Message from Rev. Moore – December 2018

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ““Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”“ 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us.)
(Mat 1:18-23 ESV)

Have you ever considered the beautiful irony of the birth of Christ—the Eternal Son of God becoming man, the doctrine of the Incarnation? What is the doctrine of the Incarnation? It’s the biblical teaching of the God-man, Jesus Christ; it’s the biblical teaching that Jesus is both God and man, yet one person. The early church considered the Incarnation such an essential teaching that they formulated what has come to be the Chalcedonian Creed, a statement of faith concerning what we must believe to be a Christian, and what we are not to believe as a Christian. The Creed states this:

Council of Chalcedon (451 A.D)
“Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the God-bearer; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from earliest times spoke of him, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the creed of the fathers has handed down to us.”
There are five main truths with which the creed of Chalcedon summarized the biblical teaching on the Incarnation:
1. Jesus has two natures — He is God and man.
2. Each nature is full and complete — He is fully God and fully man.
3. Each nature remains distinct—Jesus’ human nature is not divine, and divine human.
4. Christ is only one Person.
5. Things that are true of only one nature are nonetheless true of the Person of Christ.

During this Christmas season, we’ll be taking a break from the Sermon on the Mount; I will continue the Sermon on the Mount after Christmas. During the month of December, I’ll be preaching on the nature and purpose of the Incarnation, that is, the biblical nature and purpose of Christmas. Come and join us, and invite a friend to church!

In Christ,
Pastor Carl