Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Incarnation

I spent some time yesterday reading various reformed confessions on the Incarnation. This was my favorite, from the Belgic confession:

Article 17: The Recovery of Fallen Man

We believe that our good God, by his marvelous wisdom and goodness, seeing that man had plunged himself in this manner into both physical and spiritual death and made himself completely miserable, set out to find him, though man, trembling all over, was fleeing from him.
And he comforted him, promising to give him his Son, "born of a woman," to crush the head of the serpent, and to make him blessed.
(Gal. 4:4 , Gen. 3:15)

Article 18: The Incarnation

So then we confess that God fulfilled the promise which he had made to the early fathers by the mouth of his holy prophets when he sent his only and eternal Son into the world at the time set by him.

The Son took the "form of a servant" and was made in the "likeness of man," truly assuming a real human nature, with all its weaknesses, except for sin; being conceived in the womb of the blessed virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit, without male participation.

And he not only assumed human nature as far as the body is concerned but also a real human soul, in order that he might be a real human being. For since the soul had been lost as well as the body he had to assume them both to save them both together.

Therefore we confess, against the heresy of the Anabaptists who deny that Christ assumed human flesh from his mother, that he "shared the very flesh and blood of children"; that he is "fruit of the loins of David" according to the flesh; "born of the seed of David" according to the flesh; "fruit of the womb of the virgin Mary"; "born of a woman"; "the seed of David"; "a shoot from the root of Jesse"; "the offspring of Judah," having descended from the Jews according to the flesh; "from the seed of Abraham"-- for he "assumed Abraham's seed" and was "made like his brothers except for sin."

In this way he is truly our Immanuel-- that is: "God with us."

(Phil. 2:7; Heb. 2:14; Acts 2:30; Rom. 1:3; Luke 1:42; Gal. 4:4; 2 Tim. 2:8; Rom. 15:12; Heb. 7:14; Heb. 2:17; 4:15; Matt. 1:23)

Merry, Merry Christmas!

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