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What is…?
 
Salvation: is when God forgives a person of their sins and saves them from eternal damnation.  Being saved from this judgment is only accomplished through faith in Christ Jesus as Savior who is God in flesh (John 1:1, 14 – Eph. 2:8-9, KJV).
 
FAQ: Can a Christian lose their salvation after they have truly accepted Christ Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior?
 
Ans: Know that THERE HAS BEEN A MAJOR DIVIDE in the Body of Christ over this question for years and years.  It is my own personal opinion, based on much research and careful (unbiased) study of Scripture, that because of free will…it is possible to lose your salvation.  Though the seal we have with the Holy Spirit, once saved, is a very strong and powerful seal, our free will can break this seal.  We cannot be snatched from the hands of Christ Jesus or our heavenly Father…but we CAN (because of free will) elect to relinquish our faith.  Again and again in Scripture one is told to remain in the faith or some such words. Don’t take my word or any else’s word for your answer.  Please study the Holy Bible yourself and make up your own mind!  I purposefully will not include Books, chapters, and verses here – you MUST prove this one to yourself!
 
Faith: should be understood as synonymous with trust, confidence, or confident reliance in something.  The author of Hebrews (Paul?) wrote, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1, KJV).  Faith is the one great condition of salvation (Berkhof, L., Systematic Theology).  Repentance is one of the fruits of faith.
 
Repentance: is one of the fruits of faith.  Confession of sin and reparation of wrongs are fruits of repentance (Berkhof, p. 487).  According to Berkhof, “Repentance is only a negative condition, and not a positive means of salvation” (p. 487) and “True repentance never exists except in conjunction with faith, while, on the other hand, wherever there is true faith, there is also real repentance” (p. 487).
 
Grace: is the means of our salvation.  “Grace is not an abstract quality, but is an active, working principle, manifesting itself in beneficent acts” (Berkhof, L., Systematic Theology).  Biblically, grace is God’s unmerited favor (Eph. 2:8, 9).  God’s forgiving grace is always accompanied by God’s transforming grace thus every saved person is growing in grace.  Grace is getting from God what we do not deserve, e.g., eternal life.  
 
Redemption: Because of God’s love and kindness manifested in Christ Jesus on the cross, we receive the blessing of redemption.  Biblically, redemption is one’s liberation (being redeemed) from the penalty of sin, which is “death, most fully understood to mean death in an extensive sense, physical, spiritual, and eternal death and separation from God” (Grudem, W., Systematic Theology, p. 516).  Redemption is a gift from our heavenly Father.  This gift is given voluntarily in the love God has for us and NOT because of the virtue of His nature i.e., being God the Father.
 
Mercy: is not getting what we all deserve because we are all sinners.  Mercy is the act of not administering justice when justice is punitive.  God, in His mercy, provides atonement for our sins and through it shows us mercy.
 
Justice: Is the due reward or punishment for an act.  In the grace of God, justice fell upon his Son so that mercy would fall upon us.
 
Atonement: is to make amends – to repair a wrong done.  Because of atonement, our fellowship with God is restored (Rom. 5:10).  Man is a sinner and cannot atone for himself.  Therefore, it was the love of the Father that sent Christ Jesus to die in our place for our sins.  Atonement is received by faith.
 
Conversion: is repentance plus faith.  Conversion follows regeneration.  Borrowing from Berkhof, “The change that is effected in the subconscious life in regeneration passes into conscious life in conversion” (p. 491).  At the origin of conversion, one experiences God’s initial grace. Through conversion one’s whole person receives the whole of Christ Jesus.  The doctrine of conversion is based on Scripture and should be accepted on that ground (Berkhof, Systematic Theology, p. 482).
 
Regeneration: is a secret act of God in which he imparts new spiritual life to us (Grudem, W., Systematic Theology).  Most are probably better acquainted with the expression “born again” as opposed to the word regeneration.  The Bible speaks in absolute terms of the necessity of regeneration.  For example, Jesus was speaking to a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus as recorded in John 3:3.  One reads, “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  Regeneration comes before saving faith though they usually come so close together that it will ordinarily seem to us that they are happening at the same time (Grudem, W., Systematic Theology).  Grudem goes on to write that “regeneration is a spiritual work that we cannot perceive with our eyes or even understand with our minds” (ibid, p. 702).  It is imperative to remember that we are passive in regeneration.  We play no active role at all.  Regeneration is totally a work of God!

