freestyleroadtrip left a great comment the other day and then followed it up with a challenge, he has thrown down the gauntlet, when it comes to blog interaction/participation. So, let’s stir this up a little bit and talk about the use of the word “complete” in our statement of faith.
“…complete Word of God” is the phrase that fst has drawn attention to. He says:
To me, that word implies that God has already said everything that he needs to say and is no longer speaking. It is my belief that God speaks through any countless number of situations and circumstances, through nature, through each of our spirits…
Now, into our third week after Easter, we will be exploring some ideas about Jesus from the Apostles’ Creed. The Creed has more to say about Jesus than God the Father or the Holy Spirit. We won’t cover everything but we will touch upon some important material that I believe is valuable for all.
Here are two questions to think about regarding the Trinity. After our conversation this weekend I wonder if it is not possible for us to think about our ministry and our mission through the “lens” of the Trinity. Think about what we do, as a church, and how we do it. Reflect on this in light of our understanding that the Trinity is Father, Son and Spirit living in perfect community.
Question #1: How does this impact our mission in the world?
Question #2: How does this impact our ministry to one another?
Kim Fabricious has 10 Propositions on the Trinity. Do these help your thinking?
(HT to Brad Brisco for KF’s site.)
Let me share a couple of interesting passages that might inform our discussion of that portion of the creed which reads: “he descended to the dead”. The first is a passage that is often cited to refute the notion that such a thing took place, Luke 23:43.
Allow me to set the stage. Jesus is nearing the end of his life. The Bible tells us that in these last moments one of the two criminals who were crucified with him expressed remorse and asked Jesus, “remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus’ response is both legendary and comforting. Legendary because it has been referred to often as a signpost for heaven and comforting for the same reason.
I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.
You might see how this could create a problem for the Creed’s idea of “descending to the dead.” If Jesus told the thief on the cross that he would see him, later that day, in heaven then how could he spend time in the place of the dead?
Now let’s contrast this short passage with another in Acts 2:27. In this passage Peter quotes from Psalm 16, a Psalm about David and the Messiah, to make the point that God did intend Jesus to be resurrected. “…you will not abandon me to the grave”. The point is that Jesus will not remain in the grave, the place of the dead. So this creates a seeming conflict between these two passages which raises a couple of questions I would like us to discuss.
1. What happened to Jesus at the moment of his death? Did he immediately go to “paradise”, that place where Jesus said he would meet the crucified criminal?
2. Is that place different than the grave?
Let me know if you see a “conflict” between the two or if you have harmonized these two already. Also, go ahead and look at another verse I Peter 3:18-22.
(This is metal artwork is called, “The Good Thief”. I assume that the “good thief” is the one on the left whom Jesus is facing.)