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Archive for June, 2021

Prayer of the Day

Merciful and eternal God, Your holy apostles Peter and Paul received grace and strength to lay down their lives for the sake of Your Son. Strengthen us by Your Holy Spirit that we may confess Your truth and at all times be ready to lay down our lives for Him who laid down His life for us, even Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 

Appointed Scripture Readings:  Acts 15: 1-21   Psalm 46   Galatians 2: 1-10   St. Matthew 16: 13-19

The festival of St. Peter and St. Paul is probably the oldest of the saints’ observances (dating from about the middle of the third century). An early tradition held that these two pillars of the New Testament Church were martyred on the same day in Rome during the persecution under Nero. In addition to this joint commemoration of their deaths, both apostles are commemorated separately: Peter on January 18 for his confession of Jesus as the Christ (Matthew 16:13-16) and Paul on January 25 for his conversion (Acts 9:1-19).

The New Testament tells us much about both apostles. Peter was with Jesus from the beginning of His ministry and served as a leader among the disciples. Despite his steadfast faith, Scripture also records of his failures, such as his rebuke of Jesus (Matthew 16:21—23) and his threefold denial of his Lord (Matthew 26:69-75). Following Jesus’ ascension, Peter continued as a leader in the Church (Acts 1:15; 2:M; 15:7).

Paul, a devout Jew also known as Saul, entered the scene as a persecutor the Church. Following his miraculous conversion, in which the risen Christ Himself appeared to him, Paul became a powerful preacher of the grace of God. During his three missionary journeys (Acts 13-14; 16-18; 18-21), Paul traveled throughout modern-day Turkey and Greece. The New Testament account of his life ends with Paul under house arrest in Rome (Acts 28:16), though tradition holds that he went on to Spain before returning to Rome. (From The Treasury of Daily Prayer, Concordia Publishing House)

1 Corinthians 3 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—  13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

16 Do you not know that YOU are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in YOU17If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and YOU are that temple. (emphasis added)

From Gregory Lockwood’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians: 

 In addition (and this is most important in the context), these three more valuable items are noncombustible, whereas the materials in the second group are all combustible. The OT refers to gold, silver, and precious stones as building materials used in the tabernacle and the temple. Thus Paul anticipates the temple imagery of 3:16-17.7

The precious, noncombustible materials represent preaching, teaching, and pastoral care that rest upon the Gospel. The combustible items signify teaching and methods motivated by human “wisdom” (1:17-22; 2:1-5, 13; 3:19) and therefore at odds with God’s “wisdom” (1:24, 30; 2:6-7)—the doctrine of Christ.

Apostles Peter and Paul used the gold, silver and the precious stones of preaching, teaching and pastoral care that rests upon the Gospel to build the Church, a living building. In the same 1 Corinthians chapter, the Apostle Paul also wrote about the Church in Corinth and it’s Life, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” (1 Cor. 3:  6). How did the Apostles Peter and Paul plant and water? Answer: again God’s Word, the Word of Christ. Peter was charged by the Lord to feed His sheep Christ’s precious promises fulfilled. Peter did. Paul was charged by the Lord to bring His Name to the world. Paul did. How? The Word of Christ which made us, redeemed us and sanctifies us, as our Lord, even to laying down their lives.

How did they do it? This is further preached by Pr. Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his 1933 Sermon in Berlin, soon to be the Nazi’s capitol (read full sermon here):

It may be that from a human point of view great times for the church are actually times of demolition. It is a great comfort which Christ gives to his church: you confess, preach, bear witness to me, and I alone will build where it pleases me. Do not meddle in what is my province. Do what is given to you to do well and you have done enough. But do it well. Pay no heed to views and opinions, don’t ask for judgments, don’t always be calculating what will happen, don’t always be on the lookout for another refuge! Let the church remain the church! But church, confess, confess, confess! Christ alone is your Lord, from his grace alone can you live as you are. Christ builds.

How? The Apostles Peter and Paul confessed Christ as Lord. Jesus told them to do so. We must as well.

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V.I. Lenin’s embalmed body is still in his tomb for visitors to see it. There has been discussion in Russia on removing it. Putin said nyet to moving Lenin’s body, and according to the Wikipedia article, Putin, “…opposed (to moving Lenin’s body), stating that a reburial of Lenin would imply that generations of citizens had observed false values during seventy years of Soviet rule.” Yes, that’s about right but no implication: they did have false values as adoring a corpse who in life as a god willingly enslaved a people and worked tirelessly to export his socialist utopia to the entire world. This is an apt description of false worship and a false and tyrannical god and the current Russian government is still continuing the Communist idolatry.

