Posts Tagged 'Nicene Creed'

Walking in Two Worlds: God in Three Persons

Walking in Two Worlds: God in Three Persons Sermon Audio Here

Job 38:1-7; Luke 9:18-26

In the early days of the church, there wasn’t a Sunday set aside for understanding the Trinity. Then along comes a heresy that tried to sell the idea that Jesus was NOT the Son of God, but a created being. This caused the early church leaders to write worship services that specifically taught about the nature of Jesus and how He related to God the Father, and the Holy Spirit.

Traditionally, Congregationalism has not been very creedal in expression. Since we recognize Jesus as the Lord of each individual congregation, we tend not to adhere to a specific set of doctrines as a larger group. However, we *do* tend to fit within the larger frame of Ancient Christianity, and there is a simple expression of broad faith that was used very early on: the Nicene Creed. It’s an explanation of Christian faith that explicitly describes each person of the Trinity. The first portion deals with God the Father:

We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

There are three central concepts that are taught in the Nicene Creed:

Authority Comes From the Father

I don’t know about you, but I find it very comforting that God the Father is credited first with redeeming our lives. It is the Father who decided to send the Son as the fulfillment of the plan of redemption for all humanity. This leads us to the portion of the Nicene Creed that deals with the Second Person of the Trinity:

We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man; he was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried, and the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; from thence he shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

Redemption Comes Through Jesus the Son
Charles Wesley reaffirmed this in his hymn, “You Servants of God, Your Master Proclaim”.

And just so you don’t think that I only listen to hymns, I also see that the Christian Punk band Undercover wrote on a similar theme on their second album called “God Rules”, named after their song “God Rules”. The lyrics leave little to the imagination:

There is a famous sermon called “That’s My King”, preached by Dr. Shadrach Meshach Lockridge. The most well-known portion of this sermon is only 6 mintues long, and it’s one of the most powerful descriptions of Jesus that I’ve ever heard. It directly deals with how Jesus is viewed:

That’s a great question that Pastor Lockridge asks: do you know Him? Jesus asked it of His disciples in Luke, and He’s asking it of us today. Do you know Him? And how is it that we are even ABLE to come to know Him? Well, that leads us to the resurrecting work of the Third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

Wisdom Comes From The Spirit

Closing Prayer: “What Shall I Say to You, My God?” —A prayer by the theologian Karl Rahner (1904-84)

What can I say to you, my God? Shall I collect together all the words that praise your holy Name?
Shall I give you all the names of this world—you, the Unnameable? Shall I call you “God of my life,
meaning of my existence, hallowing of my acts,
my journey’s end, bitterness of my bitter hours,
home of my loneliness, you my most treasured happiness”?
Shall I say: Creator, Sustainer, Pardoner,
Near One, Distant One, Incomprehensible One,
God both of flowers and stars,
God of the gentle wind and of terrible battles,
Wisdom, Power, Loyalty, and Truthfulness,
Eternity and Infinity, you the All-merciful,
you are the Just One, you Love itself?

No matter how we best understand you, God of All, move in us so that Your Kingdom is seen and known and lived among us. We pray this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Pastor Ed Backell

Flickr Photos

Pastoral Tweets

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 230 other followers

%d bloggers like this: