Skip to comments.The Apostles' Creed...AND IN JESUS CHRIST, HIS ONLY SON, OUR LORD
Posted on 05/29/2008 5:24:47 PM PDT by Salvation
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" (St. John 3, 16).
"I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel" (Gen. 3, 15). These words constitute what is known as the Protoevangelium, the first Gospel, or promise of a Redeemer to come. This promise formed the essential heart and hope of the religion of the Jews of the Old Testament: "Truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it" (St. Matt. 13, 17).
As the sin of Adam and Eve offended the infinite dignity of God, the satisfaction due to God in atonement needed to be of infinite value. However, no mere creature could make such a satisfaction since no creature, however holy or exalted, could offer more than a finite reparation. There was a necessity, therefore, for the Redeemer to be both God and man - man, that he might suffer and die on our behalf; God, that an infinite merit might attach to His atonement. Such a Redeemer was sent by God - Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity: "For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all" (1 Tim. 2, 5).
"But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children" (Gal. 4, 4 -5). God the Son became the man Jesus Christ: "And the Word became flesh and lived among us" (St. John 1, 14). The word "incarnation" is derived from the Latin, meaning, "to put on flesh." Christ could not have become Redeemer of humanity without a human nature, for it was His assumed human nature that was the instrumental cause of our salvation. In therefore voluntarily giving Her flesh to the Son of God the Virgin Mary in the most intimate way co-operated to bring into effect Gods plan of redemption, hence Her title of "Co-Redemptrix."
Jesus Christ is not only truly God, begotten of the Father in all eternity, but also truly man from the time He was conceived in His Mothers womb: "who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men" (Phil. 2, 6-7). Thus, Christ has a divine and human nature united in His one Person - this union is called the Hypostatic Union, "hypostatic" meaning person in Greek. This union will never be dissolved, and remains so today. When Our Lords sacred body lay in the Holy Sepulcher, the Person of the Word still remained united to it, just as it remained united to His soul in Abraham's Bosom (1 Pet. 3, 19).
As Christ has a divine and human nature, so also has He a divine and human will. Yet His human will was ever in perfect accord with His divine will: "if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt" (St. Matt. 26, 39). Likewise, Christ possesses both a divine and human intellect. In His divine intellect Christ possesses comprehensive knowledge of all things past, present and future, as well as the infinite array of possibilities. In His human intellect Christ possesses infused knowledge of all things past, present and future by virtue of the Hypostatic Union, as well as acquired, or experimental, knowledge through His external senses.
Being the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, Jesus Christ is truly the Son of God: "thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee" (Heb. 1, 5). For many, the thought that God can have a Son who has the same nature as Himself is anathema. Yet, Christ is not a separate God, but a distinct Person, Gods image of Himself: "He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation" (Col. 1, 15). Jesus Christ is the only Son of God by nature, whereas we become through Christ the children of God by adoption: "For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, Abba! Father!" (Rom. 8, 15). This adoption formerly begins with baptism, which infuses into our souls the indelible mark of a Christian, or character, and incorporates us into Christs Body, the Church.
The name "Jesus Christ" means "Anointed Savior." Our Lords name is one of power and confidence, and should invoke our deepest respect. It has always be part of Catholic piety to reverence the name of Jesus with at least a slight bow of the head when hearing it pronounced: "God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2, 9-11).
Jesus Christ has the threefold character of Priest, Prophet and King. He is a Priest in once having offered Himself on Calvary for the redemption of the world, and continuing to offer Himself daily in the Mass: "Thou art a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek" (Heb. 5, 6); He is a Prophet by being a teacher of truth, revealing the mysteries of God and foretelling of things to come: "The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet from your brethren as he raised me up. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you" (Acts 3, 22); He is King because He came down to earth to establish His Church, a spiritual kingdom over which He shall rule for all eternity: "King of kings and Lord of lords" (Rev. 19, 16).