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worship and idolatry:money - YouTube

The quote of this article’s title is from Luther’s The Large Catechism and his teaching on the 1st Commandment: You shall have no other gods. I read an article this past weekend in the National Review and the author cited the novelist, David Foster Wallace‘s 2005 commencement speech to the graduating class at Kenyon College “This is Water”. In this funny and pointed address, which became very widely popular, he said something that corroborates Luther’s central understanding of mankind, all of us, in terms of the 1st Commandment and I think, original sin. Here is the pertinent section, and remember this is a well-regarded commencement address to graduating college seniors after a generation of progressivism, leftist politics and atheism:

“…in the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship–be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles–is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It’s been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness.

Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they’re evil or sinful, it’s that they’re unconscious. They are default settings.

They’re the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that’s what you’re doing.

And the so-called real world will not discourage you from operating on your default settings, because the so-called real world of men and money and power hums merrily along in a pool of fear and anger and frustration and craving and worship of self. Our own present culture has harnessed these forces in ways that have yielded extraordinary wealth and comfort and personal freedom. The freedom all to be lords of our tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone at the centre of all creation.

Yes, there is no atheism. We all have gods which we choose or which our innate desire to worship takes hold of and the god, as Mr. Wallace said, power, lust, money, et. takes hold of us. I could say a whole lot more on what he said that, “…the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship–be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles–is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.” Even the so called ‘spiritual’ deities will also eat you alive. “JC” won’t. Molech ate his sacrifices alive, the Lord makes us alive. The Four Noble Truths, fine morals, but no morality ever so loved the world (John 3: 16). Yet, this comment is very much attuned with a relevant and similar comment by G. K. Chesterton, Roman Catholic, also a novelist said in 19th century:

“That Jones shall worship the god within him turns out ultimately to mean that Jones shall worship Jones. Let Jones worship the sun or moon, anything rather than the Inner Light; let Jones worship cats or crocodiles, if he can find any in his street, but not the god within. Christianity came into the world firstly in order to assert with violence that a man had not only to look inwards, but to look outwards, to behold with astonishment and enthusiasm a divine company and a divine captain. The only fun of being a Christian was that a man was not left alone with the Inner Light, but definitely recognized an outer light, fair as the sun, clear as the moon, terrible as an army with banners.”

Wiccan Mother goddess etc. and worshiping cats and crocodiles at least is not so curved in upon one Self, “…to be lords of our tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone at the centre of all creation (Wallace) and we think it’s utopia but as the word “utopia” literally means “no place”, it’s no place to be, it’s unreal, virtual and really cruel. Further, in his address, Wallace uses the words “default position” and “hard-wired” again and again to talk he ways we innately do this false worship. I think “default position” and “hard-wired” are good descriptors of original sin. I have written, preached and taught that advertisers know our innate desire to worship, which is woefully fallen and corrupt, and bank on it and go to the bank on the profits of our false worship, and Wallace corroborated my observation. It is not the gods that makes us idolaters but the desire to worship is corrupted by sin.

I think idolatry is the origin of original sin, “to be like God” (see Genesis 3!). Mr. Wallace aptly describes what our false worship does to us as we become the things we worship (see Psalm 115:4-8) and as things, only the Lord, the living God can breathe on us His Word to make us alive, forgiven of our idolatries.

For the entirety of David Foster Wallace’s commencement address, This is Water.

For a great satire on idolatry: Isaiah 44: 9-20

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PrayerGraphics.com » Nativity of St. John the Baptist – Filled with the  Holy Spirit

COLLECT OF THE DAY

Almighty God, through John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, You once proclaimed salvation. Now grant that we may know this salvation and serve You in holiness and righteousness all the days of our life; through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

READINGS: Isaiah 40:1-5 Psalm 85:(1-6) 7-13 Acts 13:13-26 St. Luke 1:57-80

Bio:  St. John the Baptizer, the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth, was born into a priestly family.  His birth was miraculously announced to his father by an angel of the Lord (Luke 1: 5-23), and on the occasion of his birth, his aged father proclaimed a hymn of praise (Luke 1:67-79). This hymn is entitled the Benedictus and serves as the traditional Gospel Canticle in the Church’s Service of Morning Prayer. Events of John’s life and his teaching are known from accounts in all four of the Gospels. In the wilderness of Judea, near the Jordan River, John began to preach a call to repentance and a baptismal washing, and he told the crowds, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). John denounced the immoral life of the Herodian rulers, with the result that Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee, had him arrested and imprisoned in the huge fortress of Machaerus near the Dead Sea. There Herod had him beheaded (Mark 6:17-29). John is remembered and honored as the one who with his preaching pointed to “the Lamb of God” and “prepared the way” for the coming of the Messiah. (The Treasury of Daily Prayer, CPH)

