Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Deposit

So what do we mean when we talk about the "revelation" Jesus brought or the "deposit of faith" or the faith "given once and for all to the saints," as we did yesterday? What was it that the Apostles were so busily "passing down" to the members of the Christian Movement? Yes, certainly the New Testament, but please read on for a minute to see where I'm coming from. Before word one of the New Testament was committed to writing, Jesus' emissaries were teaching this revelation face to face.

I'm taking this from my site's 'Prologue' up at the top of the page. The other red boxes break up and discuss what this Prologue says. It's fairly short and I'll expand on it in future articles, but I'd ask that you notice two things as you read it through: First, how bare-bones it is. Jesus left a lot of the work up to his Movement. Another topic for a future post, I think!

And second, notice... that it's a story! The revelation Jesus left us with did not consist of a list of rules or a detailed chart of how Bible prophecy works out. When the last Apostle died they left us with a story.


___________________

Personally, I like a religion that can be summed up in a short poem.

In ancient times, when someone decided to follow Jesus of Nazareth, they would first have this poem recited to them, line by line. And after each line they would be asked, "Do you believe this?" "Yes," they would respond, "I believe."

Then they would be baptized.

That poem, of course, is the Apostle's Creed, dating back to the earliest days of the movement Jesus founded. During the first ages of that movement, Christian documents were expensive, cumbersome, and prone to be confiscated and burned by the authorities. But, although you might not be able to carry the Bible with you, you could carry this poem (composed of artfully arranged quotes from Scripture) in your mind.

Today, whatever else they may squabble about, Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant are united on the truth of these words. Even those groups that claim to eschew creeds will usually agree with it's teachings.

It is this poem that we present here. These are the core truths Jesus and his Apostles taught. This is what the ancient martyrs died for. This is the Authentic Light.


~~~

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

And 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, dead, and buried.
He descended into hell.

On the third day he rose from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From there he shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting.

Amen.



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