one God, but the whole of the one God- which is also the Son. Therefore, whether the Father and Son be supposed to be mere modes, or mere consciousnesses, inasmuch as each is identical to the whole Supreme Being, the whole of the one God, each must be identical to one another; and so it follows, that each will be the other, the Father being the Son, and the Son the Father. If this is the case, then we return to our original dilemma; for this is to then say that just as much as the Son became incarnate, and suffered, and died as the propitiation for sins, so the Father became incarnate, and suffered, and died as the propitiation for sins; although a propitiation to Who we cannot know, since there is no one higher than Himself Whom He might propitiate.
It is demonstrated then, that to make the Father and Son out to be the same person, or the same individual being, is the ancient heresy of Patripassionism, which since ancient times has been rightly condemned as heresy. For God did not die to appease His own wrath; but He sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins, that we might be forgiven, and live through Him: knowing the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom He has sent.