“And immediately (Zechariah’s) mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God.” St. Luke 1: 64)

If not mistaken, the narrative of the birth (nativity) of John the Baptist is the only other birth narrative, besides the Lord, which is recorded in the New Testament. This shows John was crucial in the Lord’s plan of salvation. What we see happen to John will happen to Jesus.

Every morning the Church sings Zechariah’s song of thanksgiving, the Benedictus (“Blessed”). The Benedictus has two parts, verses 68-75 which are singing of the Lord’s Incarnation in the blessed womb of His Mother, the Virgin Mary (St. Luke 1: 26-38) and beginning at 1: 76, singing of the prophetic ministry of Zechariah’s son, John as forerunner who will prepare the way of the Lord.

Zechariah, who could not speak because he disbelieved the angel’s word to him, now his mouth is opened and his tongue loosed and he sings the Benedictus. Psalm 51: 15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise. An open mouth and a loosed tongue are crucial that as John, we also by our prayers and praises, holy conversation and care, prepare the Way of Christ for others so He can make faith in our neighbors and be saved. The Benedictus, as our morning prayer, is crucial as we begin the day.

The goal here is a “loosed tongue”, not a “loose tongue”. A loose tongue is the scourge of the Old Adam leaving no thought unsaid these days in conversation both real and virtual. Like the old WWII saying had it right for all times: Loose lips sink ships. The tongue is so difficult to control (see James 3: 8). We can not tame it. It does countless damage 24/7. A loosed tongue is a freed tongue not to sing our praises but Him has given us, “…knowledge of salvation to His people in the forgiveness of their sins (St. Luke 1: 77). The more we give into saying whatever the heck I want to say, is not freedom, but enslavement to sin. The Lord has forgiven us and Zechariah. Nowadays a “loose tongue” can cause some problems, but is generally considered by the world as perverse bravery; but a “loosed tongue”, singing God’s praises and sharing His Word, can cause even martyrdom as it did for John. Herod Antipas, who had John decapitated, had a loose tongue and caused such carnage. John speaking and living freely God’s Word, a loosed tongue, gave so many life in the Name of Jesus. In deed:

3Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth;
keep watch over the door of my lips!
4Do not let my heart incline to any evil,
to busy myself with wicked deeds
in company with men who work iniquity,
and let me not eat of their delicacies
!
(Psalm 141)

O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.

We praise You for the Baptist,
Forerunner of the Word,
Our true Elijah making
A highway for the Lord.
The last and greatest prophet,
He saw the dawning ray
Of light that grows in splendor
Until the perfect day. (Lutheran Service Book, #518, By All Your Saints in Warfare, stanza 18

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In an excellent article in the 2021 May Lutheran Witness magazine edition, “Two Views on Technology and Faith, Part I: The Divided Mind”, on Godly use of the internet and social platforms, Pr. Matthew Richard has this keen insight:

We no longer travel in a car with quiet windshield time, but we drive, talk, text and listen to the radio at the same time. Reading a book used to be an escape from the busyness of life; now, when we read on a screen, any number of notifications interrupt us. Once upon a time, we communicated with letters and phone conversations; now, we have messages coming at us from email, texting, Messenger, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and so on. And consider this: We used to read about news in the past tense, which removed us — to a certain degree — from the various crises of the world. Now we get the news in the present tense, which seems to put us in the middle of every crisis we hear about. News in the present tense creates urgency. (emphasis added)

And needless to say, the content of so many news feeds are not actually news but about frightening topics that may or may not happen, so making for more worry. “A new study has shown…” Worry and anxiety are the symptoms of the old Adam’s idolatrous embrace of the world. There are so many tempests in a teapot, 24/7 and advertisers know the old Adam better than we do: so more tempests in a teapots to sell more teapots!

