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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 120

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From the Word: The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; he has sent me to encourage the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and freedom to the bound. (Isaiah 61:1)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Second Article

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

What does this mean?

I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true!

Pulling It Together: Sometimes the Old Testament speaks of the king as an anointed one, a person on whom God’s blessing rests. A priest would pour a flask of oil over the king’s head as a symbol that God had anointed him king (1 Sam 10:1). The high priest was also anointed (Exod 40:13) as one set apart to serve God. At other times, the Old Testament referred to the people of Israel as God’s chosen people, his anointed. The anointed are those who have been chosen to serve God in a unique manner.

Scripture also refers to another anointed servant of God, his Messiah (a transliterated Hebrew word that means anointed one, Acts 3:18–21). The Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Old Testament, translates the Hebrew Maschiah (Messiah) as Christos, which is converted to Christ in English. The title Christ derives from the same Greek word that gives us these terms: chrism (anointing oil), christen, and even cream. The Christ is the one anointed to serve God for a singular purpose.

When we confess that we believe in Jesus Christ, we are declaring that Jesus is God’s Anointed, the one who has come into the world to free those who are captive to sin and bound for death. 

Prayer: Lord God, I believe in your Anointed One. Amen.

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Who is Jesus? is a five-session Bible study, meant to serve as an introduction to what the Bible says about Jesus Christ—who he is and what it means to trust in him as Savior and Lord.


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