Apostle’s Creed: Article 2

Opening Prayer

Almighty God, by our baptism into the death and resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ, you turn us from the old life of sin. Grant that we who are reborn to new life in him may live in righteousness and holiness all our days, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Discovering the Apostle’s Creed

Scripture and the Second Article of the Apostle’s Creed

I believe 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.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

The second article of the Apostle’s Creed focuses the second person of the Trinity, Jesus, and on the major elements of Jesus’ story – his birth, death and resurrection.  Each of these beliefs about Jesus is rooted in scripture.

In Matthew 3:17 a voice from heaven proclaims “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” As Christians we believe that Jesus is God’s son.

In Luke 1:26-35, we hear the story of how the angel Gabriel came to a virgin named Mary and announced that the Holy Spirit would come upon her and she would give birth to the Son of God.

In Luke 23:13-24, Jesus has been arrested and is before Pilate who initially orders him to be flogged and released, but eventually gives in to the will of the crowds who want Jesus crucified.

There is some debate about whether or not Jesus descended into hell, but this claim in the Apostle’s Creed is most often based on interpretations of 1 Peter 4:61 Peter 3:18-20 and Ephesians 4:8-10.

In Matthew 28:1-10, we hear the story of Jesus’ resurrection on the third day and in Acts 1:8-11, we hear the story of Jesus’ ascension into heaven at the end of his time with the disciples following the resurrection.

So What Does this Mean?

From Luther’s Small Catechism:

The Second Article: On Redemption

I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father in eternity, and also a true human being, born of the virgin Mary, is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned human being. He has purchased and freed me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil, not with gold or silver but with his holy, precious blood and with his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I may belong to him, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in eternal righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as he is risen from the dead and lives and rules eternally. This is most certainly true. 

Questions and Discussion

 Answer the following questions in the comment section below.

  1. Why do you think the second article of the Apostle’s Creed focuses on both the details of Jesus’ humanity and the his divinity?
  2. Jesus comes into the world to live, to teach, to die and to rise to save us.  What part of Jesus’ ministry do you find the most interesting and why?

Closing Prayer

Direct us, Lord God, in all that we do and give us your continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in you, we may glorify your holy name; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

“Luther’s Small Catechism with Evangelical Lutheran Worship Texts.” Copyright © 2000, 2006 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Prayers are adapted from “ELW -Additional Prayers” Copyright © 2015 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #25165.