But I think what else is at foot here in this present tense urgency, with the news feeds coming into our phones, even during the night, is the old Adam wants to be the center of everything. This makes me feel self-important, in the know, “with it”, to use the old ’60s jargon. Except, when I wake up and realize I can’t do nothing much about all I am hearing, reported as real or faintly possible. Get angry, yes, but that does not produce the righteousness that comes from God. Or depressed and sad.

Like my Dad was wont to me, You’re not the center of everything. Only the Lord is and the May Lutheran Witness is not simply about use and misuse of the internet but seeking the Kingdom of God first and consider the lilies of the field and the birds in the sky (St. Matthew 6: 25-34).

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The Daily Lectionary’s Old Testament readings at this time of the Church Year are from The Book of Proverbs.

One of my favorite estates is Kykuit, the Rockefeller estate on the Hudson River, in New York. It was begun by John D. Rockefeller. Eventually, his grandson, Nelson Rockefeller lived there. It is a favorite because another grandchild-in-law of John D., Abby Rockefeller, besides being a philanthropist and active in her church’s work, was an avid collector of modern art. She donated her sizable collection to help form the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. In Kykuits mansion are reproductions of Cezannes, Picassos, etc. The gardens have many sculptures. In Kykuit’s lower floor, there is a gallery of large tapestries of Picasso’s paintings that when being woven were supervised by Picasso himself. Nelson liked to bring guests down to this gallery for cocktails.

There are many treasures in this mansion. Proverbs 15:6In the house of the righteous there is much treasure, but trouble befalls the income of the wicked.” In the righteous man’s home there is much treasure, and given the tenor and theme of Holy Scripture, it is filled with the everlasting treasures of God’s Word, grace, mercy and peace, the holy commandments, the Lord’s Table of His Body and Blood, the baptized washed in the blood of the Lamb and faith active in love. I still like the King James’ Version of St. John 14: 2: “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” Not just a mansion in the Father’s house, but many. The great painters and artists can only give a glimpse of the eternal beauty of creation and holiness and the saints in Christ by the Holy Spirit give more than glimpse, worth more than gold: faith and love as He first loved us. Like Kykuit, so much to see, but we don’t live in a great mansion of the wealthy but by His grace in His Son, we do live in His House, His mansion: and not merely see but to believe and be strengthened in His Word in which we hope.

Trouble befalls the income of the wicked because the wicked, (and we are prone as well), set heart on wealth to save us. As our Lord taught:

1“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

We treasure the Lord and His Word and His ways and the people He has given to us to care for more than the greatest painting in the world in the greatest mansion.

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Ezekiel 17 » The Warehouse » Bible Commentary by Chapter

Ezekiel 17: 22 Thus says the Lord God: “I myself will take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar and will set it out. I will break off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and I myself will plant it on a high and lofty mountain. 23 On the mountain height of Israel will I plant it, that it may bear branches and produce fruit and become a noble cedar. And under it will dwell every kind of bird; in the shade of its branches birds of every sort will nest. 24 And all the trees of the field shall know that I am the Lord; I bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish. I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it.”

This lesson from Ezekiel is a similar parable to Jesus’ parables about seeds, esp. the mustard seed parable, cf. St. Mark 4:26–34. A sprig planted in Israel which becomes “a noble cedar” (Ez. 17: 23), also for all the birds of the air to nest in like the mustard seed.  This parable is preceded by two similar parables in Ezekiel.  The first one a sprig is taken by a great eagle from the land and planted in  “… a land of trade and set it in a city of merchants”, that is Babylon (Ez. 17: 4).  Israel was carried off by the great eagle, Nebuchanezar of Babylon, into Exile. In the second parable, Ez. 17: 7 and following a vine was transplanted in Israel from Israel in order to grow and flourish. This was Zedekiah, a son of David, planted by the Babylonian king.  Zedekiah would have flourished but the Lord said he despised the Lord’s covenant as Zedekiah made a deal with Pharaoh and Egypt for his armies to protect Judah.  It did not turn out well at all for Zedekiah and Judah.  Pharaoh gave tepid support and Zedekiah would die in Babylon. Then today’s third parable points to the Messiah, the Christ, growing so that “birds of every sort will nest”.

