The Second Article
"And in Jesus Christ, God's 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 on the right hand of the Father; and he will come to judge the living and the dead."
"And a voice from the heavens said, 'This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”
~ Matthew 3:17
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 creature, secured and delivered me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood, and with his innocent sufferings and death; in order that I might be his, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence and blessedness: even as he is risen from the dead, and lives and reigns to all eternity. This is most certainly true. ~ Martin Luther
Most Christians would say that our faith is centered on our understanding of the person and the work of Jesus. We know Jesus the person as Jesus of Nazareth, born in Bethlehem to Mary and Joseph.
We know Jesus the Christ as Son of God.
The second article of the Creed gives us a very short biography of who Jesus Christ is. Later, the Nicene Creed would give a more complete definition: "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, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary and became truly human. 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."
Luther's explanation fits more I think with the Nicene Creed. It's here that we are finally greeted with the idea that Jesus is both true God and true man.
Sometimes it's easier to come to terms with Jesus of Nazareth. We can identify with this man who taught and loved and then died so that we might truly live.
But the Creeds remind us that the person Jesus - the one who lived, died, rose, and ascended - is also the Christ, of one being with the Father - the Creator. That this Christ is timeless, limitless, and yet still one who has lived and loved.
And one whose work is still unfolding.
A Prayer by Martin Luther: Dearest God and Lord, strengthen and uphold us in your pure, precious Word through Jesus Christ our Lord, and help us to show and live our thanks with our fruits of faith to your praise and thanks forever. Amen.