“Our churches teach that the Word, that is, the Son of God (John 1:14), assumed the human nature in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. So there are two natures – the divine and the human – inseparably joined in one person. There is one Christ, true God and true man, who was born of the Virgin Mary, truly suffered, was crucified, died, and was buried. He did this to reconcile the Father to us and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for all actual sins of mankind (John 1:29).
“He also descended into hell, and truly rose again on the third day. Afterward, he ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father. There he forever reigns and has dominion over all creatures. He sanctifies those who believe in him, by sending the Holy Spirit into their hearts to rule, comfort, and make them alive. He defends them against the devil and the power of sin.
“The same Christ will openly come again to judge the living and the dead, and so forth, according to the Apostles’ Creed.”
Ok, this is a biggie. Article 3 and Article 4 (next week’s) are what distinguish a church from a cult (meaning, if a church does not teach this Article as truth, they are not a Christian church, because they don’t believe what Christ said about himself). If understood correctly, and believed, the doors of heaven are opened. If not understood, nor believed, hell is the only possible outcome. Either Jesus was God and Man, and he died for your sins, or you are still in your sins, and you are going to hell.
Maybe though, “understand” isn’t the best word to use with this Article. We can’t understand the God-Man Jesus in the same way I understand osmosis or how a combustion engine works. Continue reading