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First Christian Reformed Church || Lynden

The Nicene Creed: Ancient Words Ever True

This morning we started a sermon series on II Peter. I mentioned Peter made one of the clearest confessions of who Jesus is. Matthew 16:16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” II Peter 1:1 Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. As clear as these statements are in Scripture, they have been attacked and denied even by those inside the church. When that happens it is necessary for the church to guard the good deposit and contend for the truth and correct and discipline those who are in error. Doctrine is progressive and it is worked out in time, through history. As we read through the OT there are doctrines that get more clear. When we get to the NT there is much more light, especially about who the coming Messiah is and what He is like. The early church affirmed that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God, He was the Savior of mankind, and fully God and fully human, to be worshiped as God. The early church recognized there was mystery in how this could be, but they accepted it. Jewish Christians were used to living with mystery and more accepting of spiritual and supernatural things. John 1 was clear enough and they didn’t need more. John 1:1-2, 14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. But as the church spread among the Greeks, who were known for their philosophies and debates and questioning and who put spiritual things above material things, they started stirring things up. How could God who is pure spirit become material like man? Starting in about the fourth century there followed about three centuries of intense debate over the person and nature of Jesus, called the Trinitarian Controversy. Is Jesus God? Is there one God or three Gods? Is Jesus eternal or created? The Nicene Creed is born out of great conflict, in opposition to very serious heresy concerning Jesus, heresy that is with us to this day. Creeds are like the moon, they don’t have any light of their own, but they tell us there is light, if they are good, they reflect the light and heat of Scripture. They show us what is in Scripture. They have no authority of their own, only a derived authority as long as they faithfully represent what Scripture teaches. All man made creeds and confessions must submit to the Bible.
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