Upon completion of this lesson, you should be able:
Name the oldest and most important creed of the Christian Church and give three reasons why it was written. You will also be able to name at least three groups of Christians who accept the doctrine of the Apostles Creed!
Tell what an Attribute is and list four out of six attributes of God, Give a Bible Reference for each one.
Tell what the terms Infinite and Finite mean and explain why it is impossible for man to know all there is to know about God and the doctrine of the Trinity.
The Trinity and the Apostles’ Creed
After being filled with the Holy Spirit, the Apostles preached the Gospel and thousands of Jews were converted. They taught them the doctrine of the Trinity. At first the Church depended upon the Apostles to teach the true doctrine about Jesus Christ. They had been taught by Jesus for three solid years and aided by the Holy Spirit were able to guard the truth in the Church. However, the time came when the Apostles died. So the Apostles Creed was written as a powerful confession of our faith in our Triune God.
We are going to see how the early Christians became aware of the doctrine of the Trinity. We will also discover how they came to write the Creeds, especially the Apostles Creed.
Read Romans 1:4
According to this verse in Romans, the resurrection of Christ was the final piece of evidence which convinced the disciples that Jesus was without any doubt, the Son of God.
Shortly before Jesus death He had taught His disciples about Himself and His relationship to the Holy Spirit.
Read John 3:16. Who sent the Son into the world?
Who was sent into the world by the Father?
Now read John 14:26 & 15:26. Who was to be sent by both the Father and the Son?
The Jewish disciples who had learned from childhood that God is one. But they were also convinced that both Jews and the Holy Spirit had not only come from God, but that they were convinced that both Jesus and the Holy Spirit were God.
It must have been a great surprise to the apostles and to the first disciples to discover God as Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Three in One. We have studied about God the Son! In the next part of this lesson we will be studying the doctrine of God the Father.
Read Acts 1:8. In these final words of the resurrected Jesus, promised that His disciples would receive power after there had come upon them the .
According to Acts 2:1-4; this promise was fulfilled on the day of .
According to verse 4 how many were filled with the Spirit?
Read Acts 2:11. What did they begin to talk about?
The new Christian community grew very quickly.
How many believers were baptized on the day of Pentecost alone? (Acts 2:41)
How many men believed on the Lord at a later time? (Acts 4:4)?(keep in mind this did not count women and children).
According to Acts 6:1, did the number of believers keep on growing larger. With the fast growth that was taking place in the Christian community there was more and more work to be done in the Church. But, the apostles (that is Jesus’ 12 disciples) spent their time in prayer and, according to Acts 6:4, in the . Part of this ministry was to teach the doctrine that Jesus Christ is , and that the Holy Spirit is , just as the Father is .
The messages of the risen Christ spread very quickly from Jerusalem to the other nations in the Roman Empire. The Jews called all those who were not Jews, Gentiles. When many Gentiles became Christians they had to be taught that there are three persons in one God.
Remember that there were many Jews scattered among the nations of the Roman Empire. When the Gospel spread from Jerusalem into the other nations, therefore both Jews and Gentiles believed.
The new Christians learned from the apostles that every true Christian had been chosen by God the , sprinkled with the blood of God the , and sanctified by God the . This was the doctrine of the .
Once the apostles were dead, however, terrible false teachings started to appear in some parts of the Church. When false doctrine began to be taught in the churches it became very important to believers to know exactly what the Old Testament taught and exactly what the apostles taught. Read 2 Peter 3:2. In this passage the Apostle Peter says: and that they should remember the commandments of the Lord and Savior spoken by the .
The apostles all died before the year A.D. 100. The writings of the apostles were not brought together right away. It took some years before the New Testament was completely gathered together. Because of the doctrinal problems in the churches the new leaders of the Christian Community decided to write a summary of faith, based upon the apostles teachings.
According to the “Great Commission” of the Lord Jesus before His ascension, what were the apostles to do to every new believers? Read Matthew 28:19.
The words of Jesus’ Great Commission became the central part of this summary of the Apostles teaching. Afterward, this short summary of the faith became known as the Apostles Creed.
