The following sermon was preached on Sunday 30 March in Northwood Church in Keller, Texas. Encouragingly there was a number of gospel responses afterwards. You can watch the video here, or download the audio and a powerpoint file from the church’s website. Some brief notes follow the video here. More detail on the Trinity
I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord.
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary.
Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost:
I believe in the holy catholic church: the communion of saints:
The forgiveness of sins:
The resurrection of the body:
And the life everlasting. Amen.
The Apostles Creed
1. What is a Christian?
- Someone who believes the creeds?
- The creeds are simply summaries of what the Bible teaches
- “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
- Someone who openly confesses to others their intention to follow Jesus as their Lord: this means obeying his great commands to Love God and our neighbors, to love our enemies, to treat others as we want to be treated. Jesus last words, in the Great Commission included an instruction to teach new Christians to obey everything he told the disciples.
- Someone who believes that Jesus is Lord = God
- “Someone who believes in the physical resurrection of Jesus from the dead, and lives their life in light of the implications of that event.” From Raised With Christ
- See also my previous definition of a Christian.
2. How do we know Jesus is God?
“His only begotten Son, our Lord”
Three senses of begotten ….. Eternal, Virgin birth, resurrection as the first born of the New Creation
Jesus one substance with God, the imprint of him. Took on human form.
a. What is the Trinity like?
Illustrations are only helpful for showing what trinity is NOT like
e.g. WATER/ICE/STEAM But God all three at once
or FATHER/HUSBAND/SON “at once” but GOD is three persons not one.
- UNITY: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” John 1:1
- TRINITY: Seen clearly at Jesus’ baptism where Jesus is the one getting wet, the Father speaks from heaven, and the Spirit descends like a dove. Luke 3
- “We worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one: the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.” Athanasian Creed
The diagram above was found on Wikkipedia, but it is something that was first drawn hundreds of years ago. It shows us that the Father is not the same as the Son or the Spirit, but they are all God.
- “God is love” by his very nature 1 John 4:16
- Because of the trinity we can see that God was not lonely. The members of the Godhead eternally loved and indwelt each other
- “The Father is in me and I am in the Father” John 10:38.
- The Trinity desires to indwell the Church:
- “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” John 14:23
How else do we know Jesus is God?
- Because God raised him from the dead
- Does it matter?
- “Christianity is in its very essence a resurrection religion. The concept of resurrection lies at its heart. If you remove it, Christianity is destroyed.” – John Stott
- Do we neglect the resurrection?
3. Did Jesus rise again?
- The Biblical evidence is historically valid
- The existence of Jesus, his crucifixion, and the rapid growth of the belief he was risen is undisputed.
- A myth?
- A lie?
- Wrong tomb
or HE REALLY ROSE AGAIN!
For a summary of the historical evidence see my free chapter “Did Jesus really rise from the dead?”
What is our response to all this?
- Because Jesus is God & rose again we MUST follow him as our Lord
- Because Jesus is alive he can live in us and empower us
- Because God raised Jesus from the dead we can be confident he will do the same for us
- WE CAN HAVE HOPE