Advent Fodder: Who is That in The Manger?

The ancient creeds help us see the inscrutable wonder of the birth of the Son of God on that first Christmas morn! Read these excerpts from the Nicene Creed and Athanasian Creed slowly and reflectively with a “cup a joe” and let the Advent wonder grow!

The Nicene Creed is a statement of the orthodox faith of the early Christian church in opposition to certain heresies, especially Arianism. These heresies, which disturbed the church during the fourth century, concerned the doctrine of the trinity and of the person of Christ.  

We believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
begotten from the Father before all ages,
God from God,
Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made;
of the same essence as the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven;
he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary,
and was made human.
He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered and was buried.
The third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again with glory
to judge the living and the dead.
His kingdom will never end.

You can read the entire Nicene Creed here:

https://www.crcna.org/welcome/beliefs/creeds/nicene-creed

And here’s another one to ponder – an excerpt from the Athanasian Creed!

This creed is named after Athanasius (A.D. 293-373), the champion of orthodoxy against Arian attacks on the doctrine of the trinity. Although Athanasius did not write this creed and it is improperly named after him, the name persists because until the seventeenth century it was commonly ascribed to him.

But it is necessary for eternal salvation
that one also believe in the incarnation
of our Lord Jesus Christ faithfully.
Now this is the true faith:
That we believe and confess
that our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son,
is both God and human, equally.
He is God from the essence of the Father,
begotten before time;
and he is human from the essence of his mother,
born in time;
completely God, completely human,
with a rational soul and human flesh;
equal to the Father as regards divinity,
less than the Father as regards humanity.
Although he is God and human,
yet Christ is not two, but one.
He is one, however,
not by his divinity being turned into flesh,
but by God’s taking humanity to himself.
He is one,
certainly not by the blending of his essence,
but by the unity of his person.
For just as one human is both rational soul and flesh,
so too the one Christ is both God and human.
He suffered for our salvation;
he descended to hell;
he arose from the dead;
he ascended to heaven;
he is seated at the Father’s right hand;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
At his coming all people will arise bodily
and give an accounting of their own deeds.
Those who have done good will enter eternal life,
and those who have done evil will enter eternal fire.
This is the catholic faith:
one cannot be saved without believing it firmly and faithfully.

You can read the entire Athanasian Creed here:

3 Circles Videos

In a recent sermon (11/18/18) we showed this short video of the 3 circles gospel presentation.  Take 2 minutes to familiarize yourself with this simple way to explain why Jesus came into our world at the first Christmas!

And here is a fuller (6 minute) video to help better equip you to share this with your family and friends this Christmas!

Col. 4.3 At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ..

Your Prayers Transform Lives

When you and your church pray, you are part of reaching every nation. That’s why your participation in the Week of Prayer for International Missions, December 2-9, is so important.

Sign up todato receive daily emails from IMB during the Week of Prayer for International Missions. Each one will feature stories, videos, and prayer requests from IMB missionaries to guide your prayer time.

Thank you for your commitment to pray. Your prayers make a difference in eternity.

In Christ,

Edgar R. Aponte, Ph.D.
Vice President of Mobilization
imb.org | Every church. Every nation.

Books to Fuel 1 John in Your Life!

This past Sunday I mentioned some books that connect to the big themes of the book of 1 John.  These could be good fuel for your takeaway from 1 John!

Enjoy!

Larry


Related to the idea that “God is light” (1 Jn. 1.5):

  • The Holiness of God by RC Sproul

Related to the idea that “God is love” (4.8, 16)

  • Love Beyond Reason by John Ortberg

Related to the “truth test” about knowing the Jesus and his gospel better (1.10; 2.22-23)

  • The Gospel by Ray Ortlund
  • The Incomparable Christ by John Stott
  • Encounters with Jesus or Jesus the King, both by Tim Keller
  • Simply Jesus by Joe Stowell
  • The Jesus I Never Knew by Phillip Yancey
  • Who is This Jesus by Michael Green
  • The Gospel of John movie – available free online HERE