Friday, December 5, 2014

Incarnation and the Apostles' Creed

As we begin the season of Advent in anticipation of celebrating the Incarnation of the Word of God, the only begotten of the Father, we are going to return to reciting the Apostles’ Creed in our service.  This creed speaks abruptly of a Maker of heaven and earth, and of His Son.  Please do not think this rules out the Creative-work and participation of the Son at the time of creation, which we can easily see from passages like John 1:1-4.

But what is more important to remember as we come to worship, is that, having made all things, we come to worship the Triune God who Redeemed all things, Who brought salvation to the world – and personally to you, any of you, who call upon His name in repentance and faith.  The Creed reminds us that this took place because at a particular time and space Jesus came and lived on this earth in order to die.  He is Immanuel, God with us.  He is Jesus who came to save us from our sins.  And He did so by taking on flesh and blood.

Never forget that Jesus was a man and is not a fleshless spirit.  He took on flesh.  He is not afraid of the stuff of His creation.  He doesn’t think it is more holy to get away from the stuff.  If sinlessness was about avoiding the stuff then the Incarnation would have ruined the Lord’s holiness.  But Jesus did not avoid matter at all – He became matter, ate and drank matter, walked on matter, related with matter.  In fact, He loved matter.  He loved the world.  Material is not where the problem lies.  The problem is in the heart, and Jesus was born into the world so that He might be born in your heart as well.  How?  Through His death, you too may die to your sin and to your condemnation – and through His resurrection, you too may be raised to new life in the new Man with a new way to live in all of the stuff of the world which He made.

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