Article 2 - The Son of God, which was made very Man Sunday 29th September 2019 9:45 and 11:30am
By porthkerryandrhoose, Oct 6 2019 11:28AM
I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with the Pirates of the Caribbean films. There is a central character, a pirate called Captain Barbossa, who lives by the “Pirate Code”. However, he often uses the code to his advantage. So, when entering supposed honourable terms of parley under this code. He takes Keira Knightley who plays Elizabeth the daughter of the Governor of Jamaica hostage. When she quite rightly questions his honour and integrity under this Pirate Code his response is:
“Arrr… The pirate Code, they aren’t necessarily a code to follow but they are merely a set of, well Guidelines.”
This quote has gone down in history as being paraphrased on Anglican and Episcopal Social media as Captain Barbossa referring to the 39 Articles as “well Guidelines”. This did make me chuckle, laugh and hit the share button. However, it is by this action I took to re-examining this and made me question. If we as Anglicans are going to refer to the foundational doctrine, creeds and articles of faith in God and our church as mere Guidelines, then has something somewhere gone wrong?
Central to my sermon is that I would like to re-iterate that Article number two is the belief in Christ or
“Of the Word or Son of God, which was made Very Man” Belief that Christ is the son of God and Faith in the Holy Trinity which Rhiannon preached on last week should not be mere Guidelines but fundamental to our Faith. This is a Creedal truth that all main denominations of Christianity believe.
The first verse of the Hymn we sang earlier…
“The church's one foundation
is Jesus Christ, her Lord;
she is his new creation
by water and the Word:
from heav'n he came and sought her
to be his holy bride;
with his own blood he bought her,
and for her life he died.”
This old Hymn sums up who Jesus really is, why he came to earth and why He died for us.
In this sermon I will cover the three essential things we need to know about Jesus Christ.
1. Jesus is Truly God
2. Jesus was also made Truly Human
3. Jesus is Truly our Saviour
It is through the Truth, the Word and the power of the Gospel that we can understand the divine nature of Christ, the humanity of Christ and his everlasting Salvation. The opening of the Gospel according to Saint John states:
“1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
John makes it clear that through God and the Word, Jesus is not only divine, but he is also eternal. Jesus is the Word of God and it is through the Word that God accomplishes all his acts of creation and his will throughout all of creation. This also shows us that Christ was present at the beginning of time and has been present through the ages before birth in Bethlehem. It is through his birth, his life, his ministry, his death and resurrection that Jesus is the light of the world.
Christ was Truly Human so that we may have a real personal relationship with Him, Christ the living God. Though he was born a man through the blessed virgin Mary. It is by God’s word that his Son on earth still encompassed both the nature of Man but also the Nature of God and his power. Jesus is the purpose of God’s work here on Earth. Those that follow Christ are witnesses to the light. In the example that John (who was a man) sets in John 1: 6-9 by being sent by God to testify to the Truth that is the light of Christ.
As Anglicans we all have a duty to follow not only the example of John, but we are to strive to walk in the footsteps of Christ. To tell his creation of his Good news and make disciples of all nations.
Having brought together the two natures of Christ perfect humanity and divinity we now look at how Christ is our True Saviour. In John 1: 10-14 we know that Jesus was in the world and we know that the world did not recognise him. They even rejected him and nailed him to the cross of crucifixion. The holiest ground of our faith is seen in His sacrifice so that all may be saved. A death that would violate his pure holiness, ensures that all who may believe in him will not die but have eternal life. His salvation was there in creation, it is here now and it will remain always.
The great reformer John Calvin reminds us that all Scripture points to Christ and his salvation given to us by his death on the Cross. His Salvation was present with Noah on the Ark during the flood, Salvation stayed Abrahams blade with Isaac, Salvation was present when the angel of death spared the first born of Israel, Salvation guided David’s hand against Goliath, Salvation was with Jonah in the depths of Sheol and Salvation was with Nineveh; Spared from the wrath of God. Salvation is in the promise of Emmanuel in Isaiah chapter 7. Salvation was fulfilled in Christ’s birth, ministry, death and resurrection. Christ finality of Salvation and Supremacy will be fulfilled when he comes again in glory.
Jesus shares God’s eternity, Jesus was eternal with God and Jesus is one with God. Jesus his Son, Jesus his Word. This is something we as a church often take for granted. I wonder if we in society have betrayed this and lost sight of it. We have lost sight of what the true foundation of the church is and why we as Christians are here on earth. It is from this example that I wonder if we as Christians and members of the Church in Wales have lost sight in Christ. Have we become too afraid to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord? Our church today is a far cry from the church that ignited itself with the fire of the Holy Spirit during Pentecost. We find our church divided, faced with criticism, apathy and the competition of rife secularism from the modern world.
Are we as God’s children going to cower in the corner afraid and ashamed to proclaim Gods message? Are we embarrassed to be open and discuss not only our short comings but also our beliefs in public without fear of causing offence? Now as God’s Children the physical body of the church we have two options. One, we dampen ourselves and we as a church continue to shrink into a puff of worldly IRRELEVANCE to be blown away by the wind of time. Or two we remind ourselves of our reading from Hebrews 2: 14-18
“14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like them,[a] fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”
As God’s Children and by the power of his body and blood we re-ignite ourselves in the Spirit of Pentecost rebuilding the scaffolding and reinforcing the foundations of the Church. Set securely in the knowledge that Christ the son of God is King and has authority over all things. Eternal Christ the King is the one true foundation of our Church. We the people of Gods kingdom here on earth are the scaffolding which holds the true Church up. With Christ as the unmoveable foundation in which the true Church is built ensures that the gates of Hell will never prevail against it.
With this knowledge secured we can go out into the world and proclaim God’s message. A message of good news. A revolutionary message, a message of love that transcends all love. A message proclaiming the True God, a message of Christ who was perfectly divine and truly Human, a message of our true saviour, undertaking the ultimate sacrifice for our redemption and forgiveness of our sins. A message telling all in the world about the truth of Christ: Christ who was, Christ who is and Christ who is to come. The Word made Flesh.