The Fetus and the Incarnation: Martin Chemnitz

English: Icon of Virgin Mary (Bogorodica) rece...

English: Icon of Virgin Mary (Bogorodica) receiving the good news (Blagovestie) from Archangel Gabriel that she will gave birth to Jesus, son of God (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The horrors committed by Kermit Gosnell have been largely ignored by mainstream media, but his killings of children are only a small portion of the unborn sacrificed in this country every day. Millions of children are murdered because their parents are selfish and the child is inconvenient.

In the middle of this terrible holocaust Christ sanctifies conception, gestation, the womb, and birth. Human life and childhood is inconvenient: Yet the Son of God endured it for us. Martin Chemnitz wrote:

The angel expressly said that by this conception in and of Mary there should be born the Son of God (Luke 1:35). And He whom Mary conceived is called Imannuel (Matt. 1:23). Therefore, this individual unit of human nature, which by the operation of the Spirit in the conception was separated from the person of the Virgin Mary, at no time and at no moment of time existed or subsisted of and in itself before or outside the hypostatic union with the Logos.” …
Damascenus recorded Athanasius’ statement “As soon as it was flesh it was the flesh of the Logos of God; as soon as it was flesh it was animated with a rational soul; in the very first instant of its existence it was united with the person of the Logos.”(p.101)

This teaching is not idle sophistry, for it is an article of faith that Mary did not beget a man in whom God dwelt in the way that Elizabeth bore John the Baptist, in whom the Spirit of God dwelt. Rather she bore the only Son of God by receiving His flesh, as Augustine says, “He was conceived and born of the Virgin  Mary for whom this reason and in this sense is correctly called the God-bearer (θεοτοκος).” If reverently considered, this act produces the most comforting thoughts. For the Son of God embraced the human race with such great love that He did not shrink from descending to such a humble state that He not only did not assume a man who was already formed and born, but rather he united to Himself personally an individual human body in the very moment of its conception and made it His own. Thus the Son of God in assuming His own flesh, but without sin, also endured those things which commonly befall man in conception, pregnancy, and birth (as the fathers of the Council of Ephesus said). so that from His very beginning, rise, and as it were, root, He might first restore in Himself our depraved nature and so cleanse and sanctify our contaminated conception and birth that we might know that Christ’s salvation applies even to man’s fetus in conception, gestation, and birth. (p. 102)

Martin Chemnitz, The Two Natures in Christ, from Chapter 6 “Teaching the Doctrine of the Hypostatic Union”

About Pastor Joseph Abrahamson

Pastor Joseph Abrahamson serves Faith Ev. Lutheran Church, Clara City, Minnesota (E.L.S.). He and his wife, Mary, have 10 children. Pastor Abrahamson is a graduate of Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary, and of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Department of Hebrew and Semitic Studies. He has served on the Faculty/Staff at Bethany Lutheran College teaching Religion, Linguistics, Archaeology, and Self-Defense; and was on Staff at the University of Wisconsin as an Information Processing Consultant (Computer Geek) while doing graduate work in Semitics. Pastor Abrahamson served Clearwater Lutheran Parish (ELS) from 2001 to April 2015.

Comments

The Fetus and the Incarnation: Martin Chemnitz — 2 Comments

  1. Dear Pastor Abrahamson,

    Thank you very much for this excellent quote!

    It is particularly useful for pastors who counsel mothers who have miscarried. Since many of those women will never talk to their pastor about their loss through miscarriage, it is important that pastors make this part of their public teaching in some way. If nothing else, we should remember this sentence from Chemnitz:

    The Son of God in assuming His own flesh, . . . so that from His very beginning, rise, and as it were, root, He might first restore in Himself our depraved nature and so cleanse and sanctify our contaminated conception and birth that we might know that Christ’s salvation applies even to man’s fetus in conception, gestation, and birth. (p. 102)

    The statement should also prove to be great consolation for those who have aborted their babies and are sorrowful and repentant for that decision.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

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