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Continuing our series that began with Advent, St. Nicholas, & the Deity of Christ, reflections on the Nicene Creed, that most Christmasy of creeds, one of whose authors was reportedly St. Nicholas (a.k.a., Santa Claus). . . .
The Nicene Creed stresses that Jesus Christ is “very God, of very God.” It also stresses that He is very man, of very man.
Lord - Jesus - Christ - Son - God
I believe. . . in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made;
All of this is “for us.” “For our salvation.” This is the Gospel.
God - Creation - Reason - Salvation - Creed
God might have come down from heaven to experience His creation or for some other reason. But He did it “for our salvation.” The creed is not just a theological statement about the nature of the Trinity. Rather, it sets forth the basis for our salvation and how it was accomplished.
Gendered language bothers people these days, so other translations leave out the “men,” lest anyone think it excludes women. The original Greek is anthropous, meaning “human beings.” Genesis 1:27 says that God created “man” in His image and that “man” consists of both male and female. The traditional English version, retained in the LCMS version, has a felicitous connection with this line and the next: For “man,” He was “made man.”
Holy - Spirit - Virgin - Mary - Man
and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary and was made man;
“Incarnate” means “in” + the word for flesh. “Piece of flesh.” Meat. As in chili con carne. There can be no stronger word to express that God became physical, tangible, material.
Connections - Persons - Trinity - Son - God
Throughout, we see the connections between the persons of the Trinity. The Son of God was begotten...
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