This lesson looks at the Apostles’ Creed as a summary of the articles or doctrines that must be affirmed by all those who would call themselves Christian. It speaks of the history of the Creed, provides an overview of its statements, and focuses on the importance of its doctrines for today.
Ephesians 6:10-18 regarding putting on the armour of God. When the important points in these verses are considered in its context as well as that of other Scriptures, then we find that: There is no mention of a war in which the believer must attack Satan and his demonic forces. The opposite is rather true. Our fight is a defensive one, not an offensive one. The distinction is made by the type of sword in verse 17. It is not the heavy sword used by the Roman soldiers when they attacked, but the short dagger-type sword they used in defence and close combat.
Christ has become merely a means to an end, and believers are induced to come to the Master’s table, not to experience fellowship and intimacy with the Master, but to enjoy what is on the Master’s table. In sharp distinction to this message, the Jesus of the Scriptures is not a means to an end; He is the end (cf. Phil. 3:7-8). McCullough writes, “the church is more often influenced by cultural trends than theological commitments. Our obsession with self has led us astray into the temple of idols: in particular the god-of-my-comfort, and the god-of-my-success.” Shakespeare says it most succinctly, “you pay a great deal too dear for what’s given freely.”
As by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one [’by one man,’ v.15] shall many be made righteous.” The same nature that transgressed must work out the remedy. This truth is reiterated in 1 Corinthians 15:21: “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.” Our ruin could not be restored, nor deliverance from our guilt be effected, except by one in our own nature.
“For in him the whole full- ness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority” (Colossians 2:9, 10). Are you empty, in need of God’s forgiveness and righteousness? Then come to him. His fullness will become yours with a “mere” word!
Genesis is about God from first to last — and to read it any other way is to misread it.
These apostles and prophets do not want to simply establish themselves as self-styled leaders. It is to bring the kingdom of God to the earth. It is dominion teaching; they see a way to bring that dominion through an alliance with a government that seems to share their agenda-with a country that seems to have a “manifest destiny” and calling by God to bless the nations of the earth. As this movement builds momentum and many churches adopt such teaching the Biblical centred churches will again be persecuted. However, this time not from the World but from the “church.”
To take up this end of our yoke with Christ, in the sense of entering into the ‘fellowship of his suffering, being made conformable unto his death’ is no different essentially from bearing each his own cross as we follow Christ. As an old gospel song says, ‘He always takes the heavy end and leaves the light to me’.
Apart from the knowledge of Christ there is no salvation. We are of God, and the whole world lies in wickedness in enmity and hostility to God. Without the shedding of Blood there is no salvation in any other, remission! Thus, for there is none other name under heaven – given among men, whereby we must be saved. Thus salvation is the revelation of Christ.
Our self-love keeps us from surrendering to the guidance of the will of God, and eliminates the sense of gratitude we should have toward God for all the blessings God lavishes upon us. By calling upon us to deny ourselves, bear our cross and hope for eternal life, even as we thank God for the blessings of this life, we are to abandon once for all the image of ourselves we have created through our blind self-love, in order to be conformed to the image of selfless and self-giving love that is revealed in Jesus Christ.
Human reason tells us to avoid dishonour and disgrace as the worst of plagues, but faith in Christ reveals to us that being reviled for the sake of his name is the highest honour we can receive in this life.
Since we do not belong to ourselves, we should cease to live for ourselves, but should rather deny ourselves. We are not our own: in so far as we can, let us therefore forget ourselves and all that is ours. Since we belong to God, we should live and die for God alone, and order all parts of our lives by his will alone. Thus, we are God’s: let us therefore live for him and die for him.
A love of believers in other religions and an appreciation for whatever true and good things there may be in these other religions should not blind us to their errors and defects. If Christ is the only Savior and all the other religions of the world deny this, then logically and necessarily all the other religions are dead wrong about this crucial point. It does not fol- low from this that non-Christians must be condemned, but that they must be told the truth, out of love for them and for the truth
Jesus exhorted His followers not to “labour for that which perishes” but to “labour for that which is eternal” (John 6:27). The prosperity gospel, by contrast, encourages Christians to focus on what they can receive from Christ in the here and now. Much so-called Christian television and radio programming today panders to what people’s “itching ears” want to hear: the promise of earthly gain.
The Word-Faith teachings are corrupt. Their undeniable derivation is cultish, not Christian. The sad truth is that the gospel proclaimed by the Word-Faith movement is not the Gospel of the New Testament. Word-Faith doctrine is a mongrel system, a blend of mysticism, dualism and Gnosticism, that borrows generously from the teachings of the metaphysical cults. The Word-Faith movement may be the most dangerous false system that has grown out of the Charismatic movement so far, because so many Charismatics are unsure of the finality of Scripture.
I believe, gone are the days when we used to play cows-boys and Indians, for the Christian and the devil is much more exciting. Hence, making Harry Potter and the Lord of the rings a reality that a supernatural world exists, and Christians need to use their authority in possessing this land for the extension of God’s Kingdom.
The Holy Spirit will take us in hand, time and again, over our breaches of the law of unselfish love; if we respond He will write part of that law in our hearts. We, in fact, are ourselves changed, from one degree of glory to another, but always in the direction of liberty –‘where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom’ (2 Corinthians 3:17).
There is much confusion in the contemporary sphere on the subject of apostles. This is mainly due to the climate of deep disagreement and resentment over some Christian leaders who are acknowledged by many to be modern-day apostles.