Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Active commands found in Philippians

1. Let your conversation be as it becomes the gospel of Christ. (1:27)
2. Stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel. (1:27)
3. Be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. (2:2)
4. Let each esteem other better than themselves. (2:3)
5. Look to the things of others. (2:4)
6. Have the mind of Christ. (2:5)
7. Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (2:12)
8. Hold forth the Word of Life. (2:16)
9. Hold faithful ministers of the gospel in reputation. (2:29)
10. Rejoice in the Lord. (3:1)
11. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. (3:2)
12. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded [pressing toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus]. (3:14-15)
13. Whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. (3:16)
14. Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. (3:17)
15. Stand fast in the Lord. (4:1)
16. Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. (4:4)
17. Let your moderation be known unto all men. (4:5)
18. In every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (4:6)
19. Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (4:8)

Active commands found in Ephesians

1. Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called, with all lowliness and meekness. (4:1-2)
2. With longsuffering forbear one another in love. (4:2)
3. Endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (4:3)
4. Put off the old man that waxes corrupt after the lusts of deceit. (4:22)
5. Be renewed in the spirit of your mind. (4:23)
6. Put on the new man, that after God hath been created in righteousness and holiness of truth. (4:24)
7. Put away falsehood. (4:25)
8. Speak truth each one with his neighbor. (4:25)
9. Be angry, and sin not. (4:26)
10. Let him that stole labor, working with his hands the thing that is good. (4:28)
11. Let what is good for edifying proceed out of your mouth. (4:29)
12. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice. (4:31)
13. Be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other. (4:32)
14. Be followers of God, as dear children. (5:1)
15. Walk in love. (5:2)
16. Give thanks. (5:4)
17. Walk as children of light. (5:8)
18. Reprove the unfruitful works of darkness. (5:11)
19. Walk circumspectly. (5:15)
20. Redeem the time. (5:16)
21. Be understanding what the will of the Lord is. (5:17)
22. Be filled with the Spirit. (5:18)
23. Speak to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. (5:19)
24. Give thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (5:20)
25. Submit yourselves one to another in the fear of God. (5:21)
26. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. (5:22)
27. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church. (5:25)
28. Let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself. (5:33)
29. The wife see that she reverence her husband. (5:33)
30. Children, obey your parents in the Lord. (6:1)
31. Honour your father and mother. (6:2)
32. Fathers, bring your children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (6:3)
33. Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ… As the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. With good will doing service, as to the Lord. (6:5-7)
34. Masters, do the same things unto them. (6:9)
35. Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (6:10)
36. Put on the whole armor of God. (6:11)
37. Take unto you the whole armor of God. (6:13)
38. Stand. (6:14)
39. Pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit. (6:18)
40. Watch with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. (6:18)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Active commands found in Galatians

1. Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free. (5:1)
2. By love serve one another. (5:13)
3. Love thy neighbor as thyself. (5:14)
4. Walk in the Spirit. (5:16, 25)
5. If a man be overtaken in a fault, restore him, considering yourself. (6:1)
6. Bear ye one another's burdens. (6:2)
7. Let every man prove his own work. (6:4)
8. Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teaches in all good things. (6:6)
9. Do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. (6:10)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Active commands found in II Corinthians

1. Come out from among them, and be ye separate. (6:17)
2. Cleanse yourself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (7:1)
3. Abound in this grace [giving money to help other believers in distress] also. (8:7)
4. Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; (9:7)
5. He that glories, let him glory in the Lord. (10:17)
6. The parents ought to lay up for the children. (12:14)
7. Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. (13:5)
8. Be perfect. (13:11)
9. Be of good comfort. (13:11)
10. Be of one mind. (13:11)
11. Live in peace. (13:11)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Active commands found in I Corinthians