We cannot trust power politics to save the day. We were never suppose to.  We must speak the Word, live the Word, pray the Word, love the Lord and in His Word serve and love our neighbors. For, “Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.” Psalm 84:3

Further, there may be a strong allusion to the exile in Psalm 1, chosen for the Third Sunday after Pentecost, to the exile in Babylon. He has planted you by streams of living water as the Lord said in Psalm 1.  One English Biblical scholar said in a lecture that Psalm 1 was written during the Babylonian exile.  The “streams of water” (vs. 3) is the Hebrew also for canals, as in the canals coming off the Tigris and Euphrates. Even there, in His Word, God’s people can live and flourish in His Word. The Church can as well, as her history in and under the Lord, attests. It’s not easy. Israel could live even in a foreign land.  As for the Church and Her Christians, “Every foreign land is their home, and every home a foreign land” (From The Letter to Diognetus, 2nd century).  And the foreign nature of a sinful world will affect and infect even a family, a nation, a church and that should not stop us from going out to sow, as the world needs ever more the good seed cast upon the earth as we do day by day. And the Church does NOT need to transplant our selves into false doctrines and ways to thrive.  All in the seed is all the power of God to grow and grow us, watered by God’s almighty hand, fed by every Word of God to be His noble vine, noble cedar.

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About the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea, AD 325:  The first Council of Nicaea was convened in the early summer of AD 325 by Roman Emperor Constantine at what is today Iznik,Turkey. The emperor presided at the opening of the council. The council ruled against the Arians, who taught that Jesus was not the eternal Son of God but was created by the Father and was called Son of God because of His righteousness. The chief opponents of the Arians were Alexander, bishop of Alexandria, and his deacon, Athanasius. The council confessed the eternal divinity of Jesus and adopted the earliest version of the Nicene Creed, which in its entirety was adopted at the Council of Constantinople in AD 381. (From The Treasury of Daily Prayer, Concordia Publishing House)

Collect of the Day:

Lord God, heavenly Father, at the first ecumenical Council of Nicaea, Your Church boldly confessed that it believed in one Lord Jesus Christ as being of one substance with the Father. Grant us courage to confess this saving faith with Your Church through all the ages; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

“We believe in one Unbegotten God, Father Almighty, maker of all things both visible and invisible, that has His being from Himself. And in one Only-begotten Word, Wisdom, Son, begotten of the Father without beginning and eternally; word not pronounced nor mental, nor an effluence of the Perfect, nor a dividing of the impassible Essence, nor an issue ; but absolutely perfect Son, living and powerful (Hebrews 4:12), the true Image of the Father, equal in honour and glory. For this, he says, ‘is the will of the Father, that as they honour the Father, so they may honour the Son also’ (John 5:23): very God of very God, as John says in his general Epistles, ‘And we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ: this is the true God and everlasting life’ (1 John 5:20): Almighty of Almighty. For all things which the Father rules and sways, the Son rules and sways likewise: wholly from the Whole, being like the Father as the Lord says, ‘he that has seen Me has seen the Father’ (John 14:9). But He was begotten ineffably and incomprehensibly, for ‘who shall declare his generation?’ (Isaiah 53:8), in other words, no one can. Who, when at the consummation of the ages (Hebrews 9:26), He had descended from the bosom of the Father, took from the undefiled Virgin Mary our humanity (ἄνθρωπον), Christ Jesus, whom He delivered of His own will to suffer for us, as the Lord saith: ‘No man takes My life from Me. I have power to lay it down, and have power to take it again’ (John 10:18). In which humanity He was crucified and died for us, and rose from the dead, and was taken up into the heavens, having been created as the beginning of ways for us (Proverbs 8:22), when on earth He showed us light from out of darkness, salvation from error, life from the dead, an entrance to paradise, from which Adam was cast out, and into which he again entered by means of the thief, as the Lord said, ‘This day shall you be with Me in paradise’ (Luke 23:43), into which Paul also once entered. [He showed us] also a way up to the heavens, whither the humanity of the Lord , in which He will judge the quick and the dead, entered as precursor for us. We believe, likewise, also in the Holy Spirit that searches all things, even the deep things of God (1 Corinthians 2:10), and we anathematise doctrines contrary to this.”–Athanasius of Alexandria (From The Treasury of Daily Prayer, Concordia Publishing House)

DEATH OF GOD | US GOD'S DEATH | image tagged in jesus | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

The Council of Nicaea offered the counsel and consolation of Scripture and the Gospel because a bishop, Arius, was teaching there was a time when Christ was not. Maybe Arius’ teaching is the origin of the understanding that Jesus was good teacher alone but He did not leave that option open to us. So for Arius, the Scriptures were like Wikipedia article today: anyone can add or subtract the words of God one likes or dislikes. Only the utter weight of God in man dying on the Cross, bearing our sin can lift us up to the Lord Himself.We can not do the heavy lifting of our sins.  Arius was not capable of that either and neither are you nor I.