FAQ: If one is born again does that mean the person will then have a perfect life?
 
ANS: No, of course not.  One will still be attacked by Satan but will be kept safe from ultimate harm by the evil one.  This is due to one’s pattern     of life not being one of continuing indulgence in sin anymore. Regeneration gives one the ability to overcome the pressures andtemptations of       the world.  John reassures us that “Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
 
Justification: is a once-for-all, new legal standing.  The instant we believe, God forgives all our sins (past, present, and future) because Christ Jesus paid for them with his blood, and God counts Christ Jesus’ perfect obedience as ours.  God accepts us as we are and gives us a right standing based on Christ Jesus’ finished work.  Berkhof explains justification in his book Systematic Theology thusly, “Justification is a judicial act of God, in which He declares, on the basis of the righteousness of Jesus Christ, that all claims of the law are satisfied with respect to the sinner” (p.  513).   Further, “Justification precedes and is basic to sanctification in the covenant of grace” (p. 536).
 
Sanctification: is the fruit of justification and is an ongoing, lifelong process that will never reach perfection in this life.  Our relationship to God grows closer, our sin has less power over us, and we become more and more like Christ Jesus.  I absolutely agree with Berkhof as he posited, “The spiritual development of man is not a human achievement, but a work of divine grace” (ibid, p. 535). Our heavenly Father, not man, is the author of sanctification.

What is a Catechism?
A Catechism is a manual of Christian doctrine drawn up in the form of questions and answers, especially one for religious instruction. The first such manual was compiled by the English scholar Alcuin in the 8th century (source: Biblestudytools.com).  Both in Europe and the New World, catechisms were the prime instrument of religious education for nearly 400 years. With the introduction of compulsory education in the 18th and 19th centuries, the main use of catechisms came to be for religious education in schools; the method of learning remained that of memorizing and reciting the text (source: religion-religions.com).

Q. Isn’t Catechism just a Roman Catholic thing?
A.  No.  There are many Catechisms, most correlate to a religion.  Catechisms are  instruments for the transmission and explication of the faith.

