And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, 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 from the dead; he ascneded into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty, from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
Here we learn to know the second person of the Trinity, and we perceive what we derive from God besides the temporal blessings mentioned above; namely, how he has poured himself out wholly and entirely, and reserved nothing. Now this article is very full and comprehensive; but in order that we may discuss it also in a brief and simple manner, we shall take up before us a single word, and comprise in it the whole sum and substance of the article, namely, as we have stated, that we may learn how we are redeemed; and we should rely on these words: In Jesus Christ our Lord.
Now, when it is asked, What do you believe in the second article, concerning Jesus Christ? reply briefly: I believe that Jesus Christ, the true Son of God, became my Lord. What is meant, then, by becoming Lord? It is this, that he has redeemed me from sin, from Satan, from death, and from all misfortune. For before this I had no Lord, nor King; but I was enfettered by the power of Satan, condemned to death, and entangled in sin and blindness.
For when we were first created, and when we had received inestimable blessings from God the Father, the devil came, envious of our felicity, and drew us, by his craft, into disobedience, sin, and every kind of misfortune, so that we lay under the wrath and displeasure of God, consigned to eternal punishment, as we deserved and merited. Here there was neither counsel, nor help, nor consolation, until this only and eternal Son of God, moved by the impulses of fathomless goodness, commiserated us in our deplorable and miserable condition, and descended from heaven to help us. Thus, then, the powers of those tyrants and oppressors are put to flight and suppressed, and Jesus Christ has succeeded in their stead– the Lord of life, of righteousness, of every good, and of salvation; has resuced us poor lost creatuers out of the jaws of hell, gained and liberated us, restored us into the favor and grace of the Father, and received us as his own property, into his care and protection, that he may direct us through his righteousness, wisdom, power, life, and salvation.
Therefore the sum of this article is, that the word Lord signifies, in its most simple meaning, as much as Redeemer, that is, the one who has brought us from Satan to God– from death to life– from sin to righteousness, and thus preserves us. The parts, however, which succeed each other in this article, chiefly serve to illustrate and explain this redemption– how and through what means it came to pass; that is, how dear and precious a price it cost Christ, what he bestowed upon it, what he hazarded to gain us and to bring us into his kingdom; namely, he became man, was begotten by the Holy Ghost, and born of the Virgin Mary, free from all sins, in order that he might be the lord of sin; morever, he suffered, died, and was buried, that he might make expiation for me, and make compensation for my transgressions, not with gold or silver, but with his own precious blood. And all this he did, that he might be my Lord; he performed nothing for himself, nor had he need of any thing. Afterwards, he arose from the dead, and overcame death; and finally, he ascended to heaven, and received dominion at the right hand of the Father, that the devil and all powers might be subject to him, and lie beneath his feet, until he, ultimately on the last day, shall separate and remove us from this wicked world, from Satan, death, and sin.
But to treat each of these particulars separately, does not comport with a brief lecture for children; it rather belongs to the more lengthy sermons throughout the year, especially at the times set apart for the purpose of treating each article at proper length, concerning the nativity, passion, resurrection, and ascension of Christ. Morever, the entire Gospel which we preach, depends also on this, that we properly embrace this article, since our whole redemption and salvation are based upon it, and since it is so abundant and copious, that we always have enough to learn in it.