1. That ye all speak the same thing… perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. (1:10)
2. He that glories, let him glory in the Lord. (1:31)
3. Let every man take heed how he builds upon the gospel foundation laid by another. (3:10)
4. If any man among you seems to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. (3:18)
5. Keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (5:8)
6. Set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. (6:4)
7. Flee fornication. (6:18)
8. Glorify God in your body, and in your spirit. (6:20)
9. To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. (7:2)
10. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. (7:3)
11. Defraud ye [husbands and wives] not one the other. (I Cor. 7:5)
12. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows… if they cannot contain, let them marry: (7:9)
13. Let not the wife depart from her husband… and let not the husband put away his wife. (7:10-11)
14. As the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. (7:17)
15. Take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling-block to them that are weak. (8:9)
16. Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. (9:9)
17. They which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. (9:14)
18. Run, that ye may obtain. (9:24)
19. Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. (10:12)
20. Flee from idolatry. (10:14)
21. Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth. (10:24)
22. Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake. (10:25)
23. If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake. (10:27)
24. Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. (10:31)
25. Be ye followers of me [Paul], even as I also am of Christ. (11:1)
26. Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. (11:28)
27. When ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. (11:33)
28. If any man hunger, let him eat at home. (11:34)
29. Covet earnestly the best gifts. (12:31)
30. Follow after charity. (14:1)
31. Desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. (14:1)
32. Seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church. (14:12)
33. Let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. (14:13)
34. In malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. (14:20)
35. Let all things be done unto edifying. (14:26)
36. If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. (14:27)
37. Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. (14:29)
38. If they [women] will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home. (14:35)
39. Covet to prophesy. (14:39)
40. Let all things be done decently and in order. (14:40)
41. Awake to righteousness. (15:34)
42. Be stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. (15:58)
43. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him. (16:2)
44. Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. (16:13)
45. Let all your things be done with charity. (16:14)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Active commands found in Romans.

I went through the book of Romans and listed all the active, explicit commands. What are not listed are the passive commands (the "do not"s), implied commands, or commands that were obviously only for the Roman church ("Greet Priscilla and Aquila). Maybe this can be a help to someone else as well.

1. Reckon yourself dead to sin. (6:11)
2. Yield yourself unto God. (6:13)
3. Yield your members servants to righteousness. (6:19)
4. Take heed, lest God not spare you as he spared not Israel. (11:21)
5. Behold the goodness and severity of God. (11:22)
6. Present your body a living sacrifice to God, holy, acceptable unto God. (12:1)
7. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (12:2)
8. Think soberly. (12:3)
9. Prophesy according to the proportion of faith. (12:6)
10. Attend to ministering, teaching, and exhortation. (12:7)
11. Give with simplicity. (12:8)
12. Rule with diligence. (12:8)
13. Show mercy with cheerfulness. (12:8)
14. Love without dissimulation. (12:9)
15. Abhor that which is evil. (12:9)
16. Cleave to that which is good. (12:9)
17. Be kindly affectioned with brotherly love. (12:10)
18. In honor, prefer others. (12:10)
19. Be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. (12:11)
20. Rejoice in hope. (12:12)
21. Be patient in tribulation. (12:12)
22. Continue instant in prayer. (12:12)
23. Distribute to the necessity of the saints. (12:13)
24. Be given to hospitality. (12:13)
25. Bless them which persecute you. (12:14)
26. Rejoice with those who rejoice. (12:15)
27. Weep with those who weep. (12:15)
28. Condescend to men of low estate. (12:16)
29. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. (12:17)
30. Live peaceably with all men. (12:18)
31. Feed your hungry enemy. (12:20)
32. Give your thirsty enemy drink. (12:20)
33. Overcome evil with good. (12:21)
34. Be subject unto the higher power. (13:1)
35. Pay tribute. (13:6)
36. Render to all authorities their dues. (13:7)
37. Love one another. (13:8)
38. Cast off the works of darkness. (13:12)
39. Put on the armour of light. (13:12)
40. Walk honestly. (13:13)
41. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. (13:14)
42. Recieve the weak in faith. (14:1)
43. Be persuaded of the importance (or lack thereof) of holy days in your own mind. (14:5)
44. Follow after things which make for peace and edifying. (14:19)
45. Bear the infirmities of the weak. (15:1)
46. Please your neighbor for his good to edification. (15:2)
47. Recieve one another. (15:7)
48. Mark and avoid them which cause divisions contrary to true doctrine. (16:17)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Was typhoon Haiyan God's judgement?

