The Nicene Creed
And Was Made Man
And was Incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary and was made man
God became man. We spoke of this yesterday in regards to the line, “He came down from heaven.” With today’s part of the Creed, we read of the specifics. And with these specifics, we read of the work of our Triune God and a woman named, Mary.
Whenever our God works in the world (which is all the time), all three persons of the Holy Trinity are involved. The specific work will highlight one of the persons in particular, but all three will be involved in the work. This is what we see here. Now He is the Father who sends the Son, the Son refering to this over and again (John 5:23-38; 6:29-57; 7:16-33; 8:42; 9:4; 10:36; 11:42; 12:44-49; 13:20; 16:5; 17:3-25). Indeed, as the Fount of the Trinity, the Father’s primary work in regards to the other two is to ordain the work to be done and send the Son and Spirit to accomplish that work—which, of course, is never done without Him. So the Father sends the Son.
But the way the Son must come is as mysterious as anything else in the Christian faith: He must come a man as every man must come; that is, he must be born of woman. If he will be fully man, he MUST come this way. On the other hand, he must be different in one essential regard; that is, he must come from and remain God. If he will be fully God, he MUST come this way (besides, not even God can stop being God). All of this means that his birth will be a different kind of birth—a virgin birth.
This mystery is described in the most beautiful fashion by Luke’s record of the angel’s words to Mary: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore, the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God” (1:35). The Book of Hebrews agrees advancing on Psalm 40:6: “A body you have prepared for me” (10:5). So the Holy Spirit prepared the body (and humanity) of our Lord from the Virgin’s womb. And so the Son of God becomes the Son of Man that sons of men might become sons of God. The Father did not have to choose to send His Son; but when He made the choice to send (I speak in human terms as if God must think before He acts; i.e., His thoughts, words, and deeds are one), this is the way the Son had to come if he would redeem His people—the Second Adam coming to reverse the work of the first—and become man. And herein is love.