In the course of my studies I came across this “First Catechism” written for children, but I still found pearls  as I read and reflected (source: opc.org). I present this “First Catechism” as a tool you may deem necessary at some point in your studies.  I suggest you read slowly and reflect before moving on to the next question.  Some of the answers I reflected on for minutes, some for hours.
First Catechism
(© 2003, Great Commission Publications, Inc.—Q/A 58 modified 2004.
1. Who made you?
God.
2. What else did God make?
God made all things.
3. Why did God make you and all things?
For his own glory.
4. How can you glorify God?
By loving him and doing what he commands.
5. Why are you to glorify God?
Because he made me and takes care of me.
6. Is there more than one true God?
No. There is only one true God.
7. In how many Persons does this one God exist?
In three Persons.
8. Name these three Persons.
The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
9. What is God?
God is a Spirit and does not have a body like men.
10. Where is God?
God is everywhere.
11. Can you see God?
No. I cannot see God, but he always sees me.
12. Does God know all things?
Yes. Nothing can be hidden from God.
13. Can God do all things?
Yes. God can do all his holy will.
14. Where do you learn how to love and obey God?
In the Bible alone.
15. Who wrote the Bible?
Chosen men who were inspired by the Holy Spirit.
16. Who were our first parents?
Adam and Eve.
17. How did God create man?
God created man, male and female, after his own image.
18. Of what were our first parents made?
God made Adam's body out of the ground and Eve's body out of a rib from Adam.
19. What else did God give Adam and Eve besides bodies?
He gave them souls that will last forever.
20. Do you have a soul as well as a body?
Yes. And my soul is going to last forever.
21. How do you know your soul will last forever?
Because the Bible tells me so.
22. In what condition did God make Adam and Eve?
He made them holy and happy.
23. What covenant did God make with Adam?
The covenant of life.
24. What is a covenant?
A relationship that God establishes with us and guarantees by his word.
25. In the covenant of life, what did God require Adam to do?
To obey God perfectly.
26. What did God promise in the covenant of life?
To reward Adam with life if he obeyed God perfectly.
27. What did God threaten in the covenant of life?
To punish Adam with death if he disobeyed God.
28. Did Adam keep the covenant of life?
No. He sinned against God.
29. What is sin?
Sin is any lack of conformity to, or transgression of, the law of God.
30. What is meant by lack of conformity?
Not being or doing what God requires.
31. What is meant by transgression?
Doing what God forbids.
32. What does every sin deserve?
The wrath and curse of God.
33. What was the sin of our first parents?
Eating the forbidden fruit.
34. Who tempted Adam and Eve to this sin?
Satan tempted Eve first, and then he used her to tempt Adam.
35. How did Adam and Eve change when they sinned?
Instead of being holy and happy, they became sinful and miserable.
36. Did Adam act for himself alone in the covenant of life?
No. He represented the whole human race.
37. What effect did the sin of Adam have on all people?
We are all born guilty and sinful.
38. How sinful are you by nature?
I am corrupt in every part of my being.
39. What is the sinful nature that we inherit from Adam called?
Original sin.
40. Can anyone go to heaven with this sinful nature?
No. Our hearts must be changed before we can believe in Jesus and go to heaven.
41. What is this change of heart called?
The new birth, or regeneration.
42. Who can change a sinner's heart?
The Holy Spirit alone.
43. Can anyone be saved through the covenant of life?
No. No one can be saved through the covenant of life.
44. Why can't anyone be saved through the covenant of life?
Because all have broken it and are condemned by it.
45. How did you break the covenant of life?
Adam represented all people, and so I fell with Adam in his first sin.
46. How, then, can you be saved?
By the Lord Jesus Christ through the covenant of grace.
47. Whom did Christ represent in the covenant of grace?
His elect people.
48. How did Christ fulfill the covenant of grace?
Christ obeyed the whole law for his people, and then suffered the punishment due for their sins.
49. Did Jesus ever sin?
No. He lived a sinless life.
50. How could Christ suffer?
Christ, the Son of God, became a man so that he could obey and suffer in our place.
51. For whom did Christ obey and suffer?
For all whom God the Father gave to Christ.
52. What kind of life did Christ live on earth?
A life of obedience, service and suffering.
53. What kind of death did Jesus die?
The painful and shameful death of the cross.
54. What is meant by the atonement?
Christ satisfied God's justice by his suffering and death as a substitute for sinners.
55. What does God the Father guarantee in the covenant of grace?
To justify and sanctify all those for whom Christ died.
56. How does God justify you?
God forgives all my sins and accepts me as righteous through Christ.
57. How does God sanctify you?
God makes me more and more holy in heart and conduct.
58. What must you do to be saved?
I must repent of my sin and believe in Christ as my Savior.
59. How do you repent of your sin?
I must be sorry for my sin, and hate and forsake it.
60. Why must you hate and forsake your sin?
Because sin displeases God.
61. What does it mean to believe in Christ?
To trust in Christ alone for my salvation.
62. Can you repent and believe in Christ by your own power?
No. I cannot repent and believe unless the Holy Spirit changes my heart.
63. How can you get the help of the Holy Spirit?
God has told us to pray for the Holy Spirit's help.
64. How long ago did Christ die?
About two thousand years ago.
65. How were sinners saved before Christ came?
By believing in the promised Messiah.
66. Before Christ came, how did believers show their faith?
By offering the sacrifices God required.
67. What did these sacrifices represent?
Christ, the Lamb of God, who would come to die for sinners.
68. How many offices does Christ fulfill as the promised Messiah?
Christ fulfills three offices.
69. What are they?
The offices of a prophet, of a priest, and of a king.
70. How is Christ your prophet?
Christ teaches me the will of God.
71. How is Christ your priest?
Christ died for my sins and continues to pray for me.
72. How is Christ your king?
Christ rules over me, the world and Satan, and he defends me.
73. Why do you need Christ as your prophet?
Because I am ignorant by nature.
74. Why do you need Christ as your priest?
Because I am guilty of breaking God's law.
75. Why do you need Christ as your king?
Because I am weak and helpless.
76. How many commandments did God give on Mount Sinai?
Ten commandments.
77. Why should we obey the Ten Commandments?
Because God is our Creator, Savior and King.
78. What do the first four commandments teach?
What it means to love and serve God.
79. What do the last six commandments teach?
What it means to love and serve my neighbor.
80. What do the Ten Commandments teach?
To love God with all my heart, and my neighbor as myself.
81. Who is your neighbor?
Everybody is my neighbor.
82. Is God pleased with those who love and obey him?
Yes. God says, "I love them that love me." (KJV)
83. Is God displeased with those who do not love and obey him?