As substantial news begins to trickle in about the wreckage left in the wake of one of the strongest storms ever to make landfall, the massive scale of the damage - particularly the potential of the final numbers - is truly staggering. It is feared that 10,000 may be dead already in one city alone, and as relief teams begin to penetrate the more rural areas that number may not be simply added to, but multiplied. All of this fails to account for deaths that potentially may come in the following days and months from disease, malnutrition, and starvation as the realities of looted hospitals, unburied bodies, and deserting personnel sets in.
As Christians, nay as humans, it is natural for us to ask why. Not a meteorologic why, but a philosophic why. What is the purpose for all of this suffering and death? The humanistic evolutionist would tell you that there is no rhyme or reason, that it is all an unfortunate accident of blind nature and chance. But as Christians, particularly those of us who believe in an all sovereign God who designs and commands the weather (Psalm 135:6-7 Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places. He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries.) we cannot accept that as a suitable answer. Why would God direct Typhoon Haiyan into this disaster-prone country with inadequate infra-structure to deal with such devastation? The first conclusion we jump to is that God must be judging this nation! Yes, that must be it, these people with their strange blend of Roman Catholicism and cultural mysticism have finally been judged by God with this massive wall of water, figuratively washing away the sins of these people! We've already decided that was God's purpose behind Hurricane Katrina and the indonesian tsunami, here again we pat ourselves on our collective backs for being bright enough to figure out what God is doing, and we nod our heads in consent to the grand justice those people received. However, let me insert a word of caution before we become too settled in our minds that this is the certain answer.
Job's friends were all in consensus that his material, familial, and physical devastation had come upon him as judgement from God for some particular sin. Though not one could put a definitive finger on just what it was, that did not stop them from making lots of guesses and never swayed them from their first and now deep-seated impression that it was God's judgement. The problem is, at the beginning of the story we're given a behind-the-scenes look at what really was going on between Satan and God and at the end of the narrative we find God rebuking Job's friends for making false accusations about both Job and more importantly God himself!
Roughly 2,000 years later, Jesus ran into the same assumptions by his followers on multiple occasions, was the man blind because God was judging him or his parents for sin? (John 9:2) What grievous sin had the Galilaeans committed that God caused them to be killed by Pilate? (Luke 13:1) Or what were the heinous crimes perpetrated by those whom God crushed under the fallen tower of Siloam? (Luke 13:4) And every single time Jesus had the same answer for them, this was not judgement from God for any particular sin but a result of sin in general which reminds us that we all must repent and thus bring glory to God.
While I do agree that sin has built in consequences that are not pleasant, and while I do not disagree that God has and may still judge individuals and nations by acts of nature, let me also point out that almost every time someone in scripture thought they knew the mind of God in the midst of a tragedy, appropriating judgement as the necessary answer, they were wrong. Do the Phillipines deserve judgement more than America? Do we imagine that since we stamp "In God We Trust" on our fiat currency, he will excuse the "Against God We Rebel" stamped on our hearts? Does our official pledge (of allegiance to a piece of cloth representing an earthly kingdom... But that's another discussion altogether) of "one nation, under God" blind him to the fact that we refuse to be under his Lordship and make a mockery of his commandments at every turn? No, but unless we repent, we shall all likewise perish!
Secondly, why do we assume that large catastrophes equal God's judgement but small ones do not? Many who assert that this storm was an outpouring of God's wrath against sin would be appalled if we we made that same claim if a single child drowned in a stream. But because this was so large, so far away, and thus so impersonal, we have many who find it easy to stay atop their holy perches and dictate to us all what exactly God is doing in this situation.
Lastly, the assumption that this typhoon was God's judgement on sin, is a very light opinion of sin. Every one of the people who have died in this storm or will die as a result of it were going to die eventually anyways. Many of these people may have died a much quicker and less painful death than they would have had the storm never blown their way. God judges sin in two ways, by pouring out his wrath against it on Jesus as he hung on the cross and by pouring it out on those who rejected Jesus for an eternity in hell. A typhoon does not begin to compare with the gravity of either of those.
Instead of trying to figure out why God judged the Philippines, why don't we let God be God and we his servants obedient to his commands. Which are,
1. To repent ourselves, seeing what misery sin has brought into the world.
2. To love our neighbors as ourselves, look into how you can help the people of the Philippines.
3. To preach the gospel to all people, rejoicing with those who accept it and mourning for those who reject it, knowing that they will face a final judgement that makes the largest typhoon on record look like a gentle rain.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

