Thursday, April 23, 2009

Day 4 ~ What Christians Believe. Jesus Christ...Born of the Virgin Mary

"Who For Us And For Our Salvation Came Down From Heaven"

We now come to the central truth of Christianity: “Who for us and for our salvation came down from heaven”. God the Son, the very manifestation of the invisible God himself, the one who is the Word of God and brought all things into existence, the one who revealed himself to Moses and Joshua and the Prophets, “came down from heaven”. And his coming from the heavenly dimension into our realm of the physical was not just for a visit, but for an eternal union with what he had made, and in particular with humanity. But it must be emphasized that this wonderful act was not for himself - he didn’t “need” to join himself to us - he did it for “us and for our salvation”. The very act of the incarnation (“enfleshing”) was to save creation and restore mankind to himself. It was an act of love.

How he came down from heaven was that he became “incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary”. In the third and final clause of the creeds we will learn more of the Holy Spirit, but here we see the Spirit of God is referenced as that life, that energy, that “flow” between the Father and the Son, and it was by the Spirit that the Son became flesh. The angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary and told her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1.35).

And thus, for us, was God “made man”. In the womb of the Virgin Mary God joined himself to his creation. He took the flesh of Mary - her egg, and joined himself to her flesh and the child born was without human father but was of human mother. “The Word became flesh” (John 1.14). In the early Church the Virgin was given the title, “Mary, Mother of God”. Some people have been thrown off by this title, feeling that it elevated Mary to too high an honor. Laying aside for a moment that the Bible actually says that all generations will call her Blessed and that she is blessed among all women (Luke 1.42, 48), the title is not about Mary, but about Jesus. The title is not a marian statement, but a christological statement. It is saying that what was in the womb of Mary was really and truly God, “true God of true God”! In the inner chamber of humanity, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, God became man. He did not simply put on a human costume. He became man. Never again to not be man! God elevated the stuff of our nature to the place of Divinity eternally! Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man and the two shall nevermore be divided or separated. A man - one of us - sits enthroned in the heavenlies forever and is God Almighty! And it was all an act of love, a reuniting, a reconciling: “God was in Christ Jesus, reconciling the world to himself, not counting men’s sins against them” (2 Corinthians 5.19)!

(From Chapter Three, What Christians Believe by Kenneth N. Myers)

To order Bishop Kenneth's Book -

Even though we are not in the middle of Christmas season - today is a great day to give thanks to our Lord for the gift of Jesus...the One who saves and rescues us! Do you know my Savior?

If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord" and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Romans 10:9-10

Praise Yahweh for the Birth, Death and Resurrection of Jesus!
Give thanks for His saving power and his continued provision of forgiveness and deliverance!

Praise the Lord (Yahweh), O my soul;
all my innermost being, praise his holy name.

Praise the Lord (Yahweh), O my soul, and forget not all his benefits -
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord (Yahweh) has compassion on those who fear him.

Psalm 103:1-5, 11-13

He has done great things!


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