Creed? What is it and Why Do I Need It?

Creed

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the dead, and the life everlasting.

This is called the Apostles’ Creed because it contains a summary of their teachings. Where I attend worship we say this most every Sunday. At other times we recite the Nicene Creed and on one Sunday out of the church year we recite the Athanasian Creed which is a much more in depth and a long one. I particularly like the Apostles’ because it is a simple statement of faith. Reciting and memorizing it protects one from false teaching. It explains the trinity being God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit. If you were to attend at my church you would know what we believe without having to ask. There is a certainty here in this statement of faith. The Bible supports this statement.

Why Do I need it?

Because I am a fickle person and my flesh is weak. Without it, I could so easily grow complacent in my faith and lose sight of the fact that I need God. I find reassurance too when it is recited in my church.  We all believe the same and worship in spirit and in truth.

Some may question it or call me foolish but that is their opinion. If according to the naysayers, I am wrong then I have nothing to lose but if I am right in my belief, and I know that I am, then I have everything to gain. I would rather err in believing than to die in unbelief. God has in more ways than I can count proven His love to me. This creed is my statement of faith and nothing can change my heart.

If you wish to know more click this link.

31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

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My Home Church Then & Now

Church home

Once My Church Home was Baptist. Now It is Lutheran.

I grew up attending a Baptist church during my adolescence. It was baptized in a Baptist church in Terrell, Texas, that I was baptized. There I felt at home in my church. I am quite familiar with a number of hymns such as “Because He Lives,” and “I Surrender All.” I have often thought of myself as Baptist at heart. Yet I have not been a member of a Baptist church since 2006.

I first attended an ELCA* Lutheran church in my senior of high school. This became my family’s church home. I attended faithfully with my parents. When I later joined the Air Force, I went to the Protestant service which was a Lutheran church service. I have on more occasions said that I am a Christian first and where I worship may change.

After a dispute at our church home, my parents, my son, and I started to attend services at an LCMS* church. I was a single parent at the time due to the death of my first husband. Over the many years since first attending a Lutheran service, I have grown accustomed to the liturgical order of worship.

During my early 30’s, however, I struggled to find my place of worship. I did not feel like I fit in at the Lutheran church where I attended with my parents. Therefore, I elected to attend the Church of the Nazarene. I was there for five years after which I started to attend a Baptist church again. At first, I felt like I had come home, but God had another plan for me.

God brought someone wonderful into my life in 2004 and we were married in 2006. My new husband was a very active member of the same church that my parents were still attending. I became a member once more on the Father’s day before we were married. We have made this church our home until God tells us differently. God’s plans are truly greater than anything that we can plan or imagine.

I have found my church home to be in an LCMS church. There, the truth doesn’t waiver and Christ is taught and worshiped. It is not perfect but God’s Word is the rule. I guess you might say that I once was Baptist but now I am Lutheran by choice.

 

*Footnote: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA); Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS)

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Christ Jesus Came to Set Us Free!

Free

Yes, There is Freedom In Christ Jesus!

As a believer in Christ, I have been freed from the slavery to sin. In Stasi Eldredge’s book, Becoming Myself Embracing God’s Dream of You, she lists the things that we have been freed from and to those that we have been freed to do. We can be free from:
Bondage, sin, the fear of man, shame, regret, rage, disappointment, addiction, fear, You name it.
We are free to:
Be happy, be glorious, succeed, love, live, forgive, not be bound by chains. She goes on to say that we are free to fail! Because we are free from the cages of other people’s expectations, demands, yokes and judgements– even our own.
Therefore, I will rejoice. Hallelujah!! How amazing is that?! I no longer have to be “perfect” in the eyes of others or my own. I can admit my mistakes and seek forgiveness, therefore, I am free from guilt and shame. Yes, I will fail but I know that if I confess my sins to God, who is faithful and just, He will forgive all my sins.

The Law of the Spirit of Life has Set You Free!

In addition, if I allow someone’s inability to forgive me to keep me captive in shame and guilt, I am giving that person to much power. And what is that saying about God’s forgiveness? It is saying that I am not accepting of it.
However, this is no longer to be the case for the law of the Spirit of life has set me free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.  Thus, I can stand firm and no longer submit to a yoke of slavery to sin. The word free is found 56 times in the New Testament.
Furthermore, I have a new lease on life for I have been made new. God created me and I will choose to live in the freedom that He has given me. I know live for Him and for His glory.

Live in the Freedom God Has Given You!

Don’t let faulty thinking rob you of the freedom that there is in Christ. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Here’s your challenge: to embrace the freedom that is in Christ Jesus. Ask Him to show you how.
My Prayer: Dear Father God, thank You for setting me free in Christ Jesus, Your Son. Help me to choose to live in that freedom daily. All to Your glory. May others embrace it as well. Amen. 
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Spiritual Liberty is Found in Christ

Liberty

Know the Truth and the the Truth Will Set You Free.

