Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Update the Nicene Creed with the Eternal Gospel

The Good News of the Gospel has been set and declared for us from the beginning:

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

"According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:" (Ephesians 1: 3-4)


"Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you," (1 Peter 1: 20)

What is the Gospel, succinctly?:

"Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:

"Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.

"Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory." ( 2Timothy 2: 8-10)

"Christ Jesus with eternal glory" is an element which seems lacking for many believers. If they understand that Christ lives in every one of us, that it is His life and faith that move us and motivated us to be obedient, then more Christians would witness greater victory in their life by faith.

"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." (Romans 8: 18)


"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

"But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." (1 Corinthians 2: 9-10)

This glory is revealed to man's Spirit, which must be worked out by faith in "fear and trembling" (Philippians 2: 12), a Hebraism of great joy and humility.

This glory is Christ in us (Colossians 1: 27), our new identity as sons of God (John 1: 12)

In fact, God sees His Son when He sees us:

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5: 21)

John is more explicit of our new identity in Christ:

"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4: 17)

Paul writes:

"Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." (Romans 8: 37)

In order to appreciate our status in Christ, we must acknowledge that we are born again in our spirit, and that in our spirit we have the same power that raised Christ from the dead:

"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

"The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

"And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

"Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places." (Ephesians 1: 17-20)

The element of Christ in us is conspicuously missing from the basic Creed which outlined the doctrinal truth of Christ.

To combat the manifold heresies that were threatening the Body of Christ and confusing many believers, the worlwide Christians communities gathred in Nicea to provide a summary defining Christ in line with the Scriptures. The Nicene Creed does not err in terms of doctrine, at least for what it contains. The lack in the Nicene Creed, which has deprived many believers of the fullness of Christ's majesty and power within them, must be corrected.

Here is the entire Creed. In bold-face type, I have included elements of the Good News which need to be included:

I believe in one God,

the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
and became truly human.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
In the place of Highest Honor,
Christ Jesus justifies and intercedes for His Body
The community of saints
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom has have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
Who was poured on all flesh, as prophesied, on the Day of Pentecost
By whose presence Christ lives and dwells in every believer
Through Whom we have Reconciliation and Union with God the Father
By the Holy Spirit, We are transformed from glory to glory
Destined and determined to be one in likeness with Christ Jesus
Being made the righteousness of God in Christ
Infused with His power and honor and Resurrection Life
who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen
It is a sad scandal that the Holy Spirit receives such scant respect in the Nicene Creed. Perhaps the religious leaders of the period, out of fear of potential heretical views exploding throughout the Body of Christ, refused to instruct believers that within them they have all the power, strength, and wisdom, even the resurrection of life of Christ Jesus. Of course, the Holy Spirit leads no one astray. Across the ages, the Holy Spirit has inspired a comity of individual interpretation which never clashes with the Gospel or revealed doctrine in the Word of God. It has been man's fear, the traditions of men which have dispirited man to withhold the full glory of the Finished Work of Jesus Christ, the work which not only redeems us from all sin, but grants us righteousness everlasting through the Holy Spirit.

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