Jesus Christ is Our Lord and Lord of all because He created all things in the universe: "All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being" (St. John 1, 3). Further, we owe all entirely to Him for having redeemed us "at a great price" and freeing us from the slavery of sin and the Devil. How great then should our love, respect and obedience be to such a Lord, seeing that it is to Him that we owe all that we possess! The Fathers St. Clement of Rome, Letter to the Corinthians 36, 1 (C. 96-98 AD):
St. Clement of Rome, Letter to the Corinthians 36, 1 (C. 96-98 AD):
"This is the way, beloved, in which we found our salvation, Jesus Christ, the High Priest of our offerings, the defender and helper of our weakness. Through Him we fix our gaze on the heights of heaven; through Him we see the reflection of the faultless and lofty countenance of God; through him the eyes of our heart were opened; through him our foolish and darkened understanding shoots up to the light; through him the Master willed that we should taste of deathless knowledge; who, being the brightness of His majesty, is as much greater than the angels as the more glorious name which He has inherited." St. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Ephesians Address (C. 110 AD):
St. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Ephesians Address (C. 110 AD):
"Ignatius, also called Theophorus, to the Church at Ephesus in Asia...united and chosen through true suffering by the will of the Father in Jesus Christ our God...There is one Physician, who is both flesh and spirit, born and not born, who is God in man, true life in death, born both of Mary and from God, first able to suffer and then unable to suffer, Jesus Christ our Lord...For our God, Jesus Christ, was conceived by Mary in accord with Gods plan: of the seed of David, it is true, but also of the Holy Spirit..." St. Justin Martyr, First Apology 13 (Inter 148-155 AD):
St. Justin Martyr, First Apology 13 (Inter 148-155 AD):
"Our teacher of these things, born for this end, is Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, the procurator in Judea in the time of Tiberius Caesar. We will prove that we worship Him reasonably; for we have learned that He is the Son of the True God Himself, that He holds a second place, and the spirit of Prophecy a third. For this they accuse us of madness, saying that we attribute to a crucified man a place second to the unchangeable and eternal God, the Creator of all things; but they are ignorant of the mystery which lies therein." Tertullian, Apology 21, 6 (197 AD):
Tertullian, Apology 21, 6 (197 AD):
"So also, that which proceeds from God is God and Son of God, and both are one. Likewise, as He is Spirit from Spirit, and God from God, He is made a second by count and in numerical sequence, but not in actual condition; for He comes forth from the source but does not separate therefrom." St. Athanasius, On the Incarnation of the Word of God Against the Arians 21 (C. 365 AD):
St. Athanasius, On the Incarnation of the Word of God Against the Arians 21 (C. 365 AD):
"And when (Christ) says, Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from Me; yet, not My will be done, but Yours; and the spirit is ready, but the flesh is weak, He gives evidence therein of two wills, the one human, which is of the flesh, and the one divine, which is of God. That which is human, because of the weakness of the flesh, shrinks from suffering. That, however, which is divine, is ready." Catechism of the Council of Trent (1566)
Catechism of the Council of Trent (1566):
The human race, having fallen from its elevated dignity, no power of men or Angels could raise it from its fallen condition and replace it in its primitive state. To remedy the evil and repair the loss it became necessary that the Son of God, whose power is infinite, clothed in the weakness of our flesh, should remove the infinite weight of sin and reconcile us to God in His blood. Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992)
Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992):
No. 432: The name "Jesus" signifies that the very name of God is present in the person of his Son, made man for the universal and definitive redemption from sins. It is the divine name that alone brings salvation, and henceforth all can invoke his name, for Jesus united himself to all men through his Incarnation, so that "there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
No. 436: The word "Christ" comes from the Greek translation of the Hebrew Messiah, which means "anointed." It became the name proper to Jesus only because he accomplished perfectly the divine mission that "Christ" signifies...
No. 449: By attributing to Jesus the divine title "Lord," the first confessions of the Churchs faith affirm from the beginning that the power, honor, and glory due to God the Father are due also to Jesus, because "he was in the form of God," and the Father manifested the sovereignty of Jesus by raising him from the dead and exalting him into his glory.
The Apostles' Creed in the Scriptures, the Fathers, and the Catechisms: AND IN JESUS CHRIST, HIS ONLY SON, OUR LORD
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Oh, crummers. I forgot to put [Ecumenical] on the title.
Could you do it please.
Until the Religion Moderator marks this [Ecumenical]
please respect it as an Ecumenical thread per those rules set forth in his guidelines.
I think all Christians should make it a point to try and say the Apostles Creed and the Lord’s Prayer together as a daily re-affirmation of their Baptism.
The Apostle’s Creed is the most basic confession of faith and The Lord’s Prayer is the most perfect of all of our prayers, because Jesus Himself gave it to us.
Thanks for the posting this!
Thanks for posting these. I haven’t had a chance to read them, perhaps I can catch up (and maybe even make some ecumenic comments) this weekend.
That would be great.