第四课 信条三 神的独生子
In this lesson we will review the good news that Jesus is the Son of God. We will also remember that the Son of God took to himself a true human nature. Jesus has a true human nature. Jesus is both God and human in one person.
The Son of God became our Brother in order to redeem us from sin, from death and from the power of the devil.
This lesson is an overview of the truths Christians confess in the 2nd article of the Apostles’ Creed.
Our opening Scripture: Galatians 4:4-5
1] Our churches also teach that the Word, that is, the Son of God, took upon himself human nature in the womb of the blessed virgin Mary. 2] Therefore, he has two natures, one divine and the other human. They are united in one person and cannot be separated. Thus there is only one Christ, true God and true man, who was born of the virgin Mary. He truly suffered, was crucified, died, and was buried. 3] He went through all this so that he could restore us to peace with the Father and be a sacrifice, not just for original sin, but also for all other sins.
4] The Word [Christ] also went down into hell, and truly rose again the third day. Afterward he went up into heaven so that he might sit on the right hand of the Father. There he rules forever and has power over all creatures, making holy all those that believe in him. 5] He does this by sending the Holy Spirit into their hearts to rule, comfort, and make them alive, as well as defending them against the devil and the power of sin.
6] This same Christ will openly come again to judge the living and the dead, etc., as the Apostles’ Creed says.
The Roman Catholic Church leaders responded to the Augsburg Confession in a document known as The Confutation. The Confutation rejects many of the truths the reformers confessed in the Augsburg Confession. But the Confutation agreed with Article 3 of the Augsburg Confession. The Confutation says this:
In the third article there is nothing to offend, since the entire Confession agrees with the Apostles’ Creed and the right rule of faith -viz. the Son of God became incarnate, assumed human nature into the unity of his person, was born of the Virgin Mary, truly suffered was crucified, died, descended to hell, rose again on the third day, ascended to heaven, and sat down at the right hand of the Father.
The Defense of the Augsburg Confession was written after the Confutation was published. The Defense of the Augsburg Confessions says:
52] The Third Article the adversaries approve, in which we confess that there are in Christ two natures, namely, a human nature, assumed by the Word into the unity of His person, and that the same Christ suffered and died to reconcile the Father to us; and that He was raised again to reign, and to justify and sanctify believers, etc., according to the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed.
All People Are Sinful
Only Jesus Can Save Sinners
Jesus Is the Son of God
Read John 14:6
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
耶稣说、 我就是道路、 真理、 生命． 若不借着我、 没有人能到父那里去。
Thought Question: How do these words, spoken by Jesus, reveal that Jesus is the LORD our God? (See also Exodus 3:6; 14.) Jesus identifies himself with the Great I AM.
（参出埃及记 3:6; 14）(耶稣说自己是自有永有的神。)
Jesus Has a True Human Nature
Hebrews 2:14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity.
希伯来书2:14, 儿女既同有血肉之体、 他也照样亲自成了血肉之体． 特要借着死、 败坏那掌死权的就是魔鬼．
Thought Question: At what moment did the eternal Son of God “share” in our humanity?
Colossians 2:9 In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.
歌罗西书2: 9 因为神属性一切的丰盛都有形有体的居住在基督里面，
Yes or No: Does Jesus possess our human nature today? (Explain your answer.) “lives” indicates the present reality of the two natures in Christ
Jesus Was Born of the Virgin Mary
Because this defies human understanding, many modern day Christian churches refuse to accept this teaching. Yet the Scriptures are very clear and explicit on this point. Just read the story of Jesus’ birth in Matthew’s or in Luke’s account.
Jesus, True God and True Man, Suffered and Died
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
THINK: Which nature (true God or true man) does John have in mind when he says, “the blood…purifies us from all sin”?
THINK: Which nature (true God or true man) does John have in mind when he says,
“his Son, purifies us from all sin”? Divine
Acts 20:28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
THINK: How does this sentence reveal that Jesus is both God and Man in one person? God (divine) purchased the church with his blood (human).
