Contend Earnestly: Nicene Creed: Part 5

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Nicene Creed: Part 5

Rising on the third day according to the Scriptures (Luke 24:1-12, 46; Matthew 16:21;28:1–8; Mark 16:1–8; John 20:1–8; Acts 2:24-28; 1 Cor. 15:4)

I believe that Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Man, not only literally died in the flesh on the cross and was buried, but on the third day he rose again. He conquered death, showing that he was truly more than a mere man and showing that he truly had paid for our sins. For, if Christ did not rise from the dead, he is like any other martyr dying for a cause. But, because Jesus did rise again, he showed us not only that he was The Way and that those who follow him will go to where is at, but he also showed that his payment for sin was enough. He truly was the perfect and righteous sacrifice that was a shown throughout the Old Testament imperfect sacrifices who all died and turned to dust. He, the perfect priest, did not offer up another animal, but he laid his own life down on the alter and conquered death. I believe that Jesus Christ rose on the third day.

And ascending into the heavens (Luke 24:51-53; Acts 1:9-11,22)

Jesus didn't merely raise from the dead, but was carried up into heaven. This was to show the complete satisfaction of redemption by God the Father to not only raise him from the dead, but to receive him back into his right function as God, with all power and might. We are also promised that Jesus will come back, just as he left. He went up into heaven, and will return again to judge all men. If Jesus did not satisfy the redemption of mankind, he wouldn't have been raised, and he wouldn't have been publicly displayed to be entering back into the heavenly tabernacle. I believe that Jesus Christ ascended into the heavens.

He is seated at the right hand of the Father (Mark 16:19; Ps 110:1; Luke 22:69; Acts 2:33; 7:55f; Rom 8:34; Eph 1:20; Col 3:1; Heb 1:3; 8:1; 10:12; 12:2; 1 Pet 3:22)

If raising from the dead and ascending to heaven wasn't enough to show that Jesus truly satisfied the wrath of God, then being seated at the right hand of the Father truly sums all this up. The right hand is a place of honor and the Father would give this honor to no other than to Jesus Christ, who completely satisfied for us redemption and fulfilled the work he was sent for as John 17 shows us:

Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

Further, Hebrews tells us that Jesus was what David was speaking about in Psalms 110 as Jesus had authority over all things, as all things were under subjection to Him. I believe that Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father.

And coming again in glory (Matthew 24:3,27,37,39)

The story isn't over. Jesus will return just as he left. He will come this time, not as a humble servant born in a stable, but he will come again in glory. He will not lay aside his Deity as he did the first time, but he will show forth the fullness of God and His glory to all nations and to all peoples. He will show them his power and majesty. This is the hope of all people who follow Jesus, that someday, at a time unknown, Jesus will return for His people. His coming won't be in a little town where no one knows of it, but he will return as lightning comes to earth for all to see his power and his glory and his majestic reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. I believe Jesus Christ is coming again in glory.

to judge the living and dead (Acts 10:42; John 5:22, 27; Acts 17:31; 2 Tim 4:1; 1 Pet 4:5)

This day, the return of our Christ, our Messiah, who comes in all glory, will be a judge. He will judge all people and separate the goats from the sheep based on deeds. Those who have sinned, will be cast into outer darkness, into hell forever. Those who wear the garments of the Saviour, the Messiah, the Trusted Sacrifice, the blood of the Lamb, will enter into heaven. Not because they have their own deeds that cover their sin, or their own deeds that make them righteous, but they have the deeds of the only perfect Priest who died in their place. They exchanged their filthy sin for the righteousness of Jesus Christ. This culminates from the belief and understanding of the entirety of the Creed up to this point. It is only by faith that one enters into eternal heaven, worshiping God. And it isn't just any faith, but the faith that believes in the Way, the Truth and the Life found only in Jesus Christ. I believe that our Messiah, Jesus Christ, is coming again to judge the living and the dead.

His kingdom shall have no end (2 Sam 7:13, 16; Ps 89:36, 37; Dan 2:44; 7:14, 18, 27; Matt 28:18 Luke 1:30-33; 2 Peter 1:11)

This is a great promise and shows his complete sovereignty and complete omnipotence. One loves to work under a king, who's kingdom and reign last for a long time as this promises them a long employment and much riches. This goes even further. We are told that we are sons of the Most high, and that our King's Kingdom will have no end. Not only this, but our King is perfect and rules justly and mercifully and that this Kingdom will be perfect. What a great promise to know that this will never end. That our joy will be totally complete, because the perfection that we gaze upon in heaven, as we worship our God, will never end and he will never be defeated. We will never be slaves again of the despicable god of this earthly world, but forever will be sons and adopted children of the One who encompasses love and who's whole being is defined by love. I can think of nothing more to be joyous about than to be able to be in the presence of the Most High King with a kingdom that never ends. I believe that our King will sit on the throne and that his Kingdom will have no end.


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