This is M Street. The weekly podcast of Mercy Street Reformed Church in Denver, Colorado. If you live in the Denver area and would like to know more about us like when we hold our weekly Bible studies and services visit Mercy Street reformed. Org. That’s Mercy Street reformed. Org.
This is Pastor Chris Moulton and I want to thank you for listening to another episode of M Street. I recently came across a statistic which stated that as of June 2018. There were over half-a-million podcasts to choose from and so that you would choose to spend a few minutes of your time listening to this one something that I’m thankful for. It’s also something that I hope and pray will be a blessing to your soul after speaking on the subject of Faith particularly the saving variety as I did last time it now makes sense to say a few words about the object of that saving faith that truth which Christian faith rests upon.
In what’s perhaps a more narrow sense of Christians faith has for its object the promise of the Gospel of Jesus Christ while in the more broad sense, we might say that our faith rest upon the entire word of God, which is really much the same thing since all of God’s word reveals that same gospel to us and so from the initial in the beginning of Genesis 1:1 to the final. Amen a revelation 22 every word every sentence every passage every chapter every one of the 66 books that make up the Bible is all the very word of God, but she has sovereignly chosen to reveal to us his church and with that being the case then we have no right no proper right anyway to doubt or to disbelieve any part of it.
But instead were to receive it and to believe it as the final authority of all truth again given to us from the one true and living God.
Not to be sure in those 66 books which are made up of 1189 chapters and a little bit over 31,000 versus there is a lot for us to take you in to comprehend, especially when it comes to what God reveals about himself about his law about us has fallen sinful human beings about the only way that he has provided for us to be delivered from our sin to Jesus Christ. And so forth those major doctrines that scripture teaches because of that and because we as Christians want to be able and need to be able to confess what we believe concerning God’s word.
And to do so in some sort of summary fashion. God has therefore raised up learning to individuals to Faithfully summarize for us those major themes those major points that are revealed to us in the Bible and then to write them down in the form of Creeds and confessions. So as to be preserved for the church in the ages to come
Now the word creed is in the Apostles Creed or the Nicene Creed comes from the Latin word Credo which simply means I believe and so will Creed is really just a statement albeit somewhat brief to the point statement which describes what a person believes concerning a certain something and in the case of the well-known Creed’s of Christianity that certain something would be what is believe when it comes to God’s word. Similarly a confession is in the belgic confession or the Westminster Confession of faith is also a statement usually a bit more. And then agreed would be of what a Christian believes and confesses to be true again concerning those major teachings of the Bible together, then the historic Creeds and confessions of the church are those same written down and preserved statements that have been used that are still being used by the church to declare and to be clear on.
What she believes God’s word to teach now. Probably you like me have heard at some time in the past. Those who claim that the only Creed in the the only confession they need is the Bible something like no Creed but Christ.
Well, besides that kind of statement in itself actually being a confession or a creative what a person believes what that kind of conviction also does for a person who holds it is. It leaves them open to false teachers who could very easily come in and twist scripture to their own hurt and other words it easily allows false teachers to lead others astray from the truth of what God’s word actually teaches take the deity of Christ. For example, throughout history. There has been and again there continues to be those with Bible in hand mind you like the two Mormons that I recently spoke with that have stated that Jesus Christ wasn’t or isn’t the second person of the godhead fully human and fully divine.
Because those same individuals have either greatly are either been greatly deceived themselves or are bent on deceiving others or both. They’re then able to turn to various Bible verses so as to quote on quote prove their point or so they think
but then by ignoring the Creeds and confessions which again give us a faithful and I underline those two words a faithful summary of what God’s word really and truly teaches concerning Jesus Christ there then leaving themselves all the more susceptible to the enemies lies. None of us including the smartest biblical scholar you may know of are in and of ourselves able to Simply read and then rightly interpret all that God’s word reveals to us. We need to glean from those that God has called and ordained throughout history to study and make clear the major doctrines of scripture so that we can then so that we can then begin to know the truth and to become more mature in the face.
