St. Mary's Anglican Catholic Church

Diocese of the Midwest

Catechist. Rehearse the Articles of thy Belief.
 
Answer. I believe in… Jesus Christ… Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost….


We have examined the truth that Jesus Christ is the Word of God, the only Son of the Father, and, therefore, our Lord. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.(St John 1:1-2) The eternal Son of God is pure Spirit, like His Father. (St John 4:24) Yet, as St John tells us, the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us. (St John 1:14) Thus God the Son is said to have become incarnate, which is to say, He was “made flesh,” or “embodied” as a man. The Creeds also affirm that that the Son of God came into the world in a miraculous way through the two-fold miracle of the Virgin Birth; for Jesus Christ was “conceived of the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary;” and that He departed this world through another two-fold miracle, His Resurrection & Ascension.

The Gospels of Matthew & Luke describe the first two-fold miracle in historical terms. When the Archangel Gabriel announced to the Virgin Mary that she would conceive and bear a son to be named Jesus, who would be known as the Son of the Highest, she was puzzled; and she asked: How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? The Angel explained: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. (St Luke 1:32-35) When Mary’s espoused husband Joseph learned that his wife was with child before they had consummated their union, naturally he felt he had been betrayed. But Gabriel appeared to Joseph in a dream to assure him of his wife’s virtue and of the manner of her conceiving; saying: fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. (St Matthew 1:20) St Matthew tells us that the miracle announced to Mary & Joseph was the fulfillment of the words of the Prophet Isaiah: Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.(Isaiah 7:14; St Matthew 1:23)As for any doubts Mary, Joseph, or anyone else might have regarding the miraculous conception of the child Jesus, the Archangel reminded them, in the light of God’s dealings with His people and with the world in general in the past, that with God nothing shall be impossible. (St Luke 1:37; see Genesis 18:14) Thus, through His miraculous conception, the Son of God became the son of man. Yet, He remained fully God: For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. (Colossians 1:19) The Incarnation took place “not by conversion of Godhead into flesh, but by taking Manhood into God.” (Athanasian Creed, 35) 

The Incarnation marks a new beginning, a New Creation. The Book of Genesis describes the Holy Spirit’s role in Creation this way: the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:2) In a similar way, at the Incarnation, the Holy Ghost overshadowed the Virgin Mary and conceived a New Man. The Lord fashioned the first man Adam of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7) This is fitting, for as St John proclaimed of Jesus Christ, the Word Made flesh: All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (St John 1:3) And as St Paul tells us: The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. (1 Corinthians 15:45; see Genesis 2:7) Through the first Adam, sin & death came into the world. Though Christ was fully man, because he was conceived of by the Spirit of God, and not a fallen human father, in His fully human nature He was without sin, whether original or actual. (2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; 1 St Peter 2:22; 1 St John 3:5) The Son of God, without ceasing to be fully God, took our human nature, body & soul, into Himself; and He became the Second Adam, the foundation of a New Creation. (See Romans 5:12-21; Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; 1 St Peter 3:13) And so in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:22)