The Scriptural Basis of the Nicene Creed:

God the Father:

I Believe
Rom. 10:9Jas 2:19John 14:1

In one God,
Deut. 6:4Is. 44:6

The Father
Is. 63:162 Pet 1:17Matt. 6:9

Almighty,
Gen. 17:1Ps. 91:1Rev. 4:8

Maker
Job 4:1735:10Is. 17:754:5

of heaven
Gen 1:18

and earth
Ps. 104:5Jer. 51:15

and of all things
Gen 1:31

visible and invisible.
Ps. 89:11-12Amos 4:13Rev. 3:5Col. 1:16

God the Son

And in one Lord
Eph. 4:5

Jesus Christ,
Acts 10:3611:17Rom. 1:75:11 Cor 1:26:112 Cor. 1:28:9
Gal. 1:36:14Eph. 1:23:11Phil. 1:23:20Col. 1:32:61 Thes. 1:15:9,
2 Thes. 1:12:141 Tim. 6:3142 Tim. 1:2Philemon 1:325Heb. 13:20,
Jas. 1:12:11 Pet. 1:33:152 Pet. 1:814Jude 1721Rev. 22:20-21

the only-begotton,
John 1:18

Son of God,
Matt 3:17John 3:16

Begotten of His Father,
Heb. 1:5
Before all worlds,
John 1:1Col. 1:171 John 1:1

begotten,
John 1:1Heb. 1:5

Not Made,
Mic. 5:2John 1:1817:5

Being of one substance with the Father,
John 10:3014:9

By whom all things were made;
1 Cor. 8:6Col 1:16

Who for us men
Matt 20:28John 10:10

and for our salvation
Matt 1:21Luke 19:10

came down from heaven
Rom. 10:6Eph. 4:10

and was incarnate
Col. 2:9

by the Holy Spirit
Matt 1:18

of the Virgin Mary
Luke 1:34-35

and was made man;
John 1:14

and was crucified
Matt. 20:19John 19:18Rom. 5:682 Cor. 13:4

also for us
Rom. 5:82 Cor. 5:15

under Pontius Pilate.
Matt. 27:2261 Tim 6:13

He suffered
1 Pet. 2:21Heb. 2:10

and was buried.
Mark 15:461 Cor. 15:4

And the third day
Matt. 27:6328:11 Cor. 15:4

He rose again
Mark 16:62 Tim. 2:8

according to the Scriptures
Ps. 16:10Luke 24:25-271 Cor. 15:4

and ascended
Luke 24:51Acts 1:9

Into heaven
Mark 16:19Acts 1:11

and sits at the right hand of the Father.
Ps. 110:1Matt. 26:64Acts 7:56Heb. 1:3

And He will come again
Jn. 14:31 Thes. 4:16

with glory
Matt. 16:2724:3025:3126:64Mark. 8:38Col. 3:4

to judge
Matt. 25:31-46Acts 17:31

both the living and the dead,
Acts 10:421 Pet. 4:5

whose kingdom
John 18:362 Tim. 4:118

will have no end.
Luke 1:33Rev. 11:15Ps. 145:13

God the Holy Spirit

And I believe in the Holy Spirit,
Matt. 28:19Acts 13:2

The Lord
2 Cor. 3:17

And giver of life,
John 6:63Rom. 7:68:22 Cor. 3:6
who proceeds from the father
John 14:16-17

and the Son,
John 15:26Rom. 8:9Gal. 4:6

Who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped
Luke 4:8John 4:24

and glorified
John 4:241 Tim. 1:17

Who spoke by the prophets.
1 Pet. 1:10-112 Pet 1:21

And I believe in one
1 Cor. 10:16-1712:12-13

Holy
Eph. 3:16-175:271 Pet. 2:9

Catholic
1 Cor. 1:2

and Apostolic
Eph. 2:20Rev. 21:14

Church,
Acts 20:28Eph. 1:22-23Col. 1:24Heb. 12:231 Pet. 2:9

I acknowledge one Baptism
John 3:5Rom. 6:3Eph. 4:5
For the remission of sins,
Acts 2:381 Pet. 3:21Tit. 3:5
And I look for the resurrection of the dead
1 Thes. 4:161 Cor. 15:12-131652

And the life of the world to come.
1 Cor 15:54-57Rev. 22:5

Amen.
Ps. 41:132 Cor. 1:20

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