Yes. "God is angry with the wicked every day." (KJV)
84. What is the first commandment?
The first commandment is "You shall have no other gods before Me." (NKJV)
85. What does the first commandment teach you?
To worship the true God, and him only.
86. What is the second commandment?
The second commandment is "You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments." (NKJV)
87. What does the second commandment teach you?
To worship God only as he commands, and not to worship God by using statues or pictures.
88. What is the third commandment?
The third commandment is "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain." (NKJV)
89. What does the third commandment teach you?
To treat God's name, word and works with reverence.
90. What is the fourth commandment?
The fourth commandment is "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it." (NKJV)
91. What does the fourth commandment teach you?
To work six days and keep the Sabbath day holy.
92. What day of the week is the Christian Sabbath?
The first day of the week, called the Lord's Day.
93. Why is it called the Lord's Day?
Because on that day the Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead.
94. How should you keep the Lord's Day?
I should rest from my daily work and faithfully worship God.
95. What is the fifth commandment?
The fifth commandment is "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you." (NKJV)
96. What does the fifth commandment teach you?
To love and obey my parents and all others that God appoints over me.
97. What is the sixth commandment?
The sixth commandment is "You shall not murder." (NKJV)
98. What does the sixth commandment teach you?
Not to take anyone's life unjustly and not to sin when I am angry.
99. What is the seventh commandment?
The seventh commandment is "You shall not commit adultery." (NKJV)
100. What does the seventh commandment teach you?
To be pure in heart, language and conduct, and to be faithful in marriage.
101. What is the eighth commandment?
The eighth commandment is "You shall not steal." (NKJV)
102. What does the eighth commandment teach you?
Not to take anything that belongs to someone else.
103. What is the ninth commandment?
The ninth commandment is "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." (NKJV)
104. What does the ninth commandment teach you?
Never to lie, but to tell the truth at all times.
105. What is the tenth commandment?
The tenth commandment is "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's." (NKJV)
106. What does the tenth commandment teach you?
To be content with whatever God chooses to give me.
107. Can you keep the Ten Commandments perfectly?
No. Since the fall of Adam, the only One who has been able to do this is Jesus.
108. Of what use are the Ten Commandments to you?
They teach me what is pleasing to God, and how much I need a Savior.
109. What is prayer?
Prayer is praising God, giving thanks for all his blessings, and asking him for the things he has promised in the Bible.
110. In whose name should we pray?
Only in the name of Christ.
111. What did Christ give us to teach us about prayer?
The Lord's Prayer.
112. What is the Lord's Prayer?
The Lord's Prayer is "Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen." (KJV)
113. How many petitions are there in the Lord's Prayer?
Six.
114. What is the first petition?
The first petition is "Hallowed be thy name."
115. What does it mean to pray, "Hallowed be thy name"?
We are asking God to help us and others to respect and honor him.
116. What is the second petition?
The second petition is "Thy kingdom come."
117. What does it mean to pray, "Thy kingdom come"?
We are asking God to bring more and more people to hear, believe and obey his gospel.
118. What is the third petition?
The third petition is "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven."
119. What does it mean to pray, "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven"?
We are asking God to make us able and willing to serve him on earth just as he is served in heaven.
120. What is the fourth petition?
The fourth petition is "Give us this day our daily bread."
121. What does it mean to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread"?
We are asking God to provide us with all that we really need.
122. What is the fifth petition?
The fifth petition is "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors."
123. What does it mean to pray, "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors"?
We are asking God to forgive our sins for Christ's sake, and to make us willing to forgive others.
124. What is the sixth petition?
The sixth petition is "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."
125. What does it mean to pray, "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil"?
We are asking God to keep us from being tempted and to make us strong enough to resist when we are tempted.
126. How many sacraments are there?
Two.
127. What are they?
Baptism and the Lord's Supper.
128. Who appointed these sacraments?
The Lord Jesus Christ.
129. Why did Christ appoint these sacraments?
To distinguish his people from the world, and to comfort and strengthen them.
130. What sign is used in baptism?
Washing with water.
131. What does this washing with water represent?
That we are united to Christ and cleansed from sin by his blood.
132. Into whose name are we baptized?
Into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
133. Who are to be baptized?
Believers and their children.
134. Why are we baptized even as little infants?
Because God includes the children of believers in his covenant and marks them in baptism.
135. What did Jesus say about little children?
"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
136. What does baptism call you to be?
A true follower of Christ.
137. What sign is used in the Lord's Supper?
Eating bread and drinking wine to remember the suffering and death of Jesus.
138. What does the bread represent?
Christ's body sacrificed for our sins.
139. What does the wine represent?
Christ's blood shed for our sins.
140. Who may rightly partake of the Lord's Supper?
Those who repent of their sins, trust in Christ, live a godly life, and profess their faith before the Church.
141. Did Christ remain in the grave after his crucifixion?
No. He rose bodily from the grave on the third day after his death.
142. Where is Christ now?
In heaven, ruling his kingdom and interceding for us.
143. Will the Lord Jesus come again?
Yes! He will return to judge the world on the last day.
144. What happens to believers when they die?
Our bodies will return to the dust and our souls will go to be with the Lord forever.
145. What happens to unbelievers when they die?
Their bodies will return to dust also, but their souls will go to hell.
146. What is hell?
Hell is an awful place, where unbelievers are separated from God to suffer for their sins.
147. Will the bodies of all the dead be raised again?
Yes. At the last day some will be raised to everlasting life and others to everlasting death.
148. What will God do to unbelievers at the last day?
He will judge them, and condemn them to everlasting punishment in the lake of fire with Satan and his angels.
149. What will God do for believers at the last day?
He will give them a home with him in the new heaven and the new earth.
150. What will the new heaven and the new earth be like?
A glorious and happy place, where the saved will be with Jesus forever.

