Our Creed (#10)

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The Gathering/ Pastor Barry Bruce     Series: This I Believe  Lesson 10                To hear this message and others go to THEGATHERINHG.COM     

Apostles Creed 1 Corinthians 15:3-5

The word Creed derives from the Latin word “Credo” which means “I believe”. There are creedal statements all throughout the New Testament (Matthew 28:19, 1 Corinthians 8: 6, 15: 3-4, Ephesians 4:4-6, Philippians 2: 6-11 ). 1 Corinthians 15:3-5 is considered by many scholars to be an extremely early creed of the Christian church written by the  Apostle Paul.

The Apostles Creed is the creed most widely used in Christian worship in the western world and the standard creed of our faith at The Gathering Church. It is called The Apostles Creed because its   content is in agreement with the teaching of the Apostles of Christ. It is related to a shorter Roman Creed (2nd century) which derived from earlier and simpler writings. The Apostle’s Creed was widely used by Charlemagne (the first Holy Roman Emperor) and was eventually accepted at Rome where the old Roman Creed and similar forms had survived for centuries. The Creed had three uses which continue to this day, first as a confession of faith for those about to be baptized, secondly as an instruction (catechism) for new Christians in the essentials of the faith, and thirdly, as a ‘rule of faith’ for believers in Christ. (Later, the Apostles’ Creed was lengthened and the language changed in the  Nicene Creed.  It includes more specific statements about the divinity of Christ and the Holy Spirit.  We fully accept the Nicene Creed but choose to use the more simplified Apostles Creed as a statement of our faith at The Gathering).

 Descended Into Hell? Ephesians 4:9-10, 1 Peter 3:18-19, Luke 16:19-31

The Apostles Creed, unlike the Roman Creed that preceded it, contains the phrase: “He descended into hell.”  This was later added by the framers of the Apostle’s Creed to distinguish the scriptures found in  Ephesians 4:9–10  and 1 Peter 3:18-19. The Apostles’ Creed calls it “hell,” but that word translated from the King James version is not what we understand “hell” to be today. It is the Greek word “hades” (the same as sheol in the Old Testament Hebrew). This is a general term for the unseen realm of the dead. Jesus went there “in the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:19) to proclaim freedom to those who had died in faith while leaving behind and proclaiming eventual judgment to those who remained in wait for the Great White Throne Judgment: Revelation 20:11-15) . We are given a short description of this place by Jesus in Luke 16:19-31 (The rich man & Lazarus).  “Hell”, as we know it, is the eternal abode of the Devil, his demons, and the damned. “Hell” will not be opened up until the Beast (antichrist) and false prophet are thrown there followed by the Devil, death, Hades (the abode of the lost) and anyone whose name was not found in the book of life (Revelation 20:10, 14-15).

 Holy “Catholic” Church? Ephesians 4:3-6, Colossians 1:17-18

Instead of “holy catholic church,” some Protestant churches use “the holy Christian church” to avoid misinterpreting the phrase as a reference to the Catholic Church. The original creed used “catholic” to define “universal” or “global” (the Latin uses the adjective catholicam). We at The Gathering Church use the phrase  “the Christian Church united” in order to reflect the original meaning.  There is but one church (body) under Christ and it is to be united under His headship (Ephesians 4:3-6, Colossians 1:17-18).

Read The Creed Revelation 22:1-5, 21

Article 1: We believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. We affirm that God exists, that he is a trinity (one God in three persons: Father, Son & Holy Spirit), and that he created the known universe. Genesis 1:1, John 1:1-3

Article 2: We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. The word Lord implies divinity,   because the Greek Kyrios and the Hebrew Adonai both mean “Lord” and are ascribed only to God. The name Jesus comes from the Hebrew Jeshua, meaning “God saves.” John 1:17-18

Article 3: He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. We believe in the human nature of Christ. He had a human mother, and by the power of the Holy Spirit was conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary. He’s therefore considered both God and man by Christians—fully divine and fully human-”God with us”. Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:18,22

Article 4: He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. Jesus suffered under Pontius Pilate (a Roman governor of Judea, appointed by Caesar) by Crucifixion, died  before witnesses and was buried in a tomb. This statement serves as a document of human history. Matthew 27:24-26, 50, 57-60

Article 5: He descended into hell. The third day he arose again from the dead.  I explained how Jesus “descended into hell (hades) and what He did there. This passage also affirms that on the third day Jesus came back from the dead of his own accord. He wasn’t just clinically dead for a few minutes; he was stone cold dead— then He arose in bodily form. 1 Corinthians 15:3-5

Article 6: He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. The Ascension reminds us that Christ is triumphant in mission and now sits in the place of glory and honor (right hand=honor). He is King eternal! Acts 1:9-11, Revelation 1:17-18, 19:11-16

Article 7: He will come again to judge the living and the dead. This article affirms the return of Christ and His righteous judgment of all mankind, living and dead.                      1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, Revelation 20:11-15 

Article 8: We believe in the Holy Spirit, The Holy Spirit of God takes residence in the believer at conversion.  He is our promised “Advocate.” He is the peace, the presence and the power of God in our lives. John 14:15-20, 25-27

Article 9: the Christian Church united, the Communion of Saints, I explained how the church is to be one and united under Christ.  Jesus commanded His Saints (the Church) to remember what He did with both His body and His blood to bring salvation and unity to the Church. The sacrament of communion reminds us of thisJohn 17:20-21 Luke 22:17-20, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

Article 10: the forgiveness of sins, Christ came to save the world from sin. John 3:16-17

Article 11: the resurrection of the body, Jesus is the resurrection and the Life.  We who believe in Him will be resurrected tooThe sacrament of baptism reminds us of this.  We symbolize both death to self and sin and resurrected life in baptism.  John 11:25-26, Romans 6:4-5

Article 12: And in life everlasting. Amen   Our lives as believers in Christ shall never end…we will transition at death into glorified bodies to live life everlasting with our Lord and Savior. This is what we, the Saints of God—the Church believe and to this we sing the last words of our Bible — our constitution together in unity  “Amen” (“So be it!”)  Revelation 22:1-5,21

 

 

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