The Apostles’ Creed isn’t the only summary of the Christian faith written during the time of the earlier church. There are others, such as the Nicene Creed and the Athanasian Creed. However, the Apostles Creed is the oldest and the shortest of the creeds.
Do you know the Apostles’ Creed? Does your group know the Apostles’ Creed?
You can use part of this lesson to teach the Apostles Creed to your group. It might be good for your group to say the Creed together in a meeting. It will help everyone remember the basic facts of the faith and their personal belief.
What are the advantages of Learning the Apostles Creed by heart and of saying it together?
What are some of the dangers of memorizing the Apostles Creed and repeating it regularly?
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God the Father Almighty, (1 Cor. 8:6)
Maker of heaven and earth,
And in Jesus Christ his only son, our Lord (Phil. 12:11, John 3:16)
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
born of the Virgin Mary, (Luke 1:30-36)
suffered under Pontius Pilate (Luke 23:1-56)
was crucified, died, and buried;
He descended into hell; (1 peter 3:18-22)
the third day He rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; (Eph 1:20)
from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead. (1 Thes. 4:16, 1 Pet. 4:5)
I believe in the Holy Spirit, (Act 2:1-4) the holy catholic church (Mat 28:19)
the communion of saints (Rev. 7:9-10) the forgiveness of sins (Luke 24:47) the resurrection of the body (1 Cor. 15:1-5) and the life everlasting (John 3:15). Amen.
Attributes of God
We are going to be talking about God. God is Spirit. God, Himself has said that we are not to make images of Him.
God is the maker of everything which exists, including mankind. God is Almighty and has shown His great power by making the world of Nothing. When we say that God the Father is Almighty, we are saying that He has ALL POWER.
Read Exodus 6:3. How does God say he appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? As God
Exercise: Underline with Green the word “Almighty” in Exodus 6:3 and write the words “All Powerful” in the margin.
To say that God is Almighty is to say that God is All powerful and is to be “Omnipotent” (God can do ALL things).
Read Genesis 1:1. What was at the very beginning of all things, before God began to make the world? (Nothing but God, Himself).
Read Exodus 6:3. This tells us God is omnipotent.
We have been talking about one of the characteristics of God’s being. God is all powerful. This characteristics of God’s being is called
Attributes of God
God is all knowing
God is all powerful
God is present everywhere
God is spirit
God is infinite
God is eternal
God is not only omnipotent. He is also omniscient. Men can not know all that God knows because men had been created by Him. We are not able to understand all things.
Look up Deuteronomy 29:29. The secret things of the world belong to . Things which are revealed belong to .
Exercise: Underline Deuteronomy 29:29 using your green pencil or pen.
God knows all things, even the things which are secrets from men. God is the one who reveals things to men and in fact, if He did not show Himself to us we would have no direct knowledge of God.
In spite of the fact that men have been studying our world for hundreds of years, we don’t really know too much about the world we live in. People today do have a wider knowledge of the stars, of science, of the human body, and of many other things, but all our knowledge puts together makes up only a small part of everything there is to know. God knows all. To know all is to be omniscient. Omni-means the same as the English word All. Scient forms the main part of the English word science, which really means knowledge.
Not read Psalm 139:1-6. This passage teaches that God has perfect knowledge. There are many times when we are confused by the choices we have to make or the problems we face. Life seems hard and we don’t know what is the best things to do to solve our difficulties. It is in times like this that the truth of Gods ought to be an encouragement to us. God knows everything perfectly and He will have a solution to all of our problems.
Not only does God know everything, but he also knows everyone. In order for Him to know everyone perfectly he must be everywhere/ Read Psalm 139:7-12. Who does this psalm say in the heavens, in the sea, the very light of the night?
We can never get away from the presence of God because He is everywhere (Omnipresent).
Exercise: using your green pen or pencil, underline the word “know” in verse 1 of psalm 139 and the word “presence” in verse 7.
In Jeremiah 23:24 God says of Himself: “Do I not fill heaven and earth?”
God is also eternal. To be eternal means to be without beginning or end. There never was a time when God did not exist. There never will be a time when God does not exist. Read Psalm 90:2.
Exercise: Underline psalm 90:2 in your Bible using a green pen or pencil.
