The Nicene Creed

(Sun 3-Sep-2017)

What we believe and why we believe it.

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.
And we believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life.

He proceeds from the Father and the Son,
and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified.
He spoke through the prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church.
We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look forward to the resurrection of the dead,
and to life in the world to come. Amen.

How do we know? Where have we learnt the gospel from?

Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house. For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself.

Hebrews 3:1‭-‬3 ESV

Return continously to the Bible, to God’s word – his instruction, his advice, his songs, his story.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16‭-‬17 ESV

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Deuteronomy 6:4‭-‬5 ESV

An early creed God’s people were instructed to learn and teach their children.

Nicene creed written by the early church at a conference in Nicea (in what is now Turkey) in response to a heresy that Jesus was not the divine son of God.

The achievements of an organisation is the result of the combined effort of every individual.

The church has never been perfect. It has been compromised for different things at different times. Hold on to the eternal standards.

Having a creed defines our faith

We know what we believe, have something to define and unify us.

Having a creed defends out faith

There are many cults and heresies still.

Having a creed declares our faith

We may be attacked for it, but we need to know what we believe in order to share it.

My creed is that to which I give my heart

William Sloane Coffin.

Be united as a church. Even more importantly, be united with a loving God, who wants a relationship.

Category: Noted

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Discipleship is...

(Sun 1-Feb-2015)

Lloyd Cook Potter’s House
Sermon recording

Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Matthew 6 v1-6 ESV

Our call as a church is to make disciples, not churchgoers, converts etc, so: what is a disciple?

  • Follower
  • Believer
  • Supporter
  • Student
  • Often about the hidden things; the test of a person’s faith is what they do in solitude, when no-one is watching

When you pray, when you fast, when you give.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 7 v21 ESV

Salvation is not by what we do, but following Christ does involve doing.

The call to discipleship has to be accepted as the norm for every Christian. And that has to begin with the understanding that we need to learn how to follow Jesus. It does not happen automatically. After all, unless we are convinced that discipleship is the core vocation of the church, it will stay as something that the keen ones, or the committed ones, get involved in. It will be seen as A level Christianity for the ones who are really serious about faith, when most of us feel that we have settled for the GCSE level.

Imagine Church, Neil Hudson.

Discipleship is for all Christians, not an optional extra.

What are the marks of a disciple?

  • Will worship God
  • Obey God.
  • Loves people, forgives people
  • Sacrifices, gives.

Which of these things seems most difficult to you? That may be what God is challenging you on.

Are you a disciple?

Do I worship and obey God? Read the Bible and pray regularly? Give willingly? Yet it is not all about us, it should be about God, a love response, not out of guilt or condemnation.

Category: Noted

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How to pray

(Sun 18-Jan-2015)

Sermon notes, Wallingford Baptist Church, Pastor Simon Hudson

From a series on prayer based around 2 Chronicles 7 v14

if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7 v14 ESV

1: Pray in desolation – “humble”

No matter how great personal circumstances, we need to recognise our greatest need is our need for God. Our priority in prayer should be God himself, not what we can get from God, not using God or prayer as a machine for what we want, or for other attempts at solutions to our problems. This doesn’t mean we should never pray for health or wealth etc, but that we should pray for them only that they may help us to know God better, and not to try solve problems with them, when the real solution is more of God in our lives.

Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die: Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord ?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.

Proverbs 30 v7-9 ESV

Augustine letter to Proba

2: By discipline – pray

Martin Luther wrote a letter to Peter Beskendorf, his barber, in response to being asked how to pray.

So, a good and attentive barber keeps his thoughts, attention, and eyes on the razor and hair and does not forget how far he has gotten with his shaving or cutting. If he wants to engage in too much conversation or let his mind wander or look
somewhere else he is likely to cut his customer’s mouth, nose, or even his throat. Thus if anything is to be done well, it requires the full attention of all one’s senses and members, as the proverb says, “He who thinks of many things, thinks of nothing and does nothing right.” How much more does prayer call for concentration and singleness of heart if it is to be a good prayer!

Martin Luther, How One Should Pray, for Master Peter the Barber, 1535

Make prayer a habit:

It is a good thing to let prayer be the first business of the morning and the last at night. Guard yourself carefully against those false, deluding ideas which tell you, “Wait a little while. I will pray in an hour; first I must attend to this or that.” Such thoughts get you away from prayer into other affairs which so hold your attention and involve you that nothing comes of prayer for that day.

Martin Luther, How One Should Pray, for Master Peter the Barber, 1535

The letter also provides a four stranded approach to praying from the scriptures:
*What does this Bible lesson teach me to do?
*What does it teach me to be thankful for?
*What does it teach me to confess?
*What does it teach me to be thankful for?

God hears a silent prayer in our head, but speaking our prayers can help us focus on our prayer, rather than letting mind wander.

3: Pray With disciples

As well as praying alone, praying together as a church, with family, and with other groups should be part of our prayer life.

4: Pray depending on the name of Jesus

Pray in the name of Jesus, relying on him. It is Jesus’ intercession that gives us the right to be heard.

Category: Noted

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