Quotes from Church Fathers & "The Apostle's Creed"

May 25, 2011

In the Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, we read of apostolic proclamation of Christ as the God-appointed Judge:

But after ten days from the ascension, which from the first Lord’s day is the fiftieth day, do ye keep a great festival: for on that day, at the third hour, the Lord Jesus sent on us the gift of the Holy Ghost, and we were filled with His energy, and we ‘spake with new tongues, as that Spirit did suggest to us;’ and we preached both to Jews and Gentiles, that He is the Christ of God, who is ‘determined by Him to be the Judge of quick and dead.’

—The Anti-Nicene Fathers: Translations of the Writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325, Vol. VII, 448; emphasis added

In the Apostle’s Creed, we read concerning people who desired to be baptized:

Although the received text of the Apostle’s Creed occurs first in the eight century, the contents are essentially an expansion of the positive form (the Old Roman Symbol) of the questions asked candidates for baptism at Rome at the end of the second century. The baptizer asked the one to be baptized, ‘Do you believe in God the Father Almighty?’ After the confession, ‘I believe,’ there was the first immersion. Then the baptizer asked, ‘Do you believe in Christ Jesus, the Son of God who was born of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, who was crucified in the days of Pontius Pilate, and died, [and was buried,] and rose from the dead and ascended in the heavens and sat down at the right hand of the Father, and will come to judge the living and the dead?

—Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, Second Ed., Vol. 1 A-K, 90; emphasis added

These historical records show that Apostolic and post-Apostolic ministry continued to include proclamation of God’s appointment of Christ as Judge and belief in that truth. We need to include the same points in our evangelism today. This is especially true because people have taught in our day that we should just tell people of the love of God for them and not speak to them of judgment.

Rajesh

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