Thursday, January 3, 2013

CREED: You Are What You Beleive

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord… The Apostle’s Creed

The Latin word, credo (from which we get our English word creed), simply means I believe. It's the first word of The Apostles' Creed - an ancient articulation of central Christian beliefs. Throughout the history of church, and in particular, throughout the early history of the church, the Christians formed and embraced creedal statements to clarify the Christian faith and to distinguish true content from error or false representations (e.g., The Apostle's Creed, The Nicene Creed, and The Athanasian Creed).

Though the creeds serve a great purpose in summarizing central Christian truth, they are not Scripture; rather, as with all theology and sound beliefs, the ancient Christian creeds were shaped by Scripture.  

What do believe?  

What's shaping your beliefs?

Everyone believes something about God, therefore everyone, in one way or another, is a theologian. The question is not whether you do theology or not, but whether or not you are good at it!  And it’s not whether or not your beliefs are developing and being shaped, but whether or not your beliefs are being shaped by the right resources!

So where do you look for truth?

What has and is shaping your understanding about God?

Throughout this teaching series in January, we will be learning how to think and live theologically – highlighting each week that a proper and ever developing view of God radically shapes our living.  And, in our Community Groups, we will be working through the Apostle's Creed together.  Great times are ahead!

"May the Lord as His blessing to reading, hearing, and doing of His holy Word."  Hope to see you at each Sunday Gathering!

January 6th - Theology + Scripture
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

During this study, we will begin this series with the only proper starting point for discovering and understanding God - HIS HOLY WORD.  What is the Christian view of Scripture and its authority?   How did God give it to us?  How are we supposed to understand it and apply it?

January 13th - Theology + Humility
1 Peter 5:5-6
All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

Pastor Randy, from our sending church, Grace Christian Fellowship, will be preaching on this Sunday!  As we continue to develop and evolve in our understanding of God, not only does our view of God change, but our life is changed as well.  An ever increasing understanding of God inevitably brings correction, perspective, and blessing into our lives.  In essence, a sound theology leads to a robust doxology!  How does an increasing and enlarging view of God produce humility in our lives?  What is humility?  Why do we need it? How do theology and doxology go hand in hand?

January 20th - Theology + Peace
Philippians 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

An ever reforming and expanding belief in God enlarges our understanding of who God is and helps us understand what His rescue mission, the missio Dei (e.g., John 3:16), for the world is.  When our belief is sound, our living can be sound; and, like the Apostle Paul, we can experience an inner peace that powerfully enables us to thrive in any situation.  What is Christian peace? How can a healthy view of God help us in our difficulties and trials?  How can our understanding of God’s character bring about peace in our lives? 

January 27th - Theology + Love
Colossians 4:14-17
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. ...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. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus...

Steve Lee will be sharing the Word this Sunday and challenging us to understand that an ever expanding and improving belief in God, when done rightly, produces humble, worshipful, peaceful, and loving people.  Far too often, Christians come across as either fundamental jerks or namby-pamby liberals! Jesus was neither Jesus was full truth and grace.  He was firm in his beliefs and just as firm in his love and acceptance of others!  Theology is nothing more than the pursuit of knowing and experiencing God more; and as we do theology, we become more and more like him.  How should a better view of God produce love within us and enable us to live out the greatest commandment?  What is the Christian understanding/definition of love? How is it different from other types of love?  What does it mean to love God?  What does it mean to love others? 

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