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Ex[;oring the role of Jesus as a man to bring salvation

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The Nicene Creed

WE BELIEVE in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.
This Creed was put forward to give a short summary of what Christians believe. One of the central pieces of this Creed is the Incarnation of Jesus. Jesus, though fully God, became a man, through the Immaculate Conception and Virgin Birth. This idea is vaguely presented in the OT by Isaiah and Daniel.

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name bImmanuel.

There isn’t a whole lot about this event in the OT, but this reference is used in , at the end of Matthew’s gospel Jesus speaks of His own divinity after the fact. John takes this concept, the divinity of Jesus, and gives us a really awesome picture of how to understand it. John describes Jesus as the Eternal Word:

The Deity of Jesus Christ

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 He was in the beginning with God.

3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.

5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

That Eternal Word becomes flesh:

The Word Made Flesh

14 And the Word became flesh, and cdwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The Word, Jesus, becomes flesh by the work of the Holy Spirit in Mary. Cool side note: the language used to describe the overshadowing of Mary by the Holy Spirit is the same language used to describe the Shekinah coming down on the Tabernacle in . Also, Elizabeth describes Mary as the “mother of my Lord (kyrios)” (). Kyrios (“lord”) is the LXX’s translation of YHWH, the name of God in the Old Testament.
So we have this concept of Jesus, the Eternal Word of God, becoming flesh, but why did this happen? What was the purpose?

But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,

5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

6 Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”

7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.

Kilcrease, J. (2018). Jesus’ Incarnation. In M. Ward, J. Parks, B. Ellis, & T. Hains (Eds.), Lexham Survey of Theology. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
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