To ignore that history to deny all that the major church councils and send it to have have put forth by way of biblically sound Creeds and confessions is nothing more than selfish pride in Romans, 10 13 and 14. We read these words for whoever calls on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved how then shall They Call On Him whom they have not believed and how should they believe on him? Whom they have not heard and how shall they hear without a preacher?
So what are the major things that we learn from that passage is that God is a God that uses means and that one of the means one of the chief ways that he has chosen to use when it comes to blessing. His church is preachers and teachers that study and then proclaimed most often verbally, but sometimes in written form as well the truth contained in his word even as a pastor who’s calling is to spend a significant part of my time in the study for me to ignore the teaching of others is foolishness. I need just like everyone else needs to feed upon the fruitful labors of those that have gone before and especially those that have by the grace of God given us those faithful summaries of his word.
And well written article on the subject of the church’s historical Creeds and confessions Pastor in seminary Professor Ligon Duncan wrote how that those same Creeds and confessions have been and are still used by the church in three ways first, he wrote that they defined and defended Doctrine and thereby protected the church from false teaching second. They’ve been used for catechizing that is training and equipping Believers with a well-rounded overview the Bible teaching on the main points of religion. And third they have been used for doxology and worship. In other words in the form or Liturgy of the church. Mainly he said they’ve been used for those first two ways, but all three show us how the Creeds and confessions are employed.
in that same article, he wrote how that everyone is confessional in other words everyone confesses to believe something but whether it’s written and biblical is another matter speaking of which when it comes to the Creeds and confessions of the church, we always want to make sure that we keep in mind that they are not the final Authority only God’s word is that
Reverend Duncan also wrote that confessions themselves are not inherently authoritative. They point to the final authority of God’s word confessions only help us say we believe and teach this because we believe the Bible and by the way, he added 20 centuries of Christians agree with us, which is to say that we like so many professing brothers and sisters in Christ before us confess and agree with the same summary statements concerning what the final authority of God’s word teacher.
Turn out why all this talk about the Creeds and confessions of the church. Here’s why in the Heidelberg Catechism the question that comes just after the one we went over last time, which asks what is true faith is the question that asks what then is necessary for a Christian to believe with the answer be all that is promised us in the gospel which the articles of our Catholic or Universal undoubted Christian faith teach us in summary. Just after that comes to the question which asks, what are these articles? And the answer to that question is word-for-word the Apostles Creed which is then used more or less as the basis for the next 40 questions or so. And again since it’s a faithful summary of what God’s word reveals to us when it comes to the main points of Christianity.
It makes perfect sense to do so.
Now it’s called the Apostles Creed not because the apostles wrote it but because it Faithfully represents the apostolic teaching or the same teaching that we read when we go through the New Testament. It does date back to a very early time. Of the New Testament Church around 3:50 ad and its earliest form with the final wording as we know it today dating to around the night Century ad as well. See as we continue it has a wonderfully Rich testimony of the trinitarian nature of God. And in fact, that’s how it is divided into three parts the first part dealing with God the Father the second part with God the Son and the third part with God the Holy Spirit.
Perhaps, you know the Apostles Creed by heart. Maybe you recite it on a regular basis. I know that I do but even though that’s a common experience for many of us. I also know that it can be one of those things that we just do without giving much thought as to what were actually confessing to believe as a Christian. Hopefully this study that we’re about to undertake in the weeks to come and looking at the Apostles Creed in more depth will challenge us to know all the more what we really believe so that we’re not merely going through the motions and also then to know what God has revealed to us concerning himself particularly in his word to know him to know his love to know his mercy and Grace to us in Christ is Mankind’s greatest. Joy, and as we use the means of Grace that he’s given us even this faithful summary of his word.
Maybe may we all come to know that mercy and Grace in our own lives and until next time May that’s a mercy that God bestows on sinners like myself be yours.
This is Benham Street weekly podcast of Mercy Street Reformed Church in Denver, Colorado to find out more about us or more about the rcus. Visit Mercy Street. Reform. Org. That’s Mercy Street reformed. Org.