What place do creeds, confessions, catechisms, and commentaries have in Christendom? (Part 1)

I'm a firm believer in Sola Scriptura, that is "The Scriptures Alone", however, that is a vague motto that has been used, misused, and abused by people from all different denominations to mean and support varying and often conflicting ideas. One particular misuse of this maxim has been termed biblicism, the belief that the scriptures are alone the only writings to which a christian should refer, casting aside all iterated doctrines, dogmas, and teachings that men have formulated (even if they have scripture as their foundation). While this sounds solid on the outset, it is dangerous in its intimation and impossible to apply. First, it will do great damage to sound doctrine by opening the door to any orator who can make a good argument for his interpretation of a particular passage of scripture. When we rely strictly on our own interpretation of scripture we give place to any Mormon, Catholic, Arian, Pelagian, etc. to make a case for their form of heresy from scripture (as they all attempt to do) because we refuse to look at what godly and learned men have decided about these very issues after much study and long debate. Second, it is impossible to implement because as soon as you've convinced someone that this is the proper way to interpret scripture, you have made a disciple and are now guilty of doing the very thing you're advocating against, i.e. allowing the teaching of a man to influence how you interpret scripture.
With all that being said, we must ask, "What then does Sola Scriptura mean? The Scriptures alone... what?" The answer is that the Scriptures alone are our ground and final rule of faith and practice. However, there are many helps that God has given to the church to help it in its definition and articulation of what the Scriptures teach. (Eph. 4:11-14) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
I. Creeds
According to dictionary.com a creed (in the sense I'm using it here) is "an authoritative, formulated statement of the chief articles of Christian belief." It comes from the Latin word "credo" which means "I believe". These have played an important part throughout the history of the church as concise statements which differentiate Christianity from other religions. In fact it is almost certain that in I Corinthians 15:3-7 Paul is quoting an early church creed that was probably formulated just 5-6 years after Jesus' death. The first clue is that he said in both verses one and three that he was giving them something that he had received. The Greek words behind "delivered" and "received" are the words that were used by scribes who copied and passed on written traditions. The next hint is the four part structure of the verses, further broken down into two parts made up of a fact with its supporting evidence. Note,
1. Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures.
1a. He was buried. (Not just a coma, or swooning, he was dead enough that they put him in the ground.)
2. He rose again on the third day, according to the scriptures.
2a. He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve, then of over 500 brethren. (It wasn't just a spiritual return or a hallucination, he really, bodily rose again.)
Thirdly, the connecting word "that" serves as quotation marks in the Greek (since it uses grammar to give sentence structure, instead of quotation marks) and Paul uses "how", "and", and "after" as additions to add emphasis to what he was saying, to keep the Corinthian church from hearing it as a cliche since they had probably heard and repeated it a hundred times before. So this early Christian creed probably went like this,
"We believe that Christ died for our sins,
according to the scriptures,
he was buried,
he rose again the third day,
according to the scriptures,
he was seen of Cephas,then of the twelve,
(whether verse seven was part of the creed or not is debated, if so it would have finished up with "He was seen of James then of all the apostles.")
Three early creeds that are very sound and have been held by Christians in all ages are the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed. The Apostles Creed is said by tradition to have been written by the twelve apostles, each contributing one of the twelve articles, on the day of Pentecost and that this is what they were doing when the Holy Ghost came upon them in Acts 2:1. Whether that is the case, or whether it was formulated by their students from their writings is not definitively known. What is known is that it was written in the first century and is entirely consistent with apostolic writings and teaching. John Calvin said this concerning this creed in his catechism.
Master. Then the foundation and beginning of confidence in God is to know him in Christ?
Student. Entirely so.
Master. I should now wish you to tell me in a few words, what the sum of this knowledge is?
Student. It is contained in the Confession of Faith, or rather Formula of Confession, which all Christians have in common. It is commonly called the Apostles’ Creed, because from the beginning of the Church it was ever received among all the pious, and because it either fell from the lips of the Apostles, or was faithfully gathered out of their writings.