What is The Apostles' Creed ?
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ,
His only Son, our Lord.
Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He arose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic [1] church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.
Amen.

[1] The word "catholic" refers not to the Roman Catholic Church, but to the universal church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Purpose
The purpose of the Apostles' Creed is to provide a sound, Biblical statement of the Christian faith.
It can be useful for expressing your belief in the Lordship and resurrection of Jesus Christ, consistent with Romans 10.9-10, as quoted below...
If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord,
And believe in your heart
That God has raised Him from the dead,
You will be saved.
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness,
And with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Romans 10.9-10
Background
The Apostles' Creed is the oldest creed. Though not the direct work of the Apostles, it has its roots in apostolic times, and embodies, with much fidelity, apostolic teaching.

The Apostles' Creed *probably* originated with confessions made by believers at the time of their baptism in water. It had an important place in the early church. It was the creed that could be appealed to as held by the church in all its great branches. Only a church whose doctrines are fully consistent with this creed can accurately be referred to as "apostolic."

The panel below lists several Bible passages that quote or refer to the earliest confessions and creeds of Christian beliefs...
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Tim 6.12

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. Heb 10.23

Hear, O Israel. The LORD our God, the LORD is one! Deu 6.4

Nathaniel answered and said to Jesus, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!" John 1.49

Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Mt 16.16

Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!"
John 20.28

As they went down the road, they came to some water. The eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." Acts 8.36-37

Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also. 1 John 2.23

For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 2 John 1.7

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 1 John 4.15

[Jesus said...] "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. Mt 10.32

Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. 1 Cor 12.3

By this you know the Spirit of God. Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. 1 John 4.2-3

Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philip 2.9-11

What is The Nicene Creed ?
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible;
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, 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; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; he 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; and he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord, and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spake by the Prophets. And I believe one holy Catholic [1] and Apostolic Church; I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.

AMEN
[1] The word "catholic" refers not to the Roman Catholic Church, but to the universal church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Background
The Nicene Creed was authorized at the Council of Nice in 325 AD, and completed by the Council of Constantinople in 381 AD.

The Nicene Creed is one of the most widely accepted and used brief statements of the Christian Faith. In many churches, it is said every Sunday as part of the Liturgy. It is Common Ground to Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, Calvinists, and many other Christian denominations.

Many groups that do not have a tradition of using it in their services nevertheless are committed to the doctrines it teaches.

What is The Athanasian Creed ?
Whoever wills to be in a state of salvation, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic [1] faith, which except everyone shall have kept whole and undefiled without doubt he will perish eternally.

Now the catholic faith is that we worship One God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the Persons nor dividing the substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, another of the Holy Spirit. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is One, the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit; the Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated; the Father infinite, the Son infinite, and the Holy Spirit infinite; the Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. And yet not three eternals but one eternal, as also not three infinites, nor three uncreated, but one uncreated, and one infinite. So, likewise, the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty; and yet not three almighties but one almighty. So the Father is God, the Son God, and the Holy Spirit God; and yet not three Gods but one God. So the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord; and yet not three Lords but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by Christian truth to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be both God and Lord; so are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say, there be three Gods or three Lords. The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone, not made nor created but begotten. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and the Son, not made nor created nor begotten but proceeding. So there is one Father not three Fathers, one Son not three Sons, and one Holy Spirit not three Holy Spirits. And in this Trinity there is nothing before or after, nothing greater or less, but the whole three Persons are coeternal together and coequal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Trinity in Unity and the Unity in Trinity is to be worshipped. He therefore who wills to be in a state of salvation, let him think thus of the Trinity.

But it is necessary to eternal salvation that he also believe faithfully the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. The right faith therefore is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man. He is God of the substance of the Father begotten before the worlds, and He is man of the substance of His mother born in the world; perfect God, perfect man subsisting of a reasoning soul and human flesh; equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, inferior to the Father as touching His Manhood. Who although He be God and Man yet He is not two but one Christ; one however not by conversion of the Godhead in the flesh, but by taking of the Manhood in God; one altogether not by confusion of substance but by unity of Person. For as the reasoning soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again from the dead, ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, from whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life eternal, and they who indeed have done evil into eternal fire.

This is the catholic faith, which except a man shall have believed faithfully and firmly he cannot be in a state of salvation.

[1] The word "catholic" refers not to the Roman Catholic Church, but to the universal church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Background
The Athanasian Creed is named after Athanasius (A.D. 293-373), not because he wrote it [he didn't] but because he was the champion of orthodoxy against Arian attacks on the doctrine of the trinity.

This creed consists of two parts, the first setting forth the orthodox doctrine of the trinity, and the second dealing chiefly with the incarnation and the two-natures-of-Christ doctrine. It is a good orthodox summation of the doctrine of the Trinity and has been widely used in worship, especially in the West.

St. Paul's Lutheran Church
Lutheran Confessions
The Athanasian Creed
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Paragraph 1
Whoever wishes to be saved must, above all else, hold to the true Christian faith. Whoever does not keep this faith pure in all points will certainly perish forever.
Athanasius was a Greek-speaking pastor who served Christians in Alexandria, Egypt. He lived from 296-373 AD. A great defender of the Christian faith, he was an outspoken voice for taking the Bible as written (orthodoxy), and was one of the great theologians who put our understanding of the Holy Trinity into words. But Athanasius probably did not write the Athanasian Creed. The creed follows his understanding of the Triune God and has been called "The Creed of Athanasius" for more than 1,500 years. The earliest references (we know of) to this creed come from a half-century or so after his death in the late Fourth Century. Although we don't know who wrote this creed, we have a good idea why it was written.
The Athanasian Creed combats two errors about God. One error denies that Jesus is both truly God and truly human in one person. The other denies that the Son and the Spirit are equal to the Father. Notice that both these errors are still around today. How many people are out there who think Jesus was a good man, but wasn't God? Many people today also insist that Jesus is not equal to the Father.
In the opening paragraph, we are warned that to be saved, we must keep our faith and our teaching (doctrine) pure. Can you do that? Can I? Not perfectly. But by the grace of God, our sins are covered. Our debt is paid. Our ransom has been offered. We are free. When God looks at you and me, he sees people who are covered in the perfect and holy robe of Jesus. At the same time, out of thanks to God, we want to get to know this Savior as well as we can. The beauty of the Athanasian Creed is that it draws lines around what we know about God.
Take a look at the Athanasian Creed from time to time. In your hymnal it's on page 132-133.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. — Jesus, John 3:16.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith
Note:  The paragraph and other divisions used in these devotions are somewhat arbitrary, since the creed is not usually broken up into "verses." Others who have commented on the Athanasian Creed have variously divided it into 40 or 42 "verses."

