In contrast to the bizarre teaching of Rome about saints and sainthood, the Creed is echoing the ubiquitous New Testament language used to describe the people of God. “To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints” (Rom. 1:7). It is worth noting the way “loved by God” and “called to be saints” are parallel with one another. All those whom God loves are also saints. Perhaps most encouraging of all is the way Paul speaks to the church at Corinth, “To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours “ (1 Cor. 1:2). As you know, the Corinthians were the least … Read More »
Last week we noted that when we confess our belief in the holy catholic church we are confessing the importance and centrality of the church as well as doing it in the singular instead of the plural. As Protestants we would be much more comfortable confessing a belief in “churches.” However, by confessing the singular we are affirming our unity around the person of Christ and his gospel. This week we get to the much-discussed and ever concerning phrase adjective “catholic.”
…by confessing the singular (catholic) we are affirming our unity around the person of Christ and his gospel.
Every time the Creed is confessed by Protestants well meaning folk get concerned. Is the pastor a crypto-(Roman) Catholic? Let me give you two reasons to rest assured that what we are confessing is, in fact, Biblical and important and not a support … Read More »
Perhaps the chief impetus for me to take up a WWBWWB series on the Apostles’ Creed was the questions I received after confessing relating to two specific phrases. You can probably guess which they are. The first: Christ’s decent into hell. We wrestled through the meaning of that, and if you are interested in reading it again, or even for the first time, it can be found on our website. The second: the holy catholic church. What does it mean when we confess our belief in the holy catholic church? Likely, there is little problem confessing a belief in the church or even in the holy church, but catholic church? Before we get to the adjective, let’s take up the central confession: a belief in the church.
What does it mean when we confess our belief in the holy catholic church?
For … Read More »
…This is the final act in Christ’s exaltation,
In contrast to universalists—those who believe all religious roads ultimately lead to God—and some none Christian cults, the Creed clearly affirms the reality of the final judgment. This is the final act in Christ’s exaltation, wherein God grants to him the right to judge the nations with his kingly authority. Far from being something that is given scant attention in the NT, the topic of the final judgment permeates the Scriptures, confronting its reader at nearly every page turn. The Lord is called, “the righteous judge” (2 Tim. 4:8). Paul charges Timothy in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to “judge the living and the dead” (2 Tim. 4:1). Speaking of the decadence of the Gentiles, Peter warns that they will give account to him who is “ready to … Read More »