Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Gift of the Holy Spirit: Happy Pentecost!

HT Cyberbrethren! Great links to the biblical basis of the creed!
The Gift of the Holy Spirit: Happy Pentecost!
As we celebrate Pentecost, we celebrate the gift, and gifts, of the Holy Spirit. There is a good deal of misunderstanding out there about the Person and the work of God, the Holy Spirit. For many Christians, the Holy Spirit is a kind of “Force” that is responsible for every feeling they might have that they regard as “spiritual.” In fact, the Holy Spirit gives us something real, concrete and certain: Faith. Yes, that personal faith, the trust in God’s promises. But the substance of our personal faith, is the Christian Faith, which is the even greater gift of the Holy Spirit. in the promises of God, but also the Faith of the Church. And what is that Faith? It is well summarized in the words of the Apostles’ Creed. So-called “non-creedal” Christians claim to have no creeds. But in fact, every Christian has a creed, either formal or informal, we all have something which we would say, “This is what I believe.” And this is precisely what “Creed” means, from the Latin word “credo” or “I believe.” I thought you would enjoy something I’ve been, literally, carrying around with me for eight years or more. It is a page I photocopied out of a very old Lutheran theology book. Shame on me, I did not write down from whence this page came, but it is old. From the early 17th century. It is a phrase-by-phrase presentation of the Apostles’ Creed with corresponding Bible texts both from the Old Testament and New Testament. It cites verses we may be familiar with as “proof texts” for the Creed, but interestingly, it also cites texts we might not first think of as proof passages for the various phrases in the Creed. It does reveal the nature of how the Bible was understood in Lutheran Orthodoxy, and to this day among genuinely confessional Lutheran churches. RefTagger will show you the various Bible verses when you hover your mouse pointer over them, but one it will not: Wisdom of Solomon, 6:6, a quote from one of the Apocryphal books of the Old Testament, which were always part of Lutheran Bibles, until we moved into English, from Germany. Wisdom 6:6 is “For mercy will soon pardon the meanest: but mighty men shall be mightily tormented.”
I believe (Hab. 2:4; Rom. 4:5)
In God (Deut. 6:4 1 Cor. 8:6)
The Father (Psalm 89:27; Matthew 7:11)
Almighty (Genesis 7:1; 2 Cor. 6:18)
Maker of heaven and earth (Psalm 33:6; John 5:17)
And in Jesus ( Zech 9:9; Matthew 1:21)
Christ (Daniel 9:24; John 3:34)
His only (Zechariah 13:7; John 1:14)
Son (Psalm 2:7; Matthew 16:16)
Our Lord ( Jeremiah 23:6; John 20:28)
Who was conceived (Jeremiah 31:22; Luke 1:31)
By the Holy Spirit (Daniel 2:45; Matthew 1:20)
Born ( Isaiah 9:6; John 1:14)
Of the Virgin Mary (Isaiah 7:14; Luke 1:43)
Suffered (Isaiah 50:6; Luke 23:25)
Under Pontius Pilate (Psalm 2:2; Luke 18:32)
Was crucified (Psalm 22:17; John 3:14)
Died (Daniel 9:26; Rom. 5:8)
And was buried ( Isaiah 53:9; John 12:24)
Descended into hell (Psalm 16:10; Ephesians 4:9)
And on the third day (Hosea 6:2; Matthew 26:32; Acts 10:40-41)
He rose again from the dead (Isaiah 63:1; 2 Timothy 2:8)
Ascended into heaven (Psalm 68:19; Col. 2:15)
And sits at the right hand of the God the Father Almighty (Psalm 110:1; Mark 16:19)
From thence he will come (Isaiah 66:15; Acts 1:11)
To judge (Wisdom of Solomon 6:6; Acts 17:31)
The living and the dead (Daniel 12:2; 1 Cor. 15:51)
I believe in the Holy Spirit (Zechariah 12:10; John 15:26)
The holy (Psalm 45:14; Ephesians 5:26)
Christian Church (Psalm 22:26; Matthew 16:18)
The communion of saints (Exodus 19:5; Ephesians 4:3)
The forgiveness of sins (Psalm 32:1; Acts 10:43)
The resurrection of the body (Isaiah 66:14; John 5:28)
And the life everlasting (Psalm 16:11; 1 Peter 1:4)
Amen! (Psalm 72:19; 2 Cor. 1:20)
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