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Page 252

How does the confession of one of the ecumenical creeds in the church service serve to God's glory, the church's unification, and the members' edification?


 

Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well; the devils also believe, and tremble.

But wilt thou know, 0 vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works his faith made perfect?

And the Scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

- James 2:18-26

 

It has become a common practice to confess one of the creeds each Sunday, during one of the church's worship services. The following are three of the reasons for doing so:

    1. Biblical reason - to continually remind the congregation of the Christian dogmas, the core biblical doctrines

    2. Church reason - to maintain unity of confession of faith with the Christian church of all ages

    3. Personal reason - to repeatedly focus upon that which is necessary to personally and experientially believe in order to be saved



    Mrs. Clark had been distressed for a considerable time over a serious difficulty she could not resolve. Finally she visited one of her church elders to ask his advice.

    "I know several people in our church who know and confess the truths of the Bible," she explained to the elder. "They love the creeds, doctrinal standards, and sound preaching. They strictly hold to all scriptural doctrines and can quickly detect errors in this regard. But their lifestyles and behaviors are terrible; there is little or no Christian living, love toward others, or devotional exercise in their lives. If the doctrines they believe are true, shouldn't the results of it be seen in their lives? If so, why aren't they?"

252

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