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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 126

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From the Word: And the angel answered her to say, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the child to be fathered will be called holy, the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35) 

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: Jesus was born of the virgin named Mary but he was conceived by God. The Holy Spirit was the fathering agent, therefore the holy child was of two natures: divine and human. Jesus was born in “the likeness of men” (Phil 2:7), that is, he is similar to a man. Yet, he is not exactly the same. For, while his nature is human, he is also divine. The man Jesus is begotten by the power of God, the presence or overshadowing of his Spirit. So, we say that he has a dual nature, our own being singular in quality—human nature. Jesus is similar but not identical, as he is true God and yet truly human at the same time.

Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for becoming like me so that you are able to redeem my human nature. Amen.

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