I Believe In Jesus Christ Religion Essay
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Ervin Drake, Irvin Graham, Jimmy Shirl and Al Stillman wrote this song in 1953 and Frankie Laine sang the most popular version of it. Jane Froman commissioned the song was commissioned for her early 1950s television show, becoming the first hit song ever introduced on television. Troubled by the outbreak of the Korean War in 1952 so soon after World War II, Froman invited the four men to compose a song which would offer hope and faith to the people. Over the years the song written for Americans became a world-wide success with Frankie Laine singing the most popular version. 
Just as Jane Froman who suffered chronic pain and wore a leg brace for most of her life after surviving a plane crash in February, 1943 while she was touring army camps in war torn Europe, commissioned this song to lift the spirits of people fearing the Korean War would become World War III, so did the Christian Church develop popular statements of faith to sustain its members in the face of heresy. Every, declaration in The Creed was an early Church attempt to clarify the Church's beliefs and theology.
Lord and Christ
The Man Jesus
Divine Pre-existence Lord and Christ
The Man Jesus
The eternal Lord
The Church took many hundreds of years to develop the beliefs and theology which you and I take for granted. During the first 400-500 years the Church's theologians and those who repudiated them debated and discussed the nature of Jesus Christ: Was He human? Was He divine? Could He be both divine and human at the same time?
The Church also tussled controversially with non-believers about the crucified Christ. If Jesus was divine, how could He suffer on the Cross? Wouldn't He just go through the motions of dying without actually experiencing human pain? The people who said this was the case, not only denied Jesus' humanity, but also denied His human birth to Mary, His mother and denied His human death and descent into hell.
Christians had to think carefully about such issues. They had to be even more careful about how they stated their beliefs: on one hand so they would clearly delineate God's revelation and on another hand repulse all wrong proclamations and teachings.
To say I believe in God, the Father Almighty, The Maker of heaven and earth was to align Christian beliefs and theology with Judaism from which Christianity had emerged. It was also to set Christianity apart from Greek and Roman religions and all other religious practices and proclamations by which devotees worshipped many gods.
To say I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary was to set Christianity apart from Judaism and, in the seventh century, from Islam. Christians' commitment and devotion to Jesus Christ sets every Christian apart from everyone else in the world, because Christians commit to and worship only God whom you know through Jesus Christ.
The name Jesus comes from the Aramaic name "Yeshua" (Joshua), from Hebrew Yah-shua, meaning "God saves" which was a popular name of the time.  The name points to Him being an historical person and not a figment of someone's wild imagination.
Jesus is often called Jesus Christ or Christ with Christ being the English term for the Greek ÎÏÎ¹ÏƒÏ„ÏŒÏ‚ meaning the anointed one. It is a translation of the Hebrew ×žÖ¸×©Ö´××™×-Ö· (MÄÅ¡îaá¸¥), usually transliterated into English as Messiah.  Use of this title grants Jesus a specific place in History. When you declare that you believe in Jesus Christ your Lord, you are seeing Him in His role in relation to your personal spiritual needs. Only through Jesus Christ can you hope to know God, so He overcomes your ignorance of God. Only through Jesus Christ can you hope to be related with God, annihilating your estrangement from God. Only through Jesus Christ can you receive the guidance and protection you need to live as believers who know God and are reconciled to Him.
When John wrote of such things, he called Jesus Christ the Word of God (John 1.1-4). He assumed that anyone who read his Gospel would have at least a working knowledge of the Old Testament and of Judaism within both of which the Messiah is referred to as the Word. John assumed that his readers would know that Jesus, as the Word, was active and powerful in Creation (Genesis 1), in deliverance of God's people (Isaiah 42.1-9; 49.1-7; 52.13-53.12) and judgement of people's behaviour and belief (Psalm 96.13).
Comments such as those John made in the first few verses of his Gospel (John 1.1-4) underpinned the stand the Church took against heresy.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him and without Him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in Him was life and the life was the light of all people. (John 1.1-4 NRSV)
When John started his Gospel with these words, he indicated his belief that Jesus was eternal, sharing eternity with God His Father, because In the beginning was the Word: i.e., Jesus existed before the creation of the world and the human race. John also gave the Church a theological foundation upon which it could establish declarations such as The Apostles' Creed.
In the way human beings measure Time, Jesus was in the beginning with God and, because He rose from the dead defeating death, He has no end. Yes! Jesus lived as a man within Time for about thirty-three years, but Time did not bind Him. He was not like God, because He was God - actually, is God. Where God is, Jesus is. With these words John countered the heretical claim that God the Father and Jesus the Son were two distinct entities - two distinct separate beings.
John also stated his belief that Jesus participated in the Creation of the world and Mankind, because nothing was made without Him being the Creator: All things came into being through Him and without Him not one thing came into being (John 1.3; Hebrews 1.10). Also, What has come into being in Him was life and the life was the light of all people (John 1.4). Jesus not only participated in Creation, but also in giving life to people. Jesus did not just create, but also continues to provide, so that life can go on and on.
Although the Church published the first known appearance of The Apostles' Creed about 710-714AD  , Christians of most persuasions have used it repeatedly to affirm their faith and to give them a basis for further theological thinking. In today's western society in which Christianity is increasingly marginalised and in which indifference and a lack of sympathy towards Christianity is spreading obliges all Christians to behave openly as believers and to declare their beliefs more boldly using The Apostles' Creed. You are encouraged to clarify your beliefs for yourself and others and underpin your Christian behaviour.
I:\sermons 2010\Christian Year 2010\Pentecost 17
Location Raymond Terrace 19-09-2010
Scripture John 1.1-18 Hebrews 12.1-4
Bettenson, H. Documents of the Christian Church (OUP) Oxford 1993 repr. 23-24
Bray, G. Creeds, Councils and Christ (IVP) Leicester 1984 98-104, 212-214
Leith, J.H. Creeds of the Churches (John Knox Press) Louisville 1982 22-24
Milne, B. The Message of John (IVP) 1993 31-50
Packer, J.I. Affirming the Apostles' Creed (Crossway) Wheaton 2008 24-36
Nestle-Aland Greek-English New Testament (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft) Stuttgart 1971 26th Edition <RSV-English> <Novum Testamentum Graece>
Thomson Chain Reference Bible NIV (B.B.Kirkbridge & Zondervan Company) New York
Perschbacher, W.J. (ed.,) The New Analytical Greek Lexicon (Hendrickson) Peabody 2006 repr.
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