Friday, January 15, 2010

Daily Devotional Thought--From the Confessions

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Throughout the history of the Church, and still today, many of the false teachings that have arisen have pertained to the second person of the Trinity -- The Son of God. Even before all the Scriptures had been written the gnostic heresy was alive and well. The Gnostics taught that matter was bad, spiritual things were good, and so Jesus could not be God because he was a person made of matter. While Gnosticism was a relatively early heresy, and would be taken on by Ignatius of Antioch, it is alive and well today. Just check out this website to see the modern day version of this ancient, and dangerous, heresy.
Why do I mention the existence of Gnosticism in the 21st Century? Because a clear confession of the biblical doctrine of the Son of God is as important today as it was when our early church fathers preserved the true teaching of Christ in their own writings, and through the ancient Creeds. If the Church will continue to be Christian, and in her be found the gifts that Christ bestows (Forgiveness, Life and Salvation), then it must confess the Christ as the Scriptures teach. Hence, Article III of the Augsburg Confession.
You will find much of this article to sound quite familiar if you regularly worship in a Christian Church that still confesses the 3 ancient Creeds: The Apostles', The Nicene, and The Athanasian. But there is good reason for that, for the creeds confess the same doctrine of the Son of God that the Lutheran Reformers confessed here in Article III. For within this confession of Christ -- alone -- is there found the comfort of the Gospel.
So, here is the article:

Article III: Of the Son of God.
1] Also they teach that the Word, that is, the Son of God, did assume the human nature in 2] the womb of the blessed Virgin Mary, so that there are two natures, the divine and the human, inseparably enjoined in one Person, one Christ, true God and true man, who was born of the Virgin Mary, truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and 3] buried, that He might reconcile the Father unto us, and be a sacrifice, not only for
original guilt, but also for all actual sins of men.

4] He also descended into hell, and truly rose again the third day; afterward He ascended into heaven that He might sit on the right hand of the Father, and forever reign and have dominion over all creatures, and sanctify 5] them that believe in Him, by sending the Holy Ghost into their hearts, to rule, comfort, and quicken them, and to defend them against the devil and the power of sin.

6] The same Christ shall openly come again to judge the quick and the dead, etc.,
according to the Apostles' Creed.

The Son of God "is, and remains, for all eternity the God-man, the One who appeased, or propitiated, God's wrath against our sin and won for us eternal life. Even now He is present with us through His appointed means of grace -- the Gospel and the Sacraments. He comes to strengthen, sustain, ans support us, and to bring us safely to our heavenly home" (Concordia: A Reader's Edition of the Book of Concord, p. 32).

And so you see, the Lutheran Church confesses nothing other than the historic, biblical doctrine of Christ, and in a world where false teachings still abound, the Church that still confesses Christ properly is the church that is needed. The Lutheran Church and her confession of Christ must be heard, for where it is, there will be the gifts of the Son of God. Amen.

No comments: