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Apostles Creed Article 2- Lessons 4


The Apostle’s Creed

The Second Article

    And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.  He descended into hell.  The third day He rose again from the dead.  He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty.  From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead. 

What does this mean?
    I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord,
    who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned person, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death,
    that I may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness,
    just as He is risen from he dead, lives and reigns in all eternity.
    This is most certainly true.

Bible Teaching
Christ’s resurrection
Matthew 28:1-15; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20; 1 Corinthians 15:12-22

Christ’s ascension
Luke 24:50-52; Acts 1:6-11; Ephesians 1:15-23; Revelation 5

Christ’s return
Matthew 25:31-46; John 14:1-6; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Quote
“St. Paul states in Rom. 5:2: “We have obtained access to God in faith”—not through ourselves but “through Christ.” Therefore we must bring Christ, come with Him, pay God with Him, and carry out all our dealings with God through Him and with Him. This is what St. Peter means here. He wants to say: We are looking forward with certainty to life, even though we are still on earth. But we owe all this to Christ’s resurrection from the dead, to His ascension into heaven, and to the fact that He sits at the right hand of God. For He ascended into heaven to bestow His Spirit on us, to give us a new birth, and to give us the courage to come to the Father and say: “Behold, I come before you and pray, not in reliance on my petition, but my Lord Christ represents me and is my Intercessor.” These are all words of fire where there is a heart that believes. Otherwise everything is cold and does not go to the heart.”  Martin Luther, Luther’s Works Volume 30, p. 12

Our Confession
·         We confess that Jesus now fully uses the all his divine powers as the risen, incarnate Savior.
·         We confess that Jesus’ descent into hell took place after He rose and is part of His exaltation.
·         We confess that Jesus rose from the dead on the third day as He promised, confirming all his teachings and promises.
·         We confess that Jesus ascended into heaven, body and soul, after 40 days.  He is now at the right hand of the Father and intercedes for us.
·         We confess that Christ will return to raise the dead at the last day.  This is a source of joy and comfort to those with faith.
·         Christ redeemed us that we may be His own people, that we may live in His kingdom and grace, and we may serve Him in the joyous work of feeding and spreading the kingdom.
·         We deny any and all attempts to diminish or deny the resurrection of Jesus.

Discussion Questions
1.   Why is Jesus’ resurrection so important to us?
2.   Why is Jesus’ descent into hell important to us?
3.   Why is Jesus’ ascension important to us?
4.   What comfort do we receive from His promise to return?

Prayer
Thanks to Thee O Christ victorious!  Thanks to Thee O Lord of life!
Death hath now no power o’er us.  Thou hast conquered in the strife.
Thanks because thou didst arise and hath opened Paradise.
None can fully sing the glory of the resurrection story.

 

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