This is how the creed reads, (complete with the supposed contributer of each article).
Peter - 1. I believe in God the Father Almighty
John - 2. Maker of heaven and earth
James - 3. And in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord
Andrew - 4. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost; born of the Virgin Mary
Philip - 5. Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried
Thomas - 6. He descended into hell, the third day he rose again from the dead
Bartholomew - 7. He ascended into heaven; sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty
Matthew - 8. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead
James, the son of Alpheus - 9. I believe In the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic church
Simon Zelotes - 10. The communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins
Jude, the brother of James - 11. The resurrection of the body
Matthias - 12. Life everlasting. Amen
(Notice in all three creeds that the word "catholic" is spelled with a small "c", it means worldwide or universal, it does not mean the church of Rome which now calls itself the Catholic Church.)
The second most important creed in christian history is the Nicene Creed, so named because it was adopted at the first ecumenical church council held in the city of Nicea in 325. This creed is a little longer and speaks more directly to the nature of the trinity, particularly the divine nature of Jesus, since that was the heresy that was sweeping the church at the time (the Arian controvery). Of over 300 christian bishops gathered at this council, this creed was accepted and signed by all but three who were denounced as heretics. If this creed were more widely accepted in Christianity today, those who reject the doctrine of the Trinity such as T. D. Jakes and William Young (author of The Shack), might not have such a large following nor find such acceptance among those who claim to be orthodox Christians. This creed states,
We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, light from light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
and became truly human.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father,
who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The third creed is know as the Athanasian Creed, named after Athansius who championed the true doctrine of the trinity in the face of Arianism. Unfortunately, even after the first council of Nicea in 325, and in spite of the denouncing of Arianism and the adoption of the Nicene Creed, Arianism actually became more popular than the accepted Christian position for the next fifty years until the council of Constantinople in 381 where the Nicene Creed was reaffirmed, and Arianism was crushed with Athanasius leading the charge. This creed was probably not written by him, in fact it may not have been written until the 700s, however, because it so clearly states what he articulated it bears his name to this day. It goes like this,
1. Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith;
2. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
3. And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;
4. Neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance.
5. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit.
6. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.
7. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit.
8. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated.
9. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.
10. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal.
11. And yet they are not three eternals but one eternal.
12. As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensible, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.
13. So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty.
14. And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty.
15. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God;
16. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.
17. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord;
18. And yet they are not three Lords but one Lord.
19. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord;
20. So are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say; There are three Gods or three Lords.
21. The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten.
22. The Son is of the Father alone; not made nor created, but begotten.
23. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
24. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.
25. And in this Trinity none is afore or after another; none is greater or less than another.
26. But the whole three persons are coeternal, and coequal.
27. So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.
28. He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.
29. Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
30. For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man.
31. God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of substance of His mother, born in the world.
32. Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.
33. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.
34. Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ.
35. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of that manhood into God.
36. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person.
37. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ;
38. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead;
39. He ascended into heaven, He sits on the right hand of the Father, God, Almighty;
40. From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
41. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies;
42. and shall give account of their own works.
43. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.
44. This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved.
If under the guise of Sola Scriptura, we forget what our forefathers so clearly iterated for us, many times in spite of the fact that it could cost them their lives, (it is said that many of the bishops at the first church council bore in their bodies the scars of persecution since Rome had only very recently legalized Christianity) we dishonor the very Word we claim to be upholding. For it is the scriptures themselves that have told us that God has given the church Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers for the perfecting of it. That means that we not only need the godly ministers we have today, but until the church is perfect and complete, we still need the foundational men and their works by which the church until this point has been edified and built.