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 Sermons on important subjects by Rev. Paul C. Jong

 

The Apostles’ Creed and Its Blessings of Faith


Our desire is that the Apostles’ faith be handed down to us in its unadulterated purity. This is our wish, and the hope of every Christian. Their faith should have been handed down to us sufficiently in written texts after their death. However, the true faith of the Apostles is revealed only in their Epistles, and this is why we are struggling to share and spread their faith.

What, then, is the faith of the Apostles? Strictly speaking, the Apostle’s Creed was made after the passing of the Apostolic Age. It is, in other words, a testament of the Apostles’ faith recorded by the generation who came after them.

The Apostles’ faith is the faith in the works of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The baptism that we receive when we accept God as our Savior requires from us the faith that confesses the following: that Jesus’ baptism has cleansed all our sins; that through the blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross all our sins were accordingly judged; and that Jesus was sent by His Father as the Savior of sinners. Thus, when one believes that all his/her sins are redeemed by the baptism and blood of Jesus, he/she then receives the Holy Spirit from God.

We can therefore ask the following question to those who wish to be baptized: “Do you believe that when Jesus was baptized by John, all your sins were taken from you and placed on His shoulder instead?” When the answer is, “Yes, I believe that all my sins and all the sins of the world were taken upon by Jesus,” we follow with another question: “Do you then believe that Jesus, having shouldered all your sins by being baptized by John, shed His blood on the Cross?” Those who answer affirmatively are then baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Faith in the Triune God begins with the confession, “I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth.” Only to those who believe and confess this, the Apostles could baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The true Christian faith was granted to only those who believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. That is why God’s Church was built upon the foundation of the twelve disciples’ faith.

The origins of the Apostles’ Creed go back to the Edict of Milan in 313 A.D., signed by the Roman Emperor Constantine. Given the historical background to the changed status of Christianity, turning from an outlawed religion to the official, state religion of the Roman Empire, this radical change generated significant and growing interests in Christianity among all Romans. What was needed then was a standard of faith for these new believers wishing to become a part of God’s Church.

The Apostles’ Creed has its origins in this need, and owes its existence to the people who came after the Apostolic Age. Its present form was handed down to us after being compiled and repeatedly revised by various religious councils that followed the Apostolic Age. This is why the present Apostles’ Creed must be reinterpreted through the faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the differentiated faith of Christianity and the true faith. To spread this Christian faith throughout the world, we must know and believe how Jesus took the sins of mankind upon Himself, how He made these sins disappear, and how He has given human beings their eternal life.

But there are countless religions in the world. And each religion has its own deities. The difference between these deities and the Christian God is that while the former are merely human constructions, the latter is the God who exists by Himself. To believe in the Christian God, one must abandon all these false gods of the man-made religions. Without this, all efforts are fruitless. The reason why we see before our eyes such a confusion of faith about God is because of the lack of knowledge in the Creator God and His name.

In the Mongolian Empire there was a god called “Buruhung.” This god is not said to have created the world, yet the Mongolians still worship “Buruhung” as their god even to this day. As such, even as they believe in the Christian God as their own God, they also believe in their national god. This makes them impossible to have true faith. If one believes that the Christian God is the same as their national god, he cannot meet the true God professed by the Christian faith. This is why we must bear witness to the Triune God of Christianity.

Why is it so hard for the true Christian faith in God to enter into all the nations of the world? It is because many of them cannot distinguish the difference between their gods and the Christian God; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This other reason of such difficulty is that Christianity has failed to keep and preach the truth of the remission of sin, the gospel of the water and the Spirit throughout its history.

Christianity that was introduced into the Mongolian Empire made too many compromises with the existing national religion, so as to avoid any conflict of faith with the dominant Buddhist doctrines, and this resulted in the failure of the Christian truth to blossom. The Christian truth of atonement cannot be made compatible with the Buddhist doctrines. This truth of atonement means that Jesus took upon all the sins of the world for the sake of mankind, died on the Cross in our stead, rose from the dead again, and has thereby saved those who believe in Him.

But one of the Buddhist doctrines is an aversion to killing. The core truth of Christianity is the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and this truth entails Jesus’ baptism of the bearing of sin and His bloodshed on the Cross. But because of the Buddhist doctrine that prohibits any killing, the Word of the bearing of sin and the death of Jesus could not be accepted or believed as it was. The Christian doctrine of atonement, therefore, could not coexist with the Buddhist doctrine of conscience.

As a result, Christianity in the Mongolian Empire eventually ended up becoming absorbed by Buddhism, and it can no longer be found in Mongolia. When the Church in the Mongolian Empire faced tribulations and persecutions, moreover, many Christians fled to Buddhist temples with little hesitation and easily converted themselves to Buddhism, and thus leading to the eventual demise of Christianity in that nation.

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The faith of the Apostles' creed

The biggest reason as to why Christianity disappeared from the Mongolian Empire has to do with the fact that the Mongolian faith in the Triune God was not certain. They saw “Buddha” and Jesus as the same God. This is what led to the eventual disappearance of Christianity from the Mongolian Empire.

Eternal life can come about only to those who are saved from their sins by believing in the true God of Christianity as their own God, regardless of who and where they are. We must therefore believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and in the Triune God. These are the foundation of our faith in God’s Church, and we must also bear witness to this truth. This truth is none other than the faith of the Apostles that this book speaks of. There is only one God in the entire world, and He is the Triune God. His name is “Yahweh,” or “Jesus the Savior,” or the Holy Spirit. He is the true God not only for Christians, but also for all the religious.

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