The Creeds and Why: Hope Always Hope
I did not grow up with creeds but when I started seminary and started the process of ordination I fell in love with and said them every Sunday. What they did for me was help put words to what I grew up believing. They helped me cement the dogma of the relationship I have with my God, something no one can take from me. Something I have never given away, and never will. What it also did was give me Dogma Dogma is the core of a what to believe as a follower of Christ. The rest is just theology, Not something to divide over but to have great discussion about and to enlighten our lives as we live out following Jesus/Christ. The one we said the most in the Presbyterian Church was: Apostles' Creed I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the quick and the dead I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
You probably can recite that with me if you grew up saying it enough. This creed is called the Apostles' Creed not because it was produced by the apostles themselves but because it contains a brief summary of their teachings. It sets forth their doctrine "in sublime simplicity in unsurpassable brevity, in beautiful order, and with liturgical solemnity." In its present form it is dated no later than the fourth century More than any other Christian creed, it may justly be called an ecumenical symbol of faith.
What what about the Nicene Creed? The Nicene Creed, also called the Nicaeno Constantinopolitan Creed, is a statement of the orthodox faith of the early Christian church in opposition to certain heresies, especially Arianism. These heresies, which disturbed the church during the fourth century, concerned the doctrine of the trinity and of the person of Christ. Both the Greek (Eastern) and the Latin (Western) church held this creed in honor, though with one important difference: the Western church insisted on the inclusion of the phrase "and the Son". In its present form this creed goes back partially to the Council of Nicea (A.D. 325) with additions by the Council of Constantinople (A.D. 381). It was accepted in its present form at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, but the "filioque" or "and the Son" phrase was not added until 589.
Nicene Creed It first speaks of Father God. We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.
Creator God. Father God was not just our creator but we have a relationship with because He is our Father. Even if we can not see him He shows us He is there in creation and in our lives and relationships with Him.
Then it speaks of Jesus God the Christ the Son. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, begotten from the Father before all ages, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made; of the same essence as the Father _Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary, and was made human. He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered and was buried. The third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead. His kingdom will never end.
Jesus is our hope. We loose Jesus and the understanding of who he is and what he did and what he stands for and we have no hope. We let others take our focus off of Jesus and we loose our hope. We let others use this for the message of Jesus for their glory and we loose our hope. Then we see Spirit God: And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life. He proceeds from the Father and the Son, and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified. He spoke through the prophets.
Spirit God is our power. Spirit God is what we work and love through. Spirit God is what was sent to us to stand up and love fiercely. To stand up and see people where they are and love them as we show them Hope/Jesus, and sometimes that means standing with them in their pain.
Then it speaks of The Church/The Body of Christ: We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church. We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look forward to the resurrection of the dead, and to life in the world to come. Amen. (Mot it be)
For so long because of the prejudice that was placed in my head as a child I believed Catholics were not followers of Christ, and I admit it was hard for me to even say the word in a statement of faith for myself. I sense have seen that that was so wrong on so many levels and understanding that it is another part of the Body of Christ helped me accept truth. This may be hard for some of you so lets take a look at what 2 words mean in this context.
• The Catholic Church: a visible society of baptized Christ flowers professing the same faith under the authority of the invisible head (Christ/Jesus).
● The term "Apostolic" represents the denomination's belief that church government is to be exercised through the New Testament ministry of apostles (working in conjunction with New Testament prophets) in order to experience the same kind of leadership as that exercised by the original apostles who followed Christ.
These creeds are not what create our faith but are what remind us of who we are and why we are who we are. They remind us that we are followers of Christ/Jesus. That Father God is there leading us and guiding us. When we need to stand and say enough is enough to the world around us we can hold true to the Hope that is given to us and walk in power as we are attacked from every side. I plan on doing this for the rest of my life as a follower of Christ Jesus and I hope that you will stand and join me in that Hope.