Preparing our Hearts to Worship
In an effort to help you prepare for the September 9, 2018, Sunday morning corporate worship gathering and to aid you in your own reflections on the God’s Story of Salvation through the Scriptures.I wanted to pose a few questions and provide a few resources to prayerfully consider over the coming days. Our sermon is entitled, “God’s Four-Word Promise.” The main Scripture for the day is Luke 1:26-33.
(Pick and choose from the many resources and options, which I have tried to make available for your devotional life.)
From the Scriptures
Please read through Chapter 22 of The Story this week, this is a lightly edited selection of Scriptures from Matthew 1-2, Luke 1-2 and John 1:1-18 that seeks to maintain the broad story line of the Scriptures.
You can read or listen to them here.
You can listen to Chapter 22 of The Story here. (16 minutes)
From the Creeds and Confessions
Heidelberg Catechism Q 35-36
Q & A 35
What does it mean that he “was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary”?
That the eternal Son of God, who is and remains true and eternal God,took to himself, through the working of the Holy Spirit,from the flesh and blood of the virgin Mary,a truly human nature so that he might also become David’s true descendant,like his brothers and sisters in every wayexcept for sin.
Q & A 36
How does the holy conception and birth of Christ benefit you?
He is our mediatorand, in God’s sight, he covers with his innocence and perfect holiness my sinfulness in which I was conceived.
Belgic Confession Article 10
Article 10: The Deity of Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ, according to his divine nature, is the only Son of God— eternally begotten, not made or created, for then he would be a creature. He is one in essence with the Father; coeternal; the exact image of the person of the Father and the “reflection of God’s glory,” being like the Father in all things.
Jesus Christ is the Son of God not only from the time he assumed our nature but from all eternity, as the following testimonies teach us when they are taken together. Moses says that God created the world; and John says that all things were created through the Word, which he calls God. The apostle says that God created the world through the Son. He also says that God created all things through Jesus Christ.
And so it must follow that the one who is called God, the Word, the Son, and Jesus Christ already existed before creating all things. Therefore the prophet Micah says that Christ’s origin is “from ancient days.” And the apostle says that the Son has “neither beginning of days nor end of life.”
So then, he is the true eternal God, the Almighty, whom we invoke, worship, and serve.
Belgic Confession Article 19
Article 19: The Two Natures of Christ
We believe that by being thus conceived the person of the Son has been inseparably united and joined together with human nature, in such a way that there are not two Sons of God, nor two persons, but two natures united in a single person, with each nature retaining its own distinct properties. Thus his divine nature has always remained uncreated, without beginning of days or end of life, filling heaven and earth.
Christ’s human nature has not lost its properties but continues to have those of a creature— it has a beginning of days; it is of a finite nature and retains all that belongs to a real body. And even though he, by his resurrection, gave it immortality, that nonetheless did not change the reality of his human nature; for our salvation and resurrection depend also on the reality of his body. But these two natures are so united together in one person that they are not even separated by his death.
So then, what he committed to his Father when he died was a real human spirit which left his body. But meanwhile his divine nature remained united with his human nature even when he was lying in the grave; and his deity never ceased to be in him, just as it was in him when he was a little child, though for a while it did not so reveal itself.
These are the reasons why we confess him to be true God and truly human—true God in order to conquer death by his power, and truly human that he might die for us in the weakness of his flesh.
From the songs, hymns and spiritual songs of the Church
For Thoughtful Reflection, Prayer, or further Study
Watch The Bible Project’s video summary of The Birth of Jesus.
Why do you think it was important for Jesus to be conceived by the Holy Spirit?
Read and reflect upon 5 truths about the Incarnation.
Read and reflect upon the 39 Articles of Religion’s teaching upon the Incarnation.
The Sermon will be available onlineon September 9, 2018 at 12:30 pm.
Disclaimer: Reference to a particular article or website does not constitute endorsement or agreement with everything in that article or on that website.