Spiritual liberty is the emancipation from bondage to sin thus freedom. There is no other place to find it than in the truth of Jesus.

John 8:31-32 (NIV)*
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
 John 14:5-6 (NIV)*
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Celebrating Liberty

This 4th of July, I not only celebrate my freedom in America but I also celebrate my freedom in Christ. For He has set me free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). I, especially, like the way 2 Corinthians 3:17, in the Amplified, reads,
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (emancipation from bondage, freedom).

I am not free to sin but free from bondage to sin because I am a new creation in Christ. I heard said that ‘we are not sinners because we sin. We sin because we are sinners’. This is what Christ has freed me from. Yes, I will have times when I do sin but I can confess my sins and repent.God will forgive me and cleanse me from all righteousness. (1 John 1:8-9). God has given His Holy Spirit to help me remember what I have been taught and provide a means of resisting temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).

lIBERTY

So celebrate your freedom today and everyday!
My Prayer: Dear God in heaven, I give You thanks for the freedom that You have given me through Your Son, Jesus Christ. Help me tell others about this freedom. Amen.

Psalm 118 verse 8 is in the center of the Bible: “It is better to trust in the Lord than put confidence in man.”

Copy and WIN : http://ow.ly/KNICZ

Psalm 118 verse 8 is in the center of the Bible: “It is better to trust in the Lord than put confidence in man.”

Copy and WIN : http://ow.ly/KNICZ

Psalm 118 verse 8 is in the center of the Bible: “It is better to trust in the Lord than put confidence in man.”

Copy and WIN : http://ow.ly/KNICZ

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New Self: A Change in Our Hearts

Change in our hearts

Our Hearts are Keys to the New Self.

This is the final part in a series on the New Self of which this makes 5. In part 4 of this series, Characteristics of the New Self, I discussed Colossians 3:11-13. We learned what we were to put on. This part we will discuss the change in our hearts as a result of Jesus in our lives.
“And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:14-17 ESV.
Here we are instructed to put on love which binds things together, to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts and be thankful. In verse 16 we find the how to, through letting word of Christ dwell in us going on to teach and admonish one another.
The key here is that it is a matter of the heart. First, we are to let the peace of Christ and His word rule in our hearts and second being thankful in our hearts to God.

My Personal ExperienceHearts changed

Ephesians 4:21-32 is another passage on putting on the new self. I particularly like verse 29, Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (ESV) This means that one should be mindful of what comes out of one’s mouth as not to hurt or harm others. One ought to think of something to say that would build the other person up instead.
God has often afforded me the grace to hold my tongue at times. He helped me to remember that once words are spoken I cannot take them back. I also think of how I would want to be treated and try my best to be kind. Again, I may not always get it right but I do my best to promptly admit when I do wrong and ask for forgiveness.
In conclusion, as a follower of Christ, I am called to live differently.  By the grace of God, the power of the Holy Spirit and study of God’s word I can be the light in this dark world. I am changed from the inside out and I like who I have become in Christ.
May you grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Tomorrow I will have another acronym for your consideration.
 

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Put on the New Self Part 1

Put on the New Self

Putting on the New Self

My focus is on putting on the new self as mentioned in Colossians 3:10.
This week, I will be mining Colossians chapter 3:1-17. Let’s begin with verses 1-4,If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (ESV).

There is a lot here. First, take a look at the ‘If then.’ I think of this the same way I do the ‘therefore.’ It implies a connection with what came before this chapter. Looking back at chapter 2 it is verses 5 -7 that grab my focus. Colossians 2:5-6,For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ. Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” 

To clarify, Paul is expressing to the Colossians his feelings for them as they persevere in faith.  They are rooted and built up in Christ for this Paul rejoices. This is what brings us to the ‘If then.’ Being rooted and established in our faith in Christ, we are to seek things that above and set our minds on higher things. For our lives are hidden in Christ with God. Hidden means kept out of sight; concealed. Set means put, lay, or stand (something) in a specified place or position.

Our Part

In conclusion, we are to put, lay, or stand our minds on things that are above (higher things, Isaiah 55:8-9) because we are concealed in Christ with God. Christ is our life. In Him we move and have our being (Acts 17:28).

It takes discipline to set our minds on things above but we are not helpless. For we have the help of the Holy Spirit to become disciplined disciples of Jesus. In doing so all things will grow strangely dim. And through our trials we will prevail for greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.

Next in the series: A Paradigm Shift.

So what do you need to do to set your mind on things above and not on earthly things? What things are your setting your mind on?

 

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