Z.Ursinus on Jesus’ Birth of the Virgin Mary

HC-Q&A 1-GermanToday marks the end of our year-long, special Thursday posts on the Heidelberg Catechism, as we noted its 450th birthday (1563-2013). We are concluding with the commentary of one of the chief writers, Zacharias Ursinus, on the fourteenth Lord’s Day of the HC. Here he is explaining the HC’s treatment of the statement in the Apostles’ Creed, “He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary.”

Last week we focused on the first part of that confession; today we focus on the second part, that Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary. May this be a fitting conclusion to our study of the beloved “HC” this year.

He was born of the Virgin Mary. It behooved the Messiah to be born of the Virgin according to the predictions of the prophets, that he might be a High Priest without sin, and the type or figure of our spiritual regeneration, which is not of the will of flesh, but of God. Hence it is added in the Creed, that Christ was born of the Virgin Mary :

1.   That the truth of the human nature assumed by the Son of God might thus be signified, that is to say, that Christ was conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, and was born a true man from the substance of Mary his mother; or, the flesh of Christ, although miraculously conceived, was nevertheless taken, and born of the Virgin.

2.   That we may know that Christ has descended from the fathers from whom Mary also was, that is to say, that he was the true seed of Abraham, being born from his seed, and that he was the Son of David, being born from the daughter of David, according to the prophecies and promises.

3.   That we may know that the Scriptures are fulfilled, which declared, “Behold a Virgin shall conceive and bear a son.” “The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent s head.” (Is. 7:14Gen. 3:15.) From this fulfillment of prophecy, by which it was foretold that Christ should be born of a Virgin of the family of David, and that by a miraculous conception, which the prophets did in a manner foretell, it is most clearly manifest that this man Jesus, born of the Virgin, is the promised Messiah, or the Christ, the redeemer of the human race.

4.   That we may know that Christ was sanctified in the womb of the Virgin, by the power of the Holy Ghost, and is, therefore, pure and without sin.

5.   That we may know that there is an analogy between the nativity of Christ, and the regeneration of the faithful; for the birth of Christ of the Virgin is a sign of our spiritual regeneration, which is not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Best Books of 2013 | Publishers Weekly

Best Books of 2013 | Publishers Weekly.

AmsterdamLiberalCity-ShortoPublishers Weekly has also published its 2013 “best book” lists from all genres of literature, including nonfiction, religion, and children’s lit (See the link  above).

The lists contain a wide variety of books and represent a secular perspective, so you need to exercise discretion. But, once again, these lists are a window into our modern culture. And you may even find some interesting titles that you may want to add to your reading list for 2014.

As you will see from the image to the left, such an interesting book might include this new one on an aspect of Dutch culture and life – the story of Amsterdam. Yes, sad and shameful to say, the history of the Dutch includes much decadence, both in the church and in its culture. But Shorto is a good author, having also written a lively history of the Dutch in New York (New Amsterdam, as it was first called).