While the first article of the Apostles’ Creed can be affirmed by adherents of other Abrahamic religions, it is the second article which sets Christianity apart, confessing the divine Sonship and Lordship of Jesus Christ. In this comment from his Brief Confession on the Incarnation, the Dutch Radical leader Menno Simons (c. 1496-1561) draws on John 3:16 to unpack the significance and the beauty of this defining truth, reflecting on the depth of God’s love, which allowed the divine Son to be lowered from eternal majesty to take on human flesh, so that the consequences of sin could be satisfied and the relationship between humanity and God restored.
For how could God show greater fatherly love to us than so to humble his eternal Wisdom and Truth, his pure, powerful Word, his blessed Son, by whom he created all things; who was like him in form, the image of his blessed being, who diminished himself and became less than the angels, a poor, despised, suffering mortal man or servant, who alone had to bear the trouble, labor, sin, transgression, curse and death of the whole world. . . . And thus the innocent, the true, the wise, the righteous, the obedient and the pure Christ Jesus had to expunge, blot out and satisfy the guilt, falsehood, folly, unrighteousness, disobedience and pollution of all humankind. Dearest people, have you ever heard of greater love?
John 1-12, ed. Craig S. Farmer, Reformation Commentary on Scripture, NT vol. 4, p. 105.
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