When we compare man and God we discover still another attribute of God. Man has been created. He has a definite beginning and an end, in other words, man is limited. Because man is limited he is said to be finite, God, on the other hand, is without any limits. Another way to say this is to say that God is Infinite.
According to John 4:24, God is
Now, man also has a spiritual nature, but man’s spirit is limited because man has been created with soul and body as well.
Exercise: Underline the words “God is Spirit” in John 4:24. Use your green pen or pencil.
It is true that the Bible talks about the “hand of God,” the “arm of God”, His feet, eyes, voices, and soon; but we must always remember that expressions such as these are figurative because God is . God is able to touch us, speak to us, see us, etc.
If God did not talk about Himself in this way in the Bible we would not be able to understand all that He wants us to know about Himself. When we read that God has a voice we know that it means that God can speak to man. He communicates with us.
God is not limited in space or time because He is an infinite Spirit.
Read Matthew 5:48. This verse teaches us that God is
The perfection of God is also one of the attributes. Only in God and in the things which comes from God are things as they really ought to be because only God is
Read James 1:17
Who is the source of everything which is good and perfect?
When we talk about the perfection of God we mean that He is complete and without fault in every way. God is not just bigger than anyone or anything else, but He is Better than anyone or anything else. God is perfect in everything that He is as well as everything that He does.
Look up the following Bible references and fill in the spaces. Each of these references gives us away in which God is perfect.
1 John 1:5
1 John 4:8
The following quotation is taken from;
Prophecy of Joseph Smith (April 1843)
Section 130, Verse 22 in the book
Doctrines and Agreements
“The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as any man; the Son as well; but the Holy Spirit does not have a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of spirit. If this were not so, the Holy Spirit could not live in us.”
Can you identify the Cult which believes this Heresy?
How would you answer someone who come to your door and told you this? What verses of the Bible can you find to disapprove this statement?
The essential meaning of exile is that we are where we don’t want to be. We are separated from home. We are not permitted to reside in the place where we comprehend and appreciate our surroundings. We are forced to be away from that which is most congenial to us. It is an experience of dislocation – everything is out of joint; nothing fits together. The thousand details that have been built up through the years that give a sense of at-home— gestures, customs, rituals, phrases — are all gone. Life is ripped out of the familiar soil of generations of language, habit, weather, story-telling, and rudely and unceremoniously dropped into some unfamiliar spot of earth. The place of exile may boast a higher standard of living. It may be more pleasant in its weather. That doesn’t matter. It isn’t home.
But this very strangeness can open up new reality to us. An accident, a tragedy, a disaster of any kind can force the realization that the world is not predictable, that reality is far more extensive than our habitual perception of it. With the pain and in the midst of alienation a sense of freedom can occur.
(From Run with the Horses by Eugene Peterson)
In order to establish a better “Quality of Life” on this earth, we need to realize that we are on temporary exile from heaven to earth. God is permitting some hard times into our live to teach us: love, trust, submission, glory, etc. of /to Him. God consciously disciplines his people. He knows that it is the only way they can learn certain lessons. When hardship comes, thank God for this demonstration of love. Then ask him to help you learn from the situation. Remember that we are to learn how to be better citizens of heaven so we can return. So we need to be better prepared for heaven, not earth. We need to follow the ways of heaven – not earth.
Leader of the Welsh revival. Evan Roberts worked in coal
mines, but he walked in the heavenlies. Never without his Bi-
ble, he prayed and wept 11 years for revival in Wales. He en-
tered the Preparatory School for the Ministry at Newcastle,
Enlyn, when about 26.
He never finished. Compelled by the Holy Spirit, he
returned in November, 1904, to his home village of Loughor,
to tell of Christ. And fire fell! Evan did not preach. He led
the meetings, praying, “Plyg ni, O arglwdd!” “Send us, O
Lord!” And urging, “Obey the Holy Spirit. Obey!”
The Calvinistic Methodist church was moved until all
Loughor became a praying, praising multitude. Taverns were
emptied, brothels were closed. The churches were filled
daily. Fire spread until all Wales was brought in repentance
to its knees at the cross.
Roberts’ life ministry was burned out in the short
months of the 1904-05 Welsh revival. Broken in health, he re-
tired from public view for the remaining half century of his