A Reading from the Book of Concord 1 year series December 24, 2010 - Christmas Eve: The Nativity of Our Lord
The following reading from the CONCORDIA edition of the Book of Concord is for the Gospel, Matthew 1:18-25 for the Christmas Eve: The Nativity of Our Lord, December 24, 2010.
It is from Formula of Concord: Epitome, VIII. The Person of Christ.
The Scriptures repeatedly speak of Jesus the Christ as both the Son of God and the Son of man. Therefore, so does His body here on earth, the holy Christian Church. And as members thereof, so do we also.
AFFIRMATIVE STATEMENTS: THE PURE TEACHING OF THE CHRISTIAN C
5 1. The divine and human natures in Christ are personally united. So there are not two Christs, one the Son of God and the other the Son of Man. But one and the same person is the Son of God and Son of Man (Luke 1:35; Romans 9:5). . . .
7 3. The properties of the divine nature are these: to be almighty, eternal, infinite, and to be everywhere present (according to the property of its nature and its natural essence, of itself), to know everything, and so on. These never become properties of the human nature.
8 4. The properties of the human nature are to be a bodily creature, to be flesh and blood, to be finite and physically limited, to suffer, to die, to ascend and descend, to move from one place to another, to suffer hunger, thirst, cold, heat, and the like. These never become properties of the divine nature.
9 5. The two natures are united personally (i.e., in one person). Therefore, we believe, teach, and confess that this union is not the kind of joining together and connection that prevents either nature from having anything in common with the other personally (i.e., because of the personal union). It is not like when two boards are glued together, where neither gives anything to the other or takes anything from the other. But here is described the highest communion that God truly has with the man. From this personal union, the highest and indescribable communion results. There flows everything human that is said and believed about God, and everything divine that is said and believed about the man Christ. The ancient teachers of the Church explained this union and communion of the natures by the illustration of iron glowing with fire, and also by the union of body and soul in man.
10 6. We believe, teach, and confess that God is man and man is God. This could not be true if the divine and human natures had (in deed and truth) absolutely no communion with each other.
11 For how could the man, the Son of Mary, in truth be called or be God, or the Son of God the Most High, if His humanity were not personally united with the Son of God? How could He have no real communion (that is, in deed and truth) with the Most High, but only share God's name?
12 7. So we believe, teach, and confess that Mary conceived and bore not merely a man and no more, but God's true Son. Therefore, she also is rightly called and truly is "the mother of God."
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.
Lord grant you faith in His grace alone for your salvation unto eternal life. Amen