When we say, “I believe in the Holy Ghost, it means, or should mean, that we understand the Holy Ghost to be a distinct person of the Godhead. This is the unmistakable teaching of God’s Word throughout.
On This Page 28. I Believe In The Holy Ghost I Believe in the Holy Ghost 1. Who He Is 2. His Work 3. His Means Publication Information 28.
When truly evangelical Christians speak of debts owed to God, it is never to be understood in this sense that we consider man capable of making an adequate return to God for what He has done for us. Salvation is not a subject of barter. All the combined efforts of all men would not suffice to purchase salvation for one soul. Salvation is God’s free gift. But God has done so much for us, and is still doing so much for us, that some return ought to be made, not in the way of paying a debt; but in the form of free, loving, grateful service.
The true children of God have nothing to fear so far as the great Judgment is concerned, for the Judge before whom they shall appear is the Lord Jesus Christ.
On This Page 26. Christ’s Return To Judgment Christ’s Return to Judgment 1. The True Children of God 2. The Judgment 3. After The Judgment Publication Information 26. Christ’s Return To Judgment When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.
The kingship of Jesus! Men in all the ages have been looking for a king, one who could fight successfully their battles, bring them deliverance, prosperity, and peace. Sometimes, in certain quarters of the world, men have thought they had found the object of their quest; some one who was able to give them the present measure of their quest. But the horizon continued to widen, the deeper longings of men’s souls were not satisfied.
We think of the meekness and gentleness, the tenderness and humility, of Jesus, and we cannot think too frequently, or adoringly, of these qualities; but it is a serious fault to forget, or fail to stress, the strength and courage of Jesus, the daring back of His lowliness, or the fact that, though love was His weapon, He wielded it with a knightly soldier’s hand. And now, in the realm of glory, the exalted God-man is the head, the generalissimo, of the armies of God both in heaven and on earth.
Recognizing the supreme importance of this doctrine to the whole fabric of our Christian faith, the enemies of the Gospel have ever been active in trying to undermine faith in the historicity of the resurrection. This was begun at once. Those who had been instrumental in putting Jesus to death, recognizing that His resurrection would be an unanswerable testimony to the deviltry of their deed, on being notified of the fact of Jesus’ resurrection, began at once industriously to circulate the report that His body had been stolen by some of his friends.
With respect to the whole article concerning the descent into hell, we should bear in mind the advice of the great reformer, and our confessions generally, to the effect that we should not give way to idle curiosity, or be led into vain speculation. This article cannot be comprehended by the reason and the five senses. “In such mysteries of faith we have only to believe and adhere to the Word.
We must not fail to hold fast to the truth that Christ’s death was a real death. It was not merely the semblance of death, from which He afterwards revived; much less was it a feigned death. The faith of the Church, based on the unmistakable teaching of God’s Word, is that Christ really died for our sins. All four of the evangelists say, “He gave up the ghost,” that is, His spirit, or life, departed from His body.
Jesus Christ was, in the fullest sense of the word, the spotless Lamb of God. He never did any sin, neither was guile found in His mouth. It was love which brought Him down from heaven for the very purpose of becoming our substitute.
On This Page 20. The Price Of Our Redemption (Part 2) The Price of Our Redemption I. The Curse II.
The prophets of old were preachers of righteousness, especially in times of indifference. They held up the demands of God’s Law. They denounced sin. They pictured in fiery eloquence God’s wrath against it, and pressed home in telling terms the consequences of sin unrepented of, and unpardoned. And then they came with God’s offer of forgiveness for all the truly penitent. They told of His desire for reconciliation, of the loving favor with which He would receive every one who came with penitence, confession, and faith.
For a man to be able to say that Jesus Christ is his Lord means not only that He is recognized to be truly the Son of God as well as the Son of man; but it means also the unreserved acceptance, in true faith, of Jesus Christ as his deliverer from sin and death and devil. In the sense of this article Jesus Christ is not the Lord of any person who is trusting for salvation in anything save Christ alone.
In our day these clauses, “conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary,” are seriously called into question. There are those who not only want them left out of the creed, but declare that it is a grievous wrong to retain them and insist on their acceptance as an article of faith. This controversy is known in the Church as the one concerning the Virgin Birth of Jesus.
Man is subject to the law, but cannot fulfill it. He can suffer the penalties of outraged law, but it would never suffice to pay his own debt, much less the moral debts of all men. God is the law-giver, and cannot be subject to it. He has the worth to pay man’s debt of sin, but as God alone He cannot suffer and die, which was the price of payment.
The humanity of Jesus is the best possible lesson on what true human nature is. By contrasting ourselves with Him we may learn how poor and frail we are. By studying His life we may learn what we may become. It is good that we have such an inspiring ideal at which to look.
On This Page 15. Jesus Christ The Son Of Man I Believe That Jesus Christ Is the Son of Man I.
As we rejoice in the pardon we have for the guilt of sin; as we hope to be more and more liberated from the power of sin in our lives; as we value the peace of heart which comes from assured fellowship with God in and through Christ; as we rejoice in the continually brightening hope of a richer, fuller, finally perfect life in the fellowship of the saints around the throne of glory, let us not be robbed of our confidence in the truth that Jesus is the very Son of God.
I believe in Jesus Christ. If we can truthfully, reverently say these words, into what a glorious fellowship they bring us. They bring us into the company of the sainted prophets whose eyes were anointed to see afar off the rising of the Day-star out of Jacob, and the coming of the Sun of Righteousness with healing in His wings. They make us brothers of the fearless Baptist, who bore witness that “this is the Son of God.
God is not only infinitely wise and great, He is also infinitely good. He is boundless in His mercy and patience toward the children of men. In His loving kindness God watches over us, and cares for us with a solicitude which never grows wearied or impatient. Assuredly we owe Him something for all this. We can make Him no adequate, no material, return. We can never pay God the debt we owe Him.
The root of the secret of God’s care for us is found in one word of the First Article of the Creed, — the word Father. We here confess that God is not only a creator, not only a governor; He is not only a being before whose wisdom and power we are called to prostrate ourselves: God is a father, our Father, in the full, rich, sweet meaning of the word.
In answer to man’s cry of need, God gives abundant assurance of His fatherly love and care for each one of us. He assures us that He is not a God far removed from our perplexities and struggles. He is a God at hand. He thoroughly understands our needs. His name is Father. This is the pledge of His love and His help. Come, let us draw near the Father’s knee and devoutly listen to His words of cheer, and take them to heart.
The origin of evil is a problem all men have pondered. The heathen nations, from earliest times, were forced to recognize the presence of a destructive power, and tried to account for its origin, and continued activity. Their efforts, naturally, were not satisfactory. The theory most plausible to them was that of dualism, the doctrine that there are two rival powers, a good and an evil, in perpetual struggle for the control of the world.