Preparing our Hearts for Worship
NOTE: I have opted to reuse the preparatory material from last week a second time. Whatever sections your didn’t complete last time, use for preparing your heart to worship this week.
In an effort to help you prepare for the December 23, 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, “The Divine Character of Jesus, Part 2”.The main Scriptures for the day are Exodus 34:6-7.
(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 Ex 34:6-7 and any Gospel.
You can read or listen to them here.
From the Creeds and Confessions
Belgic Confession Article 10
Article 10: That Jesus Christ is true and eternal God.
We believe that Jesus Christ, according to his divine nature, is the only begotten Son of God, begotten from eternity, not made nor created (for then he should be a creature), but co-essential and co-eternal with the Father, the express image of his person, and the brightness of his glory, equal unto him in all things. He is the Son of God, not only from the time that he assumed our nature, but from all eternity, as these testimonies, when compared together, teach us. Moses saith, that God created the world; and John saith, that all things were made by that Word, which he calleth God. And the apostle saith, that God make the worlds by his Son; likewise, that God created all things by Jesus Christ. Therefore it must needs follow, that he, who is called God, the Word, the Son, and Jesus Christ, did exist at that time, when all things were created by him. Therefore the prophet Micah saith, His goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. And the apostle: He hath neither beginning of days, nor end of life. He therefore is that true, eternal, and almighty God, whom we invoke, worship and serve.
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 Q14-18
Q14. Can there be found anywhere a mere creature able to satisfy for us?
Answer. 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?
Answer. 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?
Answer: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.
Q17. Why must he withal be true God?
Answer. That by the power of his Godhead he might bear in his human nature the burden of God’s wrath; and that he might obtain for us, and restore to us, righteousness and life.
Q18.But who is that Mediator who is at once true God and a true, righteous man?
Answer. Our Lord Jesus Christ, who was made unto us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.
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
For Thoughtful Reflection, Prayer, or further Study
Consider reading and reflecting on one of these articles:
The Sermon will be available online on December 23, 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.