Category: This We Believe

Meditations on the Apostles’ Creed

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(39) . . . he rose again from the dead

The resurrection spotlighted Jesus. His conquest of death made the world sit up and take notice. What Jesus had taught had not really been unique, except in what he had said about himself. He had made certain bold claims that only God could rightfully make. But Jesus’ death on the…

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(40) . . . he rose again from the dead

The heart center of Christianity is the resurrection of Christ. There is a road to every important point of Christian faith and life from the resurrection. Every other doctrine depends upon this for its foundation. Without the resurrection the whole Christian structure falls apart and tumbles in ruins. Everything in…

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(41) he ascended . . .

The Creed tells a story about the Son of God descending from heaven to this earth, then to the depths of death, returning here again, only to ascend once more into heaven. It assumes the existence of “heaven” and “hell” or “hades.” These “places” do not appear anywhere in the…

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(42) he ascended into heaven

The story contained in the Creed consists of two basic movements, first descending then ascending. The Son of God went down to become also the Son of man. His descent began in the glory of the Father Almighty. God’s eternal Son laid aside his garments of light and his powers,…

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(43) he ascended into heaven

When the Son of God had been reduced to next to nothing at all in the realm of the dead, it was quite clear that death could not put out the last spark of him, even at his weakest. As a man, Jesus had been entirely faithful right to the…

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(44) he ascended . . .

Christ began his ascending in this physical world of ours after three days’ work among the dead. He was not satisfied to remain a disembodied spirit. He didn’t leave his fleshly corpse behind him in the tomb. He didn’t discard his broken body as vile, useless, irrelevant, or unimportant. Everything…

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(45) he ascended . . .

Jesus’ passage into heaven was important to him in many ways. He had finished the preparatory work which God had given him to do. God’s vanishing treasures of human life had been safely gathered together in paradise. Eternally victorious life had been made available for men. A process of ascension…

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(46) he ascended into heaven

Jesus’ ascension into the highest from the depths was the first instance of a new kind of being: creature style, but eternal in life. Others of the human race would soon be able to take on the beginnings of this higher life, with hope of entering eventually into its fullness….

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(47) and sitteth on the right hand of God . . .

Christ has not abandoned this world, even though he has ascended and is no longer visibly present. He still operates through Christians and the church although his personal center is in heaven. Because he has been working in his church, I am writing these words and you are reading them….

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(48) from thence he shall come to judge . . .

What I have described as Christ’s ascension was really the story of how God brought his Son back out of this perishing world and saved him from dying away like the rest of it. But Jesus’ life had become entangled with other lives, for life does become involved with life…

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