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The Creeds:     The Rule of Faith


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The Rule of Faith
recorded by Irenaeus

And Hippolytus's account of the baptismal service

There are several early summaries of the Christian faith which predate the creeds, such as the "Rule of Faith" as recorded by Irenaeus:


. . . this faith: in one God, the Father Almighty, who made the heaven and the earth and the seas and all the things that are in them;

and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who was made flesh for our salvation;

and in the Holy Spirit, who made known through the prophets the plan of salvation, and the coming, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the bodily ascension into heaven of the beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord, and his future appearing from heaven in the glory of the Father to sum up all things and to raise anew all flesh of the whole human race...


And Hippolytus's account of the baptismal service:


When the person being baptized goes down into the water, he who baptizes him, putting his hand on him, shall say: "Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty?" And the person being baptized shall say: "I believe." Then holding his hand on his head, he shall baptize him once.

And then he shall say: "Do you believe in Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who was born of the Virgin Mary, and was crucified inder Pontius Pilate, and was dead and buried, and rose again the third day, alive from the dead, and ascended into heaven, and sat at the right hand of the Father, and will come to judge the living and the dead?" And when he saya: "I believe," he is baptized again. And again he shall say: "Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, in the holy church, and the resurrection of the body?" The person being baptized shall say: "I believe," and then he is baptized a third time.

Hippolytus, early third century.


Both the Rule of Faith as recorded by Iranaeus and the baptismal service as recorded by Hippolytus bear very close similarity to the Apostles' Creed.


BIBLE CREEDS

The following scripture passages are considered by many to be creeds or declarations of faith. These are taken from both Lieth's Schaff's books to which I have referred in previous postings:

Deuteronomy 6:4:     Hear O Israel, the LORD is our God, the LORD alone.

1 Kings 18:39:     And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, "The LORD, he is God; the LORD, he is God."

Matthew 16:16:     Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Matthew 28:19:     Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

John 1:49:     Nathan'a-el answered him, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!"

John 6:68-69:     Simon Peter answered him, "Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God."

John 20:28:     Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!"

Acts 8:36-37:     And as they went along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "See, here is water! What is to prevent my being bap- tized?" And Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he replied, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

Acts 16:31:     And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your house- hold."

1 Corinthians 8:6:     yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

1 Corinthians 12:3:     Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says "Jesus be cursed!" and no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 15:3-7:     For I delivered to you as of first impor- tance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scrip- tures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.

Philippians 2:6-11:     who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the like- ness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

1 Timothy 3:16:     Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of our religion: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.

Hebrews 6:1-2:     Therefore let us leave the elementary doc- trine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, with in- struction about ablutions, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.

1 John 4:2:     By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God.




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