The Apostles’ Creed

Written by  Sunday, 31 January 2016 06:07

Our doctrinal confessions must give us life or they are dead.

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, 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, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from whence he shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in The Holy Ghost; the holy universal church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen

The Apostles’ Creed: “I Believe.”

I believe not only mental assent but also a heartfelt conviction of love to obey our Savior Jesus Christ. Believe is an interesting word. The evolution of this word originated from a Swedish word Beleafen. The definition of Beleafen is, “To live in Ordinance with.” Divine Grace in the believers’ life is the enablement to obey our Savior teachings. Divine Grace is not a wink from God to excuse sin, but the enablement of overcoming sin. Sin is darkness and righteousness of Christ is light; sin no longer has dominion over you. (John14:15)Jesus said, “ If you love Me, keep My commandments.” It is for the Christian, a way of life of renewing your mind being conformed to the likeness of Christ. It is to know Him from the forgiveness of your sins – the new birth!

R.C. Sproul quoted, “Christians need creedal statements that summarize the connection between thinking and acting faith.” Therefore, we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. (Romans 3:28) Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Do we then Make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.

The Apostles’ Creed: “in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and Earth.”

I Believe [in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth…}  (Romans 27:28) So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god. ’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God, who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since He gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said  “‘For we are indeed his offspring. ’

Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all  by raising him from the dead.”

In other words, (Galatians 3:24-29) He is the Father of all creation, which, all receive their sustenance to live and have the ability to perceive the goodness of God through revelation, that in hopes, we would turn from being children of wrath to children of Abraham. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, so that faith might justify us. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.

The Apostles’ Creed: “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, dead, and buried; he descended into hell.”

The name of Jesus Christ has many important implications for the believer. A Christian believes not only in Theism, but in the Trinity as well. Theism understands that God is involved in His creation, and the Trinity elaborates who’s involved, that is, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. God is revealed in nature, in history, in the prophets, the law, and the apostles. However, Jesus Christ the incarnate is an absolute revelation of God. Jesus was born in Nazareth as Jesus bar Joseph by our blessed mother Mary and leaves no doubt of His historical existence. The controversy for some skeptics is over His Divinity.

In the Greek, Christos means, “anointed one” translated from the Old Testament Messiah. So, his name is Jesus the Messiah. Of course, Jesus was not short of cynics of His divinity. (2 Pet. 1:16) We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

To have 500 witnesses in a court of law is compelling, to say the least. (1 John 1:1– 3)That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched— this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testified to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that

You also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ

As Priest, Jesus represents the people before God. Not only does he offer the supreme sacrifice, He is the ultimate sacrifice. He is our forever priest, the only one we require. Thus as Prophet, Priest, and King, Jesus fulfills the tripartite dimensions of the Old Testament messianic expectancy. The one who is Prophet, Priest, and King is also the Son of Man, the Suffering Servant, and the Son of David. Jesus as Prophet is the written word, the living logos that changes our lives. Jesus as Priest removes our sin by His death, burial and resurrection as the perfect lamb. Jesus as King we submit and give tribute to Him with our lives.

One of the most amazing aspects of the work of Jesus is that he brings together in one person and one ministry all the many dimensions of Old Testament messianic. In confessing Christ as Lord, the Apostles’ Creed echoes the primary confession of faith of the apostolic church. The first creed was the simple statement, “Jesus is Lord.” The title Lord is the most exalted title given to Jesus. In the culture contemporary with the New Testament, the title kyrios (“ lord”) had various usages thousands of years before. Since the ascension of our Lord, artist through the centuries have tried to capture the essences of faith in Christ in their craft. 

 Michael Angelo craved out of Carrara Marble in 1499 depicting Mary holding the body of Jesus in her arms is his most famous work. This piece made him famous at the age of 24. Michael would shout and lash out at his sculptures as if he was trying to make them appear in the marble to bring it to life.

One day after its completion he was standing with other strangers as he overheard one ask who created this beautiful statue and another individual retorted, “Gobbo of Milam.” Michael stood by silently and later that night returned with light and chiseled his name across Mary’s chest. Later Michael Angelo regretted this envious act and never signed another piece of his work.

