Preparing our Hearts to Worship
In an effort to help you prepare for the December 9, 2018, Sunday morning corporate worship gathering and to aid you in your own reflections on through Advent.I wanted to pose a few questions and provide a few resources to prayerfully consider over the coming days. Our sermon is entitled, “Jesus’ Humanity is Essential”. The main Scriptures for the day are Luke 2:1-7, 1John 4:2-3, and 2John 7.
(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 Luke 2:1-7, 1John 4 and 2John.
You can read or listen to them here.
From the Creeds and Confessions
Belgic Confession Article 18
Article 18: Of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ.
We confess, therefore, that God did fulfill the promise, which he made to the fathers, by the mouth of his holy prophets, when he sent into the world, at the time appointed by him, his own, only-begotten and eternal Son, who took upon him the form of a servant, and became like unto man, really assuming the true human nature, with all its infirmities, sin excepted, being conceived in the womb of the blessed Virgin Mary, by the power of the Holy Ghost, without the means of man, and did not only assume human nature as to the body, but also a true human soul, that he might be a real man. For since the soul was lost as well as the body, it was necessary that he should take both upon him, to save both. Therefore we confess (in opposition to the heresy of the Anabaptists, who deny that Christ assumed human flesh of his mother) that Christ is become a partaker of the flesh and blood of the children; that he is a fruit of the loins of David after the flesh; made of the seed of David according to the flesh; a fruit of the womb of the Virgin Mary, made of a woman, a branch of David; a shoot of the root of Jesse; sprung from the tribe of Judah; descended from the Jews according to the flesh; of the seed of Abraham, since he took on him the seed of Abraham, and became like unto his brethren in all things, sin excepted, so that in truth he is our Immanuel, that is to say, God with us.
Belgic Confession, Article 19
Article 19: Of the union and distinction of the two Natures in the person of Christ.
We believe that by this conception, the person of the Son is inseparably united and connected with the human nature; so that there are not two Sons of God, nor two persons, but two natures united in one single person: yet, that each nature retains its own distinct properties. As then the divine nature hath always remained uncreated, without beginning of days or end of life, filling heaven and earth: so also hath the human nature not lost its properties, but remained a creature, having beginning of days, being a finite nature, and retaining all the properties of a real body. And though he hath by his resurrection given immortality to the same, nevertheless he hath not changed the reality of his human nature; forasmuch as our salvation and resurrection also depend on the reality of his body. But these two natures are so closely united in one person, that they were not separated even by his death. Therefore that which he, when dying, commended into the hands of his Father, was a real human spirit, departing from his body. But in the meantime the divine nature always remained united with the human, even when he lay in the grave. And the Godhead did not cease to be in him, any more than it did when he was an infant, though it did not so clearly manifest itself for a while. Wherefore we confess, that he is very God, and very Man: very God by his power to conquer death; and very man that he might die for us according to the infirmity of his flesh.
Heidelberg Catechism Q12-16
Q12. Since, then, by the righteous judgment of God we deserve temporal and eternal punishment, is there no way by which we may escape that punishment and be again received into favor?
God will have his justice satisfied; therefore we must make full satisfaction to the same, either by ourselves, or by another.
Q13. But can we ourselves make this satisfaction?
By no means; on the contrary, we daily increase our debt.
Q14. Can there be found anywhere a mere creature able to satisfy for us?
None; for, first, God will not punish any other creature for the sin which man has committed; and, further, no mere creature can sustain the burden of God’s eternal wrath against sin, and deliver others from it.
Q15. What manner of mediator and deliverer, then, must we seek?
One who is a true and righteous man, and yet more powerful than all creatures; that is, one who is withal true God.
Q16. Why must he be a true and righteous man?
Because the justice of God requires that the same human nature which has sinned should make satisfaction for sin, and because one who himself is a sinner cannot satisfy for others.
Definition of Chalcedon
The Definition of the Council of Chalcedon (451 A.D)
Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the God-bearer; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from earliest times spoke of him, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the creed of the fathers has handed down to us.
From the songs, hymns and spiritual songs of the Church
The Humanity of Christ: Lyrics
For Thoughtful Reflection, Prayer, or further Study
Consider reading and reflecting on one of these articles:
The Sermon will be available online on December 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.