Article reprinted from Cross†Way Issue Summer 2004 No.93
(C)opyright Church Society; material may be used for non-profit purposes provided that the source is acknowledged
and the text is not altered.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE THREE CREEDS
David Meager
The word Creed derives from the Latin Credo which means ‘I believe’. There are credal statements
in the Bible (eg. Deut 6.4, Acts 8:37, Rom 1: 3-4, 1 Cor 15: 3-4, Php 2: 6-11, 1 Cor 8: 6, Matt 28:
19).
The Apostle’s Creed
The Apostles Creed is the creed most widely used in Christian worship in the western world.
Throughout the Middle Ages it was generally believed that this creed was composed by the
Apostles on the day of Pentecost and that each of them contributed one of the twelve sections. This
appears to be a legend dating back to somewhere between the 4th and 6th Centuries. However it still
has good reason to be called the Apostles Creed because its content is in agreement with apostolic
teaching. The earliest evidence for its present form is St Pirminius in the early 8th Century
although it appears to be related to a shorter Roman Creed which had itself derived from other
earlier and simpler texts such as the ‘rule of faith’ or the ‘tradition’ which were based on the Lord’s
baptismal command in Matthew 28:19. The Creed was widely used by Charlemagne (the first
Holy Roman Emperor) and was eventually accepted at Rome where the old Roman Creed or similar
forms had survived for centuries.
The Creed seems to have had three uses, first as a confession of faith for those about to be baptised,
secondly as a catechism (an instruction for new Christians in the essentials of the faith), and thirdly,
as a ‘rule of faith’ to give continuity to orthodox Christian doctrine. In the west by the early Middle
Ages it was widely employed at baptism. The BCP uses it at baptism and daily Morning Prayer and
Evensong except on the 13 days of the year when the Athanasian Creed is to be used instead.
The Creed is Trinitarian in form but the heart of the creed is its confession concerning Jesus Christ
and the events to do with his conception, birth, suffering, death, resurrection, ascension and coming
judgement.
The Nicene Creed
It is known for certain that the Nicene Creed was adopted by the Council of Calcedon in 451AD
which claimed it was the faith of the Council of Constantinople of 381AD. Its origin however goes
back to the Council of Nicea (in modern day Turkey) called in 325AD by the Emperor Constantine
to address the Arian controversy. Eusebius submitted a Creed from his own Diocese, Caesarea, and
this appears to have formed the basis of the creed propagated at Nicaea although there were other
older creeds that could have been considered. The Creed affirmed the unity of God, insisted that
Christ was begotten from the Father before all time, and declared that Christ is of the same essence
(homoousios) as the Father. It had only a single brief clause on the Holy Spirit. In its present form
it appears to have been used by Cyril in Jerusalem and is also mentioned by Epiphanius of Salamis
around 373AD.
The original Greek texts do not have the filioque clause 'begotten of the Father and the Son' which
was a later addition to Latin translations and has contributed to the division between East and West.
Athanasian Creed
The Athanasian Creed (also known as the Quicunque Vult - the first two words of the Latin) is
named after the famous Bishop of Alexandria (296-373) who famously defended orthodox
Christianity from Arianism.
There is no evidence that Athanasius wrote the creed and since the 17th Century work of G J Voss
it has been accepted that the evidence points against his authorship. The original versions of the
Creed appear to have been latin whereas Athanasius wrote in Greek. In addition some of the
theological issues apparently addressed came to the fore after the time of Athanasius - for example
Nestorianism and Eutychianism both of which concern the humanity of Christ.
The first evidence for the Creed appears to be a sermon of St Caeserius of Arles and it is similar to a
relatively recently discovered manuscrpt of St Vincent of Lérins prompting the theory that it was
composed in Southern Gaul. There is also evidence that its primary liturgical use was as a hymn.
The Creed contains a clear and detailed statement of the Trinity (eg. 'The Father is God, the Son is
God, and the Holy Spirit is God; and yet there are not three Gods but one God.’ It also upholds the
full Deity and humanity of Christ, his death for sins, resurrection, ascension, second coming and
final judgement.
The Book of Common Prayer requires that it be read on thirteen designated occasions during the
year.
David Meager is a staff member of Church Society.

   
 
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