I wear a Crucifix around my neck as a reminder He had to die in order for me to live. I can take no credit for this gift of resurrected life that has been chiseling away at my stony heart over these years as His words echo in my spirit to come alive and walk in the Holy Spirit. Hell had no hold on Him, and neither does hell have dominion over me for I have been resurrected with Him. It is not I that live, but He that lives in me.

I am crucified with Christ: (Galatians 2:20) nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. The comfort of Israel involves not a denial of suffering, but victory over it.

The Apostles’ Creed: “the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from whence he shall come to judge the living and the dead.”

The Lordship began when Jesus sat down at the right hand of the Father. You cannot remove the lordship of Christ from the gospel message without undermining faith at its core. That is precisely what is happening in the church today.

 Acts 2:27 Christ will return and judge the living and the dead. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him, He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

In the Didache book, Didachē means "Teaching of the Twelve Apostle’s" is a brief early Christian treatise covering doctrines of the faith, dated by most scholars to the mid to late first century. The return of Christ to judge the living and the dead is in the Didache. And then shall appear the signs of the truth; first the sign of the appearance in heaven, then the sign of the sound of the trumpet; and thirdly, the resurrection of the dead— not of all, but as it has been said, The Lord shall come and all his saints with him; then shall the world behold the Lord coming on the clouds of heaven. 1 Thessalonians: 4:17Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

The Apostles’ Creed: “the Holy Ghost; the holy universal church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.”

 The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is a Divine person. The Holy Spirit is here today on behalf of the Kingdom of God to mature the Christian. Acts 1:2Until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, 3 to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. Acts 19:2…he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”

Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

 His church is universal. It is neither Roman Catholic nor Protestant or any other denominational claim as the true church. It is made up of those that have faith in Christ from all Christian denominations. (Matthew  12:20) He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad. But Jesus said, “ Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. For he who is not against us is on our side. (Mark 9:39) For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward. Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Revelation 14:6 Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people— 7 saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”

The communion of saints is a command to love one another.  The Sacrament of Holy Communion is a promise of fellowship and unity that connects us with Him and to one another through faith. He is in us, and we are in Him. (Luke 22:19) And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “ This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me. ”Likewise, He also took the cup after supper, saying, “ This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.

Jesus said to, "Do this in Remembrance of Me." As we note, there are three parts to the Hebrew meaning of the word, "Remembrance."

I. A recollection of a historical past based on redemptive facts. Not on mythic cycles of gods in primeval history. Redemptive history is linked to real time and space.

II. To point out its meaning and significance for the present moment.

III. To points out our human need for divine activity. Redemptive history is eternal; as such, we are invited to participate in it now.

Divine remembering does not mean that God has forgotten, but to bring about the significance of the past deliverance to be contemporary for our present need.

Remembrance invites us to be present participants to see salvation as "our own story." It is not us being transported to the past of redemptive history, but rather it being transported to us in our time.

'Todah' in the Hebrew Bible

There are 32 instances of the word, 'Todah' (meaning: Thanksgiving offering) in the Hebrew Bible and it is divided into three categories:

I    Thankful praise toward God

II    Singers who rendered worship in church

A Thanksgiving of deliverance from an enemy included a sacrifice with family and friends of joyful praise on reason of the deliverance.

The forgiveness of sins through the atonement of Christ gives us the ability to be reconciled to Him.

1 Peter 1:22Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart…

We believe in the forgiveness of sins for the world through Christ. Revelations 1:5 “… and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood…”

The distinctive component of the Christian message is the power of Jesus Christ to forgive and conquer our sin. Of all the truths of the gospel, none is more beautiful than the news that the grip of sin has been broken. This truth is the heart of the Christian lesson. No Christian communion can exclude it from the gospel according to Jesus.

John 14:6 We believe in the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.” “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me”  And this stunning, inescapable affirmation of deity: John 5:58“Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”

Hebrews 6:2 “…of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.” 1 John 5:11And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.

Conclusion

The rationalist will hold their peace when Christ is presented as weak or humiliated, but described Him as overcoming the grave, and the herd becomes warlike against Christ resurrection. The laws of nature deny that a resurrection from the dead can occur. Unfortunately, modern science has crept into the pulpits of America, and many are questioning the resurrection. Without Christ rising from the dead we have no eternal message for humanity.

(Philippians 3:9) …that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? . (1 Corinthians 15:12) But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Christians are sincere in their faith toward Him. Christians are bond-slaves to Christ.

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Published in Medicine for the Soul