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The Athanasian Creed

John 1:1-5

Rev. John F. Wurst

Advent feria III (midweek)
The Lutheran Church of Christ the King  
Duluth, Minnesota

Wed, Dec 19, 2012 

"For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified." (1 Cor. 2:2)

John 1:1-5 (The Athanasian Creed)

Advent feria III -- (12-19-2012)

In the Name of the Father and + of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

What is worship? Who do you worship? Why do you worship? Good questions for Lutheran Christians to ask as you await the parousia, the Coming of the Son of Man.

The definition of worship I will provide tonight is Gottesdienst: God's service to you. Worship is a time when sinners come before God, in His House of Prayer, to receive His means of grace through the preaching office. The Holy Spirit calls you here, by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to receive God's mercy, forgiveness of sins, and His eternal food to nourish your soul. God, more importantly, Jesus is the One serving you in this holy place. You come to receive. You come to honor your Lord and Savior. You come in humility to beg His forgiveness.

Worship then leads into the next question of who do you worship. The answer is obvious to you because you believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior who died in your place to defeat Satan and death and to rise again from the dead to give you everlasting life. Is the answer always so clear?

Hear the Word of The Lord. He says, "I am The Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me." (Deut. 5:6-7) The Lord continues in verse 9, "You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I The Lord you God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love Me and keep My commandments. (v 9)

You cannot go with your friends or your community to participate in this new thing called "Interfaith Prayer Services." An "Interfaith Prayer Service" is where clergy gather to lead people from the community to pray, to heal, to find comfort in the face of tragedy.

The problem with "Interfaith Prayer Services," such as the one in Yankee Stadium in 2001, is that when you join with other of different faiths, you are worshiping their gods too. The Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions reject this practice; it is called syncretism and unionism.

The Athanasian Creed clearly states, "And the catholic faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, neither confusing the persons nor dividing the substance." There is only One true God: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. One God, three Persons.

The One true God is the One Moses writes about in the Book of Genesis. The Trinity created the heavens and the earth. The Father was working. The Holy Ghost hovering. And all that was created was created through the Son. You might be thinking that Genesis 1:1-2 states nothing about the Son of God.

This is where the Biblical hermeneutic of Scripture interprets Scripture is foundational in Lutheran preaching. St. John writes in the Gospel, "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 were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made." (John 1:1-3) St. Matthew also testifies to the Trinity when he writes Jesus' words and command, "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." (Matthew 28:19)

As the Athanasian Creed teaches you from the Holy Scriptures, there is only One true God: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The Scriptures teach you that you are not to worship any other gods. Moses writes, "...for you shall worship no other god, for The Lord, whose Name is Jealous, is a Jealous God." (Exodus 34:14)

As Lutherans, you and I condemn all heresies that arose against the teaching of the Trinity. You cannot worship the One true God and false gods at the same time. It is sin. It is trampling the Gospel of Jesus Christ under thee feet of those who deny God and Jesus Christ as the Messiah and Savior of the world.

At the center of the Athanasian Creed, the Nicene and Apostles' Creeds is Jesus. The Chief Article of your confession as a Lutheran is this: "Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, died for our sins and was raised again for our justification.

He alone is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, and God has laid upon Him the iniquities of us all. Finally, All have sinned and are justified freely, without their own works or merits, by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, in His blood. This is necessary to believe." SA II, I - The Chief Article

It is clear and certain, you cannot save yourself by your own works or merits. You are saved by grace alone, through faith in Jesus Christ, apart from the works of the Law. For there is no other Name under heaven given among men by which you must be saved. You are saved and healed by the stripes of Jesus.

Your confession joins with all of Christendom when you confess Jesus Christ as the God-man who descended from heaven assumed the humanity of mankind into His divinity. He stood in the place of every sinner to atone for the sins of the world.

Your confession is grounded on the Chief Cornerstone, your Lord Jesus Christ. He is the One you worship because He is God. He will not share your praise with any other gods.

This is the catholic faith; whoever does not believe it faithfully and firmly cannot be saved.

In the Name of the Father and + of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

The peace of God which surpasses all understanding guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Amen.

+ SDG +



(C) Rev. John F. Wurst



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