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The Apostles' Creed
  1. On the Resurrection of the Flesh
  2. 2. Philippians 3:20-21
  3. Christian Beliefs - St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
  4. What About the Spirits of the Dead?
  5. Ascension of Jesus

How did that happen? What does that even mean? The apostle Paul lays it out for us to understand. Where is it? How can that be? What makes death eternally destructive and damning? This is why death scares everyone. Because deep down all of us know we are sinners who are guilty before a good and righteous and just and holy God. We may not even know those words — or even use them. But even without words we know we will give an account to him when we die. Death has a sting. A deadly, damning, never-ending sting. And the sting is our sin.

On the Resurrection of the Flesh

In other words, the destructive effect of sin on our eternity is not like a random mutation of sin that just happens to go bad and makes us miserable forever. The destructive effect of sin on our eternity is owing to the law of God. The eternal effect of sin is not random or arbitrary.

It is punishment from God. And it is just. The sting of death is sin. Now all of that — all of that scary reality at least it ought to be scary is leading up to the discovery that the death of Jesus was one of a kind and it turns his resurrection into an event that makes all the difference for John Levy, and, I hope, for you. He had existed from all eternity in perfect unity with God the Father and God the Spirit.

Dying in the Lord - Revelation 14:13 - Sermon by Colin Smith -Christian Death

He lived here as God and man — one Person with two natures, divine and human — for about 33 years, and he never sinned. No answer John There has been one human being — and only one — who did not deserve to die. Because he never sinned. Why then did he die? But how could that be? What did he do? The answer is stunning. It is the best news in the world. It is the heart of true Christianity. It is the hope of John Levy and those who love him.

2. Philippians 3:20-21

It goes like this:. While we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Romans —8. Isaiah —6. Jesus came — sovereign and sinless — to take our place under the judgment of God. It was the most amazing and most precious exchange that has ever been made. Paul put it like this:. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God [in spite of our sin].

But what about the law? What about the law? Listen to Romans God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh. Whose flesh? Whose sin? And when the sovereign Jesus raised Jesus from the dead, he wrote across the sky of eternity: That one-of-a-kind death that I just died does what I designed for it to do.

My people will never be condemned. No condemnation for John Levy. God was not settling accounts. Those were settled two thousand years ago. For reasons we do not know, Jesus said, I want John Levy with me. This will be painful. Very painful.

Awake beyond the Grave: What the Bible Says about Soul Sleep

But I love him. Genuine faith acknowledges and depends upon Jesus as Lord and shows itself in growing obedience to the divine commands, though this contributes nothing to the ground of our justification James ; Heb. The Gospel calls us to live as obedient servants of Christ and as his emissaries in the world, doing justice, loving mercy, and helping all in need, thus seeking to bear witness to the kingdom of Christ. At death, Christ takes the believer to himself Phil. Salvation in its full sense is from the guilt of sin in the past, the power of sin in the present, and the presence of sin in the future.

Christian Beliefs - St. Stephen's Episcopal Church

Thus, while in foretaste believers enjoy salvation now, they still await its fullness Mark ; Heb. Salvation is a Trinitarian reality, initiated by the Father, implemented by the Son, and applied by the Holy Spirit. Unity in the Gospel Christians are commanded to love each other despite differences of race, gender, privilege, and social, political, and economic background John ; Gal. We know that divisions among Christians hinder our witness in the world, and we desire greater mutual understanding and truth-speaking in love.

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Doctrinal disagreements call for debate. Dialogue for mutual understanding and, if possible, narrowing of the differences is valuable, doubly so when the avowed goal is unity in primary things, with liberty in secondary things, and charity in all things. In the foregoing paragraphs, an attempt has been made to state what is primary and essential in the Gospel as evangelicals understand it.

Useful dialogue, however, requires not only charity in our attitudes, but also clarity in our utterances. Our extended analysis of justification by faith alone through Christ alone reflects our belief that Gospel truth is of crucial importance and is not always well understood and correctly affirmed.

Affirmations and Denials: 1. God is its author, and he reveals it to us in and by his Word.

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Its authority and truth rest on him alone. We deny that the truth or authority of the Gospel derives from any human insight or invention Gal. We also deny that the truth or authority of the Gospel rests on the authority of any particular church or human institution. We affirm that the Gospel is the saving power of God in that the Gospel effects salvation to everyone who believes, without distinction Rom. This efficacy of the Gospel is by the power of God himself 1 Cor. We deny that the power of the Gospel rests in the eloquence of the preacher, the technique of the evangelist, or the persuasion of rational argument 1 Cor.

We deny any rejection of the fallenness of human nature or any assertion of the natural goodness, or divinity, of the human race. We affirm that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation, the only mediator between God and humanity John ; 1 Tim. We deny that anyone is saved in any other way than by Jesus Christ and his Gospel. The Bible offers no hope that sincere worshipers of other religions will be saved without personal faith in Jesus Christ.

What About the Spirits of the Dead?

We affirm that the church is commanded by God and is therefore under divine obligation to preach the Gospel to every living person Luke ; Matt. We deny that any particular class or group of persons, whatever their ethnic or cultural identity, may be ignored or passed over in the preaching of the Gospel 1 Cor. God purposes a global church made up from people of every tribe, language, and nation Rev. We deny that any view of Jesus Christ which reduces or rejects his full deity is Gospel faith or will avail to salvation. We affirm that Jesus Christ is God incarnate John The virgin-born descendant of David Rom.

We affirm that faith in the true humanity of Christ is essential to faith in the Gospel. We deny that anyone who rejects the humanity of Christ, his incarnation, or his sinlessness, or who maintains that these truths are not essential to the Gospel, will be saved 1 John We deny that any view of the Atonement that rejects the substitutionary satisfaction of divine justice, accomplished vicariously for believers, is compatible with the teaching of the Gospel.

Ascension of Jesus

We declare that faith in the perfect obedience of Christ by which he fulfilled all the demands of the Law of God in our behalf is essential to the Gospel. We deny that our salvation was achieved merely or exclusively by the death of Christ without reference to his life of perfect righteousness. We affirm that the bodily resurrection of Christ from the dead is essential to the biblical Gospel 1 Cor. We deny the validity of any so-called gospel that denies the historical reality of the bodily resurrection of Christ. We affirm that the biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone in Christ alone is essential to the Gospel Rom.