Read Psalm 49:7-9
THINK: A human being is not able to redeem (purchase) another human being - not even by dying for that person. Why was the bloody death of Jesus able to redeem all people? （The perfect life and the blood death of Jesus have the infinite value of God. That is God’s blood spilled for us. That is God’s perfect life lived under the law for us.）
Jesus Redeemed Sinners from Original Sin and from Actual Sins
John 1:29 “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
约1：29 次 日 ， 约 翰 看 见 耶 稣 来 到 他 那 里 ， 就 说 ： 「 看 哪 ， 神 的 羔 羊 ，除 去 （ 或 ： 背 负 ） 世 人 罪 孽 的 ！
1 John 2:1, 2 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
约 一 2：1, 2 我 小 子 们 哪 ， 我 将 这 些 话 写 给 你 们 ， 是 要 叫 你 们 不 犯 罪 。 若有 人 犯 罪 ， 在 父 那 里 我 们 有 一 位 中 保 ， 就 是 那 义 者 耶 稣 基 督 。2 他 为 我 们 的 罪 作 了 挽 回 祭 ， 不 是 单 为 我 们 的 罪 ， 也 是 为 普天 下 人 的罪。
THINK: Which is the greater problem: “sin” or “sins”? “sin” is the root; “sins” are the fruit. Unless “sin” is removed, sinning and “sins” will continue.
Jesus Descended into Hell
Only 2 New Testament passages mention this event:
Read and discuss:
1 Peter 3:18-19 彼得前书3:18-19
THINK: When did Jesus descend into hell?
THINK: What was the purpose of Jesus’ descent into hell?
THINK: Why does Jesus’ descent into hell comfort us who trust in Jesus to save us? Our trust in Jesus is trust in the only Person who was able to defeat Satan and death and therefore give us his victory. 1 Co 15:57; Revelation 17:14
Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God
Mark 16:19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.
可16：19主 耶 稣 和 他 们 说 完 了 话 ， 后 来 被 接 到 天 上 ， 坐 在 神 的 右 边 。
The “right hand of God” is not a place or location. The expression, “the right hand of God”, does not tell us where Jesus is located. God’s “right hand” refers to God’s almighty power to rule all things. God’s “right hand” is everywhere because God is everywhere.
Jeremiah 23:23-24 “Am I only a God nearby,” declares the LORD, “and not a God far away? 24 Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?” declares the LORD. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the LORD.
耶23:23-24 耶 和 华 说 ： “我 岂 为 近 处 的 神 呢 ？ 不 也 为 远 处 的 神 吗 ？” 24 耶 和 华 说 ： “人 岂 能 在 隐 密 处 藏 身 ， 使 我 看 不 见 他 呢 ？” 耶 和 华 说 ： “我 岂不 充 满 天 地 吗 ？”
Jesus is at the “right hand of God”. This truth tells us that Jesus shares all glory and power with God the heavenly Father. God’s glory includes the fact that God is everywhere at all times.
Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
罗8：34谁 能 定 他 们 的 罪 呢 ？ 有 基 督 耶 稣 已 经 死 了 ， 而 且 从 死 里 复 活 ， 现今 在 神 的 右 边 ， 也 替 我 们 祈 求 。
THINK: How does it make you feel that your Judge (Jesus) is also your mediator or intercessor?
We sing to Jesus in the te deum laudamus, EAGERLY inviting Jesus to come and be our judge! We do not fear that the judgment will go against us – because we are in Jesus who was judge free of guilt when he arose from the dead (Romans 4:25). Therefore we are at peace (Romans 5:1).
Other passages regarding the right hand of the Lord: Psalm 16:11; 63:8; 77:10; 80:15; 139:10.
READ: 2 Corinthians 5:10
How many people will have to appear before the judgment seat of Christ?
How does this make you feel that we all must appear before the judgment seat of Christ?
Will Jesus apply the Law of Moses to Christians? Why or why not?
READ: Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”
读经：赛43：25“惟 有 我 为 自 己 的 缘 故 涂 抹 你 的 过 犯 ； 我 也 不 记 念 你 的 罪 恶 。”
Review of Article 3 – About the Son of God
Prepare your answers so that you can help us to review Article 3 (About the Son of God) as we begin our next session.
The 4 Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) contain 89 chapters to cover the history of Jesus’ birth, ministry, death, resurrection and ascension.
a. How many chapters do Matthew, Mark, Luke and John use to record the events of the last week or our Lord’s earthly ministry? [Hint: this week begins when Jesus enters Jerusalem by riding on a donkey.]
·10 chapters 10章
·20 chapters 20章
·30 chapters 30章（正确）
·40 chapters 40章
b. What does this tell you about the week when Jesus suffered, died and rose from the dead? 33% of the Gospels are devoted to the events of a single week. That week changed the world.
The Apostles’ Creed was the earliest summary of the gospel. The Apostles’ Creed was used by the Western Church. The Apostles’ Creed appeared in Latin in about the year 250 A.D. New believers used the Apostles’ Creed to confess the Christian faith before they were baptized.
THE FIRST ARTICLE
I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth.
THE SECOND ARTICLE
I believe 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 is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
THE THIRD ARTICLE
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
a. How can you use the Apostle’s Creed to remind yourself of what you believe.
b. How will you use the Apostle’s Creed to tell people about the true God? Answers will vary
The ancient Christian church struggled against many false teachers. One of these false teachers was a man named Nestorius. Read the following and give your answer to the thought question at the end.
Nestorianism is the false teaching that Jesus is two distinct persons. The heresy is named after Nestorius. Nestorius was born in Syria and died in 451 AD. Nestorius advocated this false teaching. Nestorius was a monk who became the Patriarch of Constantinople. Nestorius rejected the Marian title “Mother of God.” Nestorius taught that Mary was the mother of Christ only in respect to His humanity. The council of Ephesus was convened in 431 AD to address the issue and pronounced that Jesus was one person in two distinct and inseparable natures: divine and human.
The Nestorian Stele, erected in Chang’an 781.大秦景教流行中国碑，于公元781年立于长安
Nestorius was deposed as Patriarch and sent to Antioch, then Arabia, and then Egypt. Nestorianism survived until around 1300.
The problem with Nestorianism is that it destroys the atonement. If Jesus is two persons, then which one died on the cross? If it was the “human person” – then the atonement is not of divine quality and thereby insufficient to cleanse us of our sins.
The Church of the East or Nestorian Church, had a presence in China during two periods: first from the 7th through the 10th century, and later during the Mongol Yuan Dynasty in the 13th and 14th centuries. Locally, the religion was known as Jingjiao (景教).
THOUGHT QUESTION: Many false doctrines have to do with the person and work of Christ. Why (do you think) does the devil work so hard to deceive people about who Jesus is?
True or False: The two natures of Christ (both divine and human) are like the gluing of two boards. These two natures of Christ are brought into very close contact yet are never united with each other.
Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them”
Matthew 28:20 “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
马太福音28:20 凡我所吩咐你们的， 都教训他们遵守， 我就常与你们同在， 直到世界的末了。
Choose the correct answer
In these (above) statements, Jesus promises to be with us…
a.____ …as God a._____…作为神
b.____ …as Man b.____ …作为人
c.____ …as both God and Man c.____…作为神和人
Reading Assignment for Next Session
Article 4: About Justification
1] Our churches also teach that humans cannot be justified before God by their own power, merits, or deeds. Rather, they are freely justified for Christ’s sake through faith. 2] By faith we mean this: that they believe that they are both received into God’s favor and that their sins are forgiven for Christ’s sake. For by his death, Christ has paid the debt for our sins. 3] Thus God views the person who has this faith to be righteous in his sight (Romans 3 and 4).
1] 我们教会也教导，人靠自己的力量、优点或善行都不能被称义，但却因着相信基督的缘故白白地得称为义。2] 因着相信的意思是：他们相信他们被神接纳而进入神的恩惠；而且他们的罪因为基督的缘故而得到赦免。因为通过他的死亡，基督已经还清了我们的罪债。3]因此，神看这个有如此信心的人在他的眼中为义人（罗3、4章）。
Optional Reading Assignment for Next Session
The Defense of the Augsburg